A Chinese defendant has successfully argued his innocence in a Chinese court, using blockchain technology to clear his name from charges of copyright theft. Observers have referred to this as a ”landmark case”, which could pave the way for future legal use cases for blockchain.
The court in question is the Chinese Internet Court of Hangzhou, which accepted the submission of blockchain technology as evidence before ruling the defendant innocent.
According to a translation of the judgment, the court stated that ”an open and neutral attitude must be adopted” in relation to blockchain technology, if the issue or case at hand would require this.
The fact that a Chinese court accepted the submission of blockchain-based evidence and subsequently cleared the defendant’s name is seen by some as a ”vote of confidence” in the technology by Chinese authorities, which have recently seemed to warm to the notion of blockchain technology.
More specifically, this case revolved around accusations of copyright theft. However, the defendant could successfully retrieve timestamped data from the Bitcoin and FACTOM blockchains, proving that the alleged copyright infringement would not have been possible.
This ruling has subsequently been translated and posted on social media by Katherine Wu, head of Business Development and Community Management at the NYC-based cryptocurrency startup Messari, which looks to promote transparency and ”smarter decision-making in the token ecosystem through information gathering”.
Moreover, Wu argued that ”this is entirely unprecedented”, and that the ruling carries substantial implications for the legitimacy of blockchain technology in China. Wu has previously worked at the SEC and the Bank of China, meaning her comments come with sizable experience working with both US and Chinese regulators.
This Chinese ruling also comes after a period of increased interest in the cryptocurrency sector and blockchain technology from the Chinese government. China has issued controversial ”cryptocurrency ratings” aimed at improving the transparency for cryptocurrency investors.
However, these ratings have been taken with a grain of salt by observers, as Bitcoin has consecutively failed to make the top ten of the 26 cryptocurrency assets reviewed. Nonetheless, the mere fact that cryptocurrency reviews have been published highlights the government’s interest in the sector.
Moreover, Chinese regulators have announced that nation-wide blockchain standards will be available at the end of 2019. Therefore, the fact that blockchain technology has now been successfully used as evidence within China’s judicial system has some hoping that this will add to blockchain’s legitimacy.
Image Source: “Flickr”
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.