China court rules blockchain evidence is legally binding
China’s supreme court has ruled that data stored on blockchain can be used to authenticate evidence in legal disuptes.
New rules released on Friday clarify issues relating to how internet courts in China should review legal disputes.
Part of the rules, which take immediate effect, recognise the legality of evidence garnered from blockchain data and the distributed ledger’s use in storing and authenticating potential digital evidence.
The supreme court said in a statement: “Internet courts shall recognise 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.”
China established its first internet court in Hangzhou last year, handling disputes around online issues that often involve digital data. Questions have been raised, however, over the legitimacy of blockchain-based evidence, and in the supreme court’s most recent meeting the new regulation was passed.
The new ruling comes as China prepares to establish two new internet courts in Beijing and Guangzhou.