Conflux, a blockchain startup, has received more than $5 million in research grant from the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee and Changning District government, which is part of the municipal government.
According to the company's statement, the Beijing-based company touted it as the only public, permissionless blockchain project supported by the Chinese government. As per an official document issued by its tech committee on November 25, the project has been included in the list of 57 high-tech projects by the Shanghai government, including 5G and aerospace technologies.
The funds will be used to develop research on public chains. The company said the project will also support the aerospace supply chain to be established on the Conflux Network.
The company said that Conflux's project has been included in the latest Five-Year Plan by the Shanghai government. The plan is a series of social and economic initiatives that define the future economy and societal development of the country.
Since such projects have launched initial coin offerings (ICO) to raise capital and distribute their tokens to replace fiat currencies, China has always focused on developing permissioned blockchain while being cautious about public decentralized chains.
Fan Long, the co-founder of Conflux, said, "While the amount of money granted is important, it is the government's signal to support a public permissionless chain like Conflux that matters the most for us."
Since 2017, the country's central bank- the People's Bank of Chain - has banned ICOs and banned fiat-to-crypto trading. Long said that Conflux will not launch an ICO or participate in any form of centralized token sales.
Founded in 2018, Conflux has raised $35 million through a private token sale from well-known Chinese investors, including private equity company Sequoia China, Huobi Group, Shunwei Capital and Rong360. Its team includes developers who have studied in China's top engineering schools and studied for graduate degrees abroad.
According to a report in December 2019, the Shanghai government agreed to help Conflux establish a research institution and incubation center, but did not disclose the amount of research funding.