The Supreme People’s Court of China has released rules for newly-formed internet courts which allows using blockchain records as legal evidence. From now on, Chinese Internet courts will consider blockchain authenticated evidence as being legally binding.
Internet courts, set up for handling internet-related legal disputes, will now recognize digital data as evidence upon verification by methods that include among others time stamps, blockchain, and digital signatures.
“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,” an announcement by the Supreme People’s Court states.
As a reminder, three month ago, China’s first internet court in Hangzhou, a city in Zhejiang Province, ruled that blockchain authenticated evidence is legally binding. It was not the first time of using of blockchain records as evidence admissible in court. For example, two years ago, the U.S. state of Vermont allowed digital records registered on a blockchain to be self-authenticating after passing some rules.
A week ago, the justice department of Chinese city of Zhongshan launched a blockchain-based system for tracking the movements of convicts on parole prisoners to improve the quality of so-called “community correction.”