Most people, when they think of cryptocurrency, they think of Bitcoin.
Nevertheless, according to the Chinese government, Bitcoin is just the 13th-most popular digital currency currently in public use.
Meanwhile, Ether, the digital currency token that is powered by Ethereum, is the tops, says the Chinese government’s premier monthly Global Public Chain Assessment Index.
China’s first public cryptocurrency ranking index was released in mid-May.
The monthly cryptocurrency assessment index was created and publicly released by the China Center for Information Industry Development.
The index lists over 28 blockchain projects and their corresponding cryptocurrencies on an updated, monthly basis.
Ethereum’s Ether token got its standing with the Chinese government due to the fact that the digital currency is popular with those doing initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The digital financial market currently features more than 1,500 cryptocurrencies. Coinmarketcap.com puts the total market cap for cryptocurrencies currently stands at $328 billion.
The index operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in Beijing. The ministry evaluates the technological capabilities, application usefulness, and innovativeness of various cryptocurrencies.
Even though the Chinese government may rank Ethereum’s Ether as the top publicly offered cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is still popular, though its valuation has been volatile.
As of this writing, one Bitcoin has the trading value of about $7,460. One Ether token has the trading value of about $568.
China’s monthly cryptocurrency ranking system is based on technology potential, innovation and it is meant to be an independent analysis of the digital currency market.
The index does not offers any metric or methodology, however, to justify its cryptocurrency ranking system.
More telling is the fact that China has strictly regulated or banned cryptocurrencies in recent months due to their volatility.
Beijing banned public cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings in September 2017.
Still, while China has no love for digital currency instability, the government does appear to be a fan of the underlying blockchain technology.
Chinese tech companies are evaluating using blockchain technology in its supply chain infrastructure, for instance.
Over half of the world’s blockchain-related applications for patents in 2017 originated in China.
Eric Zhao, an engineer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, doesn’t take China’s new cryptocurrency rating system seriously.
“Most old-school experts haven’t followed the crypto space long enough to grasp some of the traits of [the] tech and community that can’t be found elsewhere,” said Zhao.
Zhao believes that China wants to keep fiat banking infrastructure as intact as possible while utilizing blockchain technology to evolve transacting systems.
“I believe at least it’s a sign that the officials are starting to treat crypto projects more like a neutral endeavour towards better technology and innovations, rather than just challenging the power and authority of banks and government,” said Zhao.