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China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology have released its ranking of blockchain networks, judged on three criteria: technology, application and innovation. The list rates any kind of projects in the cryptocurrency sector and put Ethereum on top. It was followed by Steem, Lisk, NEO and Komodo. Bitcoin came in at 13.

Of the top five, Steem is the only one that stands out somewhat, since it is not a base layer blockchain technology. Steem is designed for content distribution, like Reddit, only in a decentralized manner. Its inclusion is unexpected, the reasons for why still remain uncertain. All top five use smart contracts to process information in a secure and decentralized way.

Bitcoin coming in at only 13 will come as a surprise to some, considering its long-term dominance in the market. However, the scheme is said to have been overseen by experts and scholars, presumably rating the technologies more on their potential long-term applications and broad market influence. 

It could be argued that Bitcoin is simply a means of payment with little to offer beyond that. However, Steem, coming in at number two, only appears to have a singular application too. While Bitcoin is simply a cryptocurrency, it has contributed to some of the most important new developments in the crypto-sphere, including Lightning Network and Confidential Transactions.

Analysts say China appears to have favored new blockchain technologies and not given enough prudence to the computing power and accumulated difficulty of Bitcoin and similar major networks.

Despite concerns over potential money-laundering activity, Monero managed to secure a place at number 9, with Stellar, Cardano and IOTA taking six, seven and eight.

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