Blockchain Records Can Now Be Used As Legal Evidence In China

Blockchain Records Can Now Be Used As Legal Evidence In China

According to the Supreme People’s Court of China, blockchain records can now be legally used as evidence in their internet courts.

In an announcement on September 6th, the Supreme People’s Court states that if the data submitted in the court by the involved parties can prove the authenticity through digital signatures, trusted timestamps, a hash value or blockchain technology, the internet courts will accept such evidence. As for the verification of the evidence itself, the involved parties could themselves have someone with the expertise to comment on the technology used as evidence or the courts themselves will provide it for them.

Internet courts are fairly new, and China was among the first to implement it in the city of Hangzhou. The internet courts were created as an effort to deal with the increasing amount of online disputes in e-commerce and online copyright infringement, an effort which would reduce both costs and save time.

The whole processes, from filing a complaint to the court process is done online where the actual court proceedings are done via live-streaming. The Internet court in Hangzhou has also previously accepted blockchain evidence in a copyright infringement case. In the case in question, the Factom and Bitcoin blockchains were used to prove that the alleged copyright infringement was not possible.

China is also planning to open two more internet courts in Beijing and Hangzhou, and this announcement will serve as a major milestone for blockchain technology in regards to its potential to change the judicial system. While blockchain records now can be used as evidence, the effect of how smart contracts will hold up in future courts is another question.

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