China’s new draft regulations takes away blockchain’s anonymity

October 22, 2018
Chris Wheal

In a move seen as a further clampdown on cryptocurrencies, The Cyberspace Administration of China has reportedly issued draft regulations requiring users to register with their real names for online information services based on blockchain.

The draft regulations according to the South China Morning Post are the first set of rules that hone in on the blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies.

Under the rules proposed, companies operating in China providing blockchain-based information services will have to ask “users to register their real names and national identification card numbers, censor content deemed to pose a threat to national security and store user data to allow inspection by authorities.”

Building blocks to digital money

The draft regulations posted on Friday, 19 October will remain open for public consultation until  2 November.

These latest rules come on the heels of a number of actions beginning with its sweeping Cybersecurity Law which came into effect in June 2017 to reform data management and internet usage regulations in China. It is also part of the crackdown on cryptocurrency activities.

This past August, the government successfully blocked more than 120 foreign cryptocurrency exchanges. That law requires ‘network operators’ to provide “Personal information”.

According to KPMG it refers to all   information “recorded electronically or through other means, that can determine the identity of natural persons independently or in combination with other information, including, but not limited to, a natural person’s name, date of birth, identification number, personal biometric information, address and telephone number.”

Companies defined as network operators not only have to store select data within China but also allow Chinese authorities to conduct spot-checks their operations.

The law is viewed as a way for China to control internet content and has raised concerns among some foreign companies over greater data controls as well as increased risks of intellectual property theft.


Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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