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The Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has announced it is to focus on developing new technologies like the blockchain in a bid to strengthen financial services in the country.

The details of their proposals were revealed within the bank’s latest five-year development plan, which sets out the organization’s priorities for the coming period.

The news comes as part of a wider bid from the bank to encourage greater adoption and implementation of new technologies like the blockchain, as it continues to promote economic development.

Alongside promoting and developing blockchain technologies, the proposals also outlined the bank’s plans for further research into blockchain applications, including in areas like financial regulation and compliance.

The People’s Bank of China proposals set out five objectives for the next five years, in a bid to help establish China as one of the foremost destinations for blockchain development and implementation.

The five objectives are to facilitate greater innovation in the financial services sector, to develop world-class infrastructure for fintech development, to improve the competency of financial and security systems, to improve the management of financial and security systems, and to implement the strategy for financial services standardization.

The announcement looks set to strengthen the Chinese blockchain ecosystem, at a crucial time for this emerging technology. With startups working closely with government departments and agencies worldwide to develop blockchain applications, the Chinese move is a further step toward applying distributed ledger technology to real-world environments.

The People’s Bank of China is far from alone in pursuing blockchain technology, and joins central banks from around the world in recognizing the important future for the distributed ledger.

Central banks in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Singapore, Dubai, South Korea, Japan, Russia and elsewhere have already confirmed similar proposals, or are actively engaged in their own development projects for the technology.

Envisaged as playing a critical role in global process and systems, including financial services, in the coming years, the technology is the core focus of an increasing number of public- and private-sector collaborations and partnerships.