China’s biggest city and economic hub, Shanghai, plans to explore blockchain technology and innovations connected to it, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse, and Web3.

Shanghai’s Municipal Government published a draft of its “14th Five-Year Plan for the Development of Shanghai’s Digital Economy.” In the document, blockchain technology, NFTs, the metaverse, and Web3 are lumped in with other “key technologies” such as AI, cloud computing, and big data that have been getting massive support from the government.

Shanghai’s blockchain adoption plans include creating an innovation system that integrates blockchain technology. It will also promote the development of a blockchain ecosystem with strong innovation capabilities and independent control, the document reads.

For NFTs, the five-year plan intends to research and promote the digital collectibles sector, as well as support enterprises building NFT trading platforms. The government believes this will help advance intellectual property protection.

Plans for the metaverse will see Shanghai accelerate the research and deployment of virtual reality platforms. The city emphasizes the potential of this to facilitate new forms of digital entertainment consumption.

The document outlines that for Web3, the city will scour the promotion of research on multiplatform OpenID, distributed data storage, decentralized domain name resolution system (DNS), and end-to-end encrypted communication. The Web3 applications of blockchain technology will complement hardware upgrades such as the deployment of 6G, IPv6, WiFi6, and quantum communication that Shanghai also plans to explore.

Meanwhile, the city will continue to look into use cases for China’s digital yuan and study other non-blockchain-related innovation directions, including smart cities, low-carbon energy, digital health, and intelligent service robots, among others.


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