The Chinese Supreme Court has ruled that evidence authenticated with blockchain technology is now admissible in court as authorities step up measures to handle Internet-related legal disputes.
According to an official announcement released on Friday, September 7, electronic data recorded on a blockchain can now be submitted as evidence in legal disputes in China. This is part of a series of more comprehensive rules that address a number of issues relating to how internet courts should deal with legal disputes in the country.
The Supreme People’s Court declared:
“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.”
In what can be seen as a first of its kind, the “internet courts” shall accept electronic data recorded on a blockchain as evidence if they are properly verified by methods including digital signatures, timestamps, and blockchains. The new rules have come into effect immediately.
Last year, the Chinese city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province has established a court dedicated to processing trials for internet-related disputes on an online ‘netcourt’ web platform.
The internet court handled its first case with blockchain-derived evidence in January. A further two internet court cases are slated for the country’s capital, Beijing, and a third one in the southern city of Guangzhou this month.