China’s Supreme Court Rules That Blockchain Evidence Is Legally Binding
Blockchain records as evidence now are admissible in courts in China in bid to cater to the increasing number of internet-related legal disputes.
The Supreme People’s Court of China (the SPC) released new rules last Friday, and part of the new ruling declares that as of September 7,internet courts in the country shall recognize digital data as evidence upon verification by methods including blockchain, digital signatures and timestamps.
“Internet courts shall recognize digital data that are submitted as evidence if relevant parties collected and stored these data via blockchain with digital signatures, reliable timestamps and hash value verification or via a digital deposition platform, and can prove the authenticity of such technology used,” the Supreme Court said in an announcement.
As early as 2012, China’s amended Civil Procedure Law for the first time recognizes electronic data , such as emails, electronic data exchange, online chatting records, blog, microblog, short messages of phones, electronic signatures or domain names which are formed or stored in electronic media, are admissible evidence in civil cases.
Prior to the release of the new rules, the Hangzhou Internet Court has become the country’s first to accept electronic evidence authenticated with blockchain technology in a copyright infringement case in late June. In this case, the plaintiff conducted an automatic capture of the infringing website and the source code through a third-party evidence preservation platform, before hashing the web content along with logs and uploading them to Bitcoin and Factom blockchains.
And the court decided that blockchain-based electronic evidence is sufficient to be legally accepted. Therefore, the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff.
The new rule also came 2 days before China opened its second internet court in Beijing last Sunday, and is planning to establish the third one in the southern city of Guangzhou this month.