A court in China’s Hangzhou city has accepted that blockchain technology may legally be accepted by the court as evidence to prove the authenticity of data.

The court came to this ruling after revising the case presented by the plaintiff’s legal representation, deciding that the legal viability of blockchain technology in an evidence deposition may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Remaining both open and neutral

The judge highlighted the importance of remaining both an open and neutral stance on the emerging technology. ”We can’t exclude it just because it’s a complex technology. Nor can we lower the standard just because it is tamper-proof and traceable,” he commented.

In the case in question, the judge recognized that the third-party blockchain platform offered no conflict of interests and was able to provide a legal basis for proving intellectual infringement took place.

The case

The plaintiff in question, media company local Huatai Yimei, took screenshots from web pages to court, where it believed it found the Shenzhen company using its media assets in an unauthorized capacity.

Huatai Yimei presented evidence showing that the data in question had been encoded through a third-party site named baoquan.com, that provides a blockchain-based evidence deposition platform.

The court was required to judge whether Baoquan could be used as a legal method of determining the authenticity of evidence, a ruling that would set a precedent for similar blockchain cases.

The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff even if the disputed media assets be removed, saying that blockchain-backed data is sufficient enough to be accepted by the court. This is the first officially sanctioned circumstance blockchain has been accepted in legal proceedings.

The Hangzhou Internet Court was officially incorporated in August 2017, offering a progressive initiative for dealing with similar cases such as this. It is one of the first in its country to process cases fully online and to preside over intellectual property dispute that involves online misuse.


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