Blockchain in China: a shift from disruption to integration

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


In China, blockchain's evolution presents a narrative aligned with state initiatives, diverging sharply from its disruptive and decentralizing roots in Western societies. Within China's governance framework, blockchain becomes an integral part of regulatory and socio-economic policy, notably in areas of identity verification and data protection. Through the application of Actor-Network Theory, this study dissects how the Chinese government’s stringent regulations, alongside incentives for innovation and the market’s demand, coalesce to inform and direct the progression of blockchain technology. The research uncovers a distinctive model of power dynamics in China’s blockchain implementation, where the state not only guides its development but also fosters an environment conducive to innovation. This approach aligns with commercial interests, particularly in sectors prioritizing data security and identity management. Such a model illustrates a unique amalgamation of centralized governance with blockchain's decentralized ethos, providing a contrast to the Western model of blockchain adoption. By exploring this unique trajectory, the study sheds light on the intricate role blockchain plays in societal and cultural shifts within China, offering insights into the broader implications of technology's assimilation into different governance structures worldwide. This contributes to a deeper global discourse on how political context shapes the adoption and impact of transformative technologies like blockchain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-265
JournalCVA Research Journal 2023
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023


  • Blockchain
  • China
  • Actor-network theory
  • Innovation


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