China Recognizes Blockchain Evidence as Legally Binding

News and Analysis

Blockchain can now be legally used to authenticate evidence in legal disputes in China, the country’s Supreme Court ruled out on Friday.

The court said the regulation was passed with consensus from the organization’s judgement committee in its most recent meeting on Sept. 3.

Part of the new regulation specifies that China’s internet courts recognize blockchain as a legal method for storing and authenticating digital evidence, provided that parties can prove the legitimacy of the technology being used in the process.

“The electronic data submitted by the parties can prove their authenticity through electronic signature, trusted time stamp, hash value check, blockchain, and other evidence collection, fixed and tamper-proof technical means or through electronic forensic evidence platform certification,” says rough translation of the ruling.

The new rules take effect immediately and come in response to various questions that have emerged since China established its first internet court in Hangzhou in August 2017. This court handles disputes around internet-based issues, generally involving digital data.

In a case between a media company and a technology company, Hangzhou Internet Court ruled that decentralized technology can be used as a method to determine the authenticity of the digital information presented as evidence.

The government plans to launch internet courts in two other cities – Beijing and Guangzhou.

The Chinese government is eagerly embracing blockchain technology despite the relentless crackdown on cryptocurrencies in the country. The measures against the crypto industry include last year’s ICO ban and forcing domestic exchanges out of the country, as well as recent restriction of crypto-related online content.

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