When it comes to the use of digital technology, China is clearly a pioneer and a global champion in today’s international court practice. Famous examples are the country‘s recently introduced cyber courts (link to article) and its new Cyber Security Law (link to article). However, it is still relatively unknown that China is also the first country to officially accept evidence that is saved in a blockchain.
This was first announced by a cyberspace court in Hangzhou in June and later on confirmed by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in September. Blockchain evidence has already been successfully used in China in several cases this year.
E-discovery – i.e. collection and use of digital evidence – is still viewed critically by many experts. One reason is that its authenticity is often hard to prove. Blockchain technology can be a solution to this problem. The state of Vermont (US) started accepting blockchain-based evidence as early as 2016 (however only on a state-level).
It was not surprising to see China allowing blockchain-based evidence (link to article). China’s cyberspace courts handle tons of Internet-related cases every day as the number of digital business models is growing fast. Most of the evidence being filed is digital. Thus, the SPC’s approval of blockchain evidence was urgently needed.
Western companies should welcome the chance to use blockchain evidence in China. It can be helpful for IPR-holders in many ways: from documenting cyberspace attacks to conducting online investigations. To benefit from blockchain evidence, companies should now acquire the necessary legal and technological know-how.
Source: The Supreme People’s Court (PR China), Picture: Xinhua News