In yet another example of China’s changing view of cryptocurrency, the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) media mouthpiece is calling for its soldiers to be rewarded with crypto to incentivize performance.
A Tokenized Rewards and Demerits System
A recent article in the military-run PLA Today suggested that some form of cryptocurrency could be used as part of a performance assessment rewards system that would gauge how well soldiers completed tasks, progressed in their training, and other criteria.
Such a system could “award or deduct tokens according to one’s daily performance and thus generate an objective assessment would effectively energize human resource management,” the article said.
In addition, several military use-cases for blockchain technology were also proposed to improve information security and logistics.
One such use-case called for the storing of classified military secrets on a blockchain-based embedded system that would provide an increased level of encryption and security. This would limit access to documents stored on the system to read-only, meaning that they could be distributed and viewed, but not copied or manipulated.
It was also suggested that the integration of blockchain technology could improve the accuracy and efficiency of tracking soldiers’ training progress.
The article cited the example of an electronic shooting range that would automatically detect when a target was hit and generate blockchain records for each trainee. This would “maximize the authenticity of training results” and provide “a technological guarantee to clean and open training and examination.”
China’s ‘About-Face’ on Crypto and Blockchain
The release of Facebook’s Libra whitepaper back in June lit a fire under the People’s Bank of China, causing them to dramatically speed up the development of its planned central bank digital currency. It was Xi Jinping’s public declaration of the critical importance of blockchain, however, that resulted in a near 180-degree change in the country’s stance on the technology – and, by extension, on cryptocurrencies.
Speaking at the 18th Collective Study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee in China last month, Xi expounded on the importance of blockchain, telling committee members:
“The integrated application of blockchain plays a critical role in technology innovations and industrial revolutions. Blockchain should be made an essential way and main direction to drive China-led technology innovation. We must increase investments in the blockchain sector, resolve critical technical problems, and accelerate the development of blockchain and industrial innovation.”
On Monday, less than three weeks after Xi’s speech, an editorial published on the front page of China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency website proclaimed Bitcoin to be “the first successful application of blockchain technology.”