By Zheping Huang
The blockchain world today is thousands of disparate platforms that can’t talk to each other. So a little-known startup hatched one of the most ambitious plans yet to bridge all the divides — and it’s got the backing of the Chinese government.
Beijing-based Red Date Technology is at the heart of China’s first state-backed blockchain initiative, envisioned as a one-stop hub for developers to build decentralized applications (dapps) for everything from money transactions to drug-delivery tracing. Think of it as the crypto-world equivalent of a cloud service like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure that hooks up and supports a multitude of software and platforms. Since its April roll-out, the Blockchain-based Service Network (or BSN) has attracted more than 6,000 enterprise, government and individual users primarily from China.
Red Date, backed by the nation’s top economic planner, is the mastermind of the undertaking. The startup’s goal is to push out BSN globally, allowing anyone to create blockchain-based apps without having to then publish offerings on siloed platforms one by one, Chief Executive Officer He Yifan said.
“The internet took off only after it became cheap for everyone to build websites,” He said in a video interview. “Our mission is to put everything blockchain-related onto BSN’s platform.”
Connecting fragmented blockchains is key to moving the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin beyond just trades and speculation. Projects like Cosmos and Polkadot are competing to establish industry standards, much like the http protocol for the web. BSN,