New regulations have been rolled out in China that address blockchain transactions and internet interactions as a whole. These new provisions were passed on 3rd September, 2018, by the Supreme People’s Court Judicial Committee but will come into effect on the 7th of September 2018.
China is a huge hub of internet activity and is home to online giants such as Alibaba. As such, there was the need for concrete regulations to guide online transactions. According to the official government website:
“In order to regulate the litigation activities of Internet courts, protect the legitimate rights and interests of parties and other litigants, and ensure the fair and efficient trial of cases, in accordance with the “Civil Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China”, “Administrative Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China” and other laws, combined with the actual work of the people’s courts, The following are the issues related to the trial of cases in the Internet court.
What it Addresses
The new regulations address various types of internet transactions. For example, disputes arising from online shopping platforms are covered. Also, disputes over network service contracts, first published rights and internet domain names are included in the document.
These have been hot-button topics for internet users for years and this document gives an in-depth look into how they will be handled by Chinese courts.
Where blockchain omes in
Article 11 of the document makes reference to the authentication of data.
‘‘Article 11 Where a party objects to the authenticity of electronic data, the Internet court shall examine and judge the authenticity of the process of electronic data generation, collection, storage, and transmission in conjunction with the cross-examination, and focus on the following: ‘’
In subsection 6, blockchain is listed as a recognized means of verifying electronic signatures.
‘’ (6) Whether the electronic data can be verified by a specific form.
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. The Internet court should confirm. ‘’
It is a true testament to the progress that blockchain technology is making, that it is now being recognized by the state as a means of authentication.
With time, it is possible that blockchain technology could be widely used as a means of authentication, on par with fingerprints and passwords.