China aims to utilize blockchain technology for citizen identity verification through its national-level initiative, the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), covering its 1.4 billion citizens.
The initiative, known as RealDID, is led by China’s Ministry of Public Security in collaboration with BSN. It aims to address privacy concerns by enabling users to register and log in to websites anonymously. This is achieved through the use of Decentralized Identifiers (DID) and private keys.
However, this move follows a government mandate requiring social media influencers on major platforms such as WeChat, Sina Weibo, Douyin, Kuaishou, Bilibili, and Xiaohongshu to publicly display their real names. The measure is intended to enhance credibility and facilitate public supervision.
Global Implications in Citizen Identity Verification and Data Security
BSN emphasized that RealDID is the world’s first national-level decentralized identity system. Furthermore, it provides a secure framework where business data and transactions are kept separate from personal information.
BSN China, operated by China’s National Information Center in partnership with tech giants China Mobile and China UnionPay, oversees domestic operations. Meanwhile, BSN Global manages international activities as a separate, firewalled entity.
Subsequently, these developments unfold amid global concerns about data security and national security risks associated with Chinese-made technologies.
Moreover, in the United States, bipartisan efforts are underway to prohibit federal government officials from using China-made blockchains. Additionally, there are initiatives to avoid engagement with companies like Tether’s parent, iFinex. The goal is to safeguard private data from potential threats posed by foreign adversaries.
The recent removal of China’s Institute of Forensic Science from a trade sanctions list by the U.S. aims at advancing counternarcotics cooperation. This development adds a layer of complexity to the ongoing dialogue between the two nations.
Furthermore, China has issued warnings to its chemical manufacturers regarding the production of fentanyl precursors.
The National Narcotics Control Commission emphasized the risk of “long-arm jurisdiction” from foreign law enforcement for those involved in producing chemicals used in the manufacturing of opioids. Conversely, this directive aligns with broader efforts to combat the trafficking of fentanyl and related chemicals into the U.S.