What happened: China’s supreme court has released rules for newly-formed internet-related courts, ordering them to recognize digital data as evidence if they have been verified by methods including blockchains. The court stated that evidence that has been verified by other methods including digital signatures and timestamps should also be accepted.
Why it’s important: China has been moving to set up courts that deal specifically with internet-related issues as well as pushing the adoption of blockchain in government services. In 2017, the country set up the first court of this kind in Hangzhou, which has so far handled over 10,000 cases including cases of defamation, lending, and domain issues. In addition, China has been promoting the development of blockchain, with the technology being mentioned in the country’s latest five-year plan. Local governments have been implementing its use for securing documents including tax invoices, which have often been created fraudulently for numerous reasons, including tax deductions and remuneration from employers.