Blockchain-Based Evidence Preservation: Opportunities and Concerns

By Zihui (Katt) Gu[+]

I.     Introduction

On September 3, 2018, the “Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Cases by Internet Courts” (hereinafter Provisions) was adopted at the 1747th session of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People’s Court, which, for the first time, provides a comprehensive guidance on the trial process of the Internet Court from perspectives such as the scope of jurisdiction, mode of trial, acceptance of evidence, and rules of procedure.[1]  Undoubtedly, the promulgation of this regulation will play an important role in regulating the litigation activities of Internet Courts, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of parties and other litigants, and ensuring fair and efficient trials of cases.  As the most talked-about topic in 2017, blockchain technology has also been recognized in the Provisions as an eligible means to preserve evidence.  Subsection 6, Article 11 of the Provisions, stipulate that, “if the authenticity of electronic data submitted by the parties can be proved through electronic signature, trusted time stamp, hash value check, blockchain, and other tamper-proof, technical evidence collection and preservation method or through electronic evidence collection and preservation platform, the Internet court should confirm its authenticity.”[2]

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