The Chinese government has announced a job vacancy for the position of a cryptographer. The skills required for the job and the details of it were provided on a website of state-level Chinese government agency. Multiple skills were listed such as having knowledge of applied cryptography, frontier technology, cryptographic algorithm implementation, and performance optimization such as cryptographic algorithm multimedia, blockchain and other fields.
The responsibilities are not limited to the development of blockchain and cryptography applications for the purposes of security but the job description entails that there would be the job of researching and keeping up with the new technologies as well.
This eagerness of the Chinese government to hire new cryptographer can be seen as an effort to keep up the Great Firewall that was put in place to stop the trade of cryptocurrency inside China’s borders. The Great firewall does not only block the sale and purchase of cryptocurrencies it also blocks access to the commonly used websites all over the world like Google, Facebook, YouTube or the New York Times. These restrictions were enforced so as to take away the ability of the masses to post opinions over the internet anonymously. This ban was put under the command of the President of China, Xi Jinping, who went on to say,
The internet has become the main battlefield for the public opinion struggle.
Fortunately for the people of China, Ethereum blockchain has provided them with gift of freedom of speech, because of its nature of being a tamper proof public ledger.
Even though the job description does not exactly mention the plans the agency has pertaining to blockchain, one can only guess that in order to ensure that the firewall that the Chinese government has put to prevent people from exchanging crypto, they must need more personnel armed with the knowledge of blockchain.
The ban on cryptocurrencies in China was to ensure that the control remains in the hands of the government. The idea of having a decentralized currency and network in the country was not appealing to the government. Even though the people of China were contributing a lot to the world of cryptocurrency, the government opted to shun the sale and purchase of crypto inside its borders. Around 90% of the business in crypto in the world was attributed to China last year, which has been reduced to a measly 1%. The government has plans to introduce a digitized currency of their own making but it would still be centralized. That would essentially kill off the essence of the cryptocurrencies.
It is highly likely at this point that the recent instances of people bypassing the Great Firewall is causing concern to the government. The issues that have arisen in the recent past are to blame. Two of them are major movements that have been incorporated to bypass the censorship.
One of them was related to a certain pharmaceutical company who had allegedly accumulated the vaccine of rabies. A report from China’s state drug administration caused an investigation into the company named Changsheng Biotechnology and it was found that certain aspects of the vaccine production data were forged.
This was followed by a public uproar and immediate termination of the production of the vaccine. It has since been suggested that the blockchain technology be incorporated in the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that a similar situation is avoided in the future. Because the authorities believed that, the information which was released could potentially cause panic and was blocked and removed from the internet. However, due to Ethereum blockchain the information prevailed. Unlike the other controlled places, Ethereum blockchain, being a tamper proof ledger, provides security to said cause and many of the blockchain enthusiasts have been wanting it to be adopted in China.
One of the most famous crypto investors in China, Li Xiaolai, posted on his own Wechat channel that,
With a traceable chain of data, it’s easier to hold people accountable once a vaccine is found with problems. … And for children who might be harmed by problematic vaccines, it will be also easier for them to claim for damages. In fact, the token-less blockchain technology has got pretty good prototypes so far. But given people’s misunderstanding of blockchain as something just for speculation… it’s hard to put those applications into usage whether for government agencies or non-profit organizations,
The second one was the #MeToo, movement where a student, Yue Xin, presented the university a petition in a letter to make public investigation of the sexual harassment case. However, she was offered no support in this case instead; she was forced to remove the petition and all the information regarding it and was threatened that if she refused to comply, she would not be able to graduate. This information however was also released on the Ethereum blockchain. Its presence on Ethereum blockchain has ensured that the letter and the responses it has gotten, cannot be tampered with by anyone. A number of universities have also voiced their support for blockchain which cannot be removed by the Chinese authorities who wanted to censor the letter as well as the movement it was transpiring.
To conclude, the government of China could be hiring cryptographers for any of the reasons above. Nevertheless, one thing remains to be seen. How many efforts of the government to shield the people from potentially harmful information have to go to waste before it realizes that the integration of the decentralized technology is inevitable?