Communism For The Digital Age, Via Blockchain

China bitcoin

Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your blockchains.

Marx makes his mark, then, in the digital age.

News came this week that, as reported via CoinDesk, in China there’s a new app, tied to blockchain, that lets Communist party members attest their party loyalty.

In a decentralized and immutable fashion, of course.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) debuted the app, which the report said translates to “Original Intentions Onchain.” The attestation can be seen by other members.

This leads us to a bit of headscratching, as, in past coverage, we’ve noted that proponents of blockchain have stated that security and anonymity of data that flows between two parties is valuable because it cannot be touched, really, by anyone.

But in any event, the offering comes through a firm known as Lingzhu Technology, which is based in China, and which has had at least some investment of state-backed capital. The blockchain announcement comes into stark relief in the wake of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s announcement that the nation should speed up blockchain development activities.

That announcement, of course, comes in tandem with the efforts by China to develop its own digital version of the renminbi. For Libra, the beleaguered would-be digital coin initiated by Facebook and backed by an association of firms, the digital version of Chinese cash has proven a rallying cry as to why U.S.-European efforts should forge ahead — an arms race, of sorts, waged through digital wallets.

Now, blockchain is not bitcoin. And bitcoin is not representative of all digital currencies. But the excitement engendered by state backing of distributed ledger technology has given a jolt to all sorts of speculative instruments and firms that help enable that speculation.

Here’s a thought then. Who needs WeWork to IPO when we can have a bitcoin-related IPO?

In separate news — though illustrative of ripple effects that travel through the entire crypto ecosystem when folks get excited — Canaan Creative, billed as one of the largest bitcoin hardware firms in China, has filed to go public. In the United States, for a listing of as much as $400 million. Interestingly, as reported by Reuters, the company had filed to go public twice before, in China and Hong Kong, and did not get to market — even as regulators were concerned about the firm’s business model. To get a glimpse of that model, consider the fact that, per Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, the firm’s revenues year over year through the first six months of 2019 are down 85 percent to about $42.1 million.

Bitcoin itself, at this writing, was changing hands at $9,455, up nicely form the $7,470 that had been seen in the middle of last week.

On the words and exhortations of the Chinese president, then: Let a hundred bitcoin-related frenzies bloom.