China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate comments on Blockchain-based evidence for Court purposes

By Christine Duhaime | April 18th, 2019

China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate, the highest national legal supervisory body in China (which reports to the National People’s Congress), published a commentary by a learned legal scholar on its official website on the use of Blockchain for Court evidentiary purposes yesterday, noting that for it to grow as a source of reliable evidence in Chinese Courts, data from the Blockchain will have to pass third party independent certification. Otherwise, the scholar noted, it will not be accepted by judges and Courts.

The legal scholar goes on to mention that the Hanghou Internet Court has accepted the use of Blockchain for electronic data storage. That is not the same as it being relied upon for the proof of the evidence by Courts and judges. The Hanghou Internet Court’s decision in respect of Blockchain information was confirmed by the Supreme People’s Court in September 2018. That case involved a litigation over copyright protection and in that case, the Blockchain was used as part of the process to establish proof of the date in which an interest in a copyright was asserted. That is important in copyright law where proof of use and/or assertion is material but does not speak to proof of evidence of the content on information stored on a Blockchain.

In the article on the Procuratorate’s website, the legal scholar reviewed developments in this area emanating from Vermont, in contrast with China.

A Canadian company, Crypto-Copyright, in 2015, was the first in the world to create a smart contract system to enable a person or a company to record copyrighted interests on a Blockchain using micro-transactions of a digital currency.

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