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China’s Internet Agency Regulator Has Strict Demands For Blockchain Startups

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:50 PM
Sujha Sundararajan
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:50 PM

China’s central internet regulator has issued strict rules targeting blockchain companies and entities operating in China.

The Cyberspace Administration of China has published draft regulations on Friday demanding blockchain-based information service providers to register users using real names, national identification numbers, censor postings and store user data.

The regulations follow an open letter posted  by a Chinese student activist on the web in April regarding an alleged cover-up of sexual harassment on blockchain, which cannot be deleted or altered. The letter was posted on Ethereum blockchain that attracted censors on WeChat, Weibo and other leading social media platforms in the country.

The draft regulations by the nation’s internet censorship watchdog, is open for public consultation until November 2, a recent report  by South China Morning Post states.

The draft regulations  stated that:

“The implementation of blockchain information services within the territory of the People’s Republic of China shall comply with these Provisions.Where there are other provisions in laws and administrative regulations, such provisions shall be followed.”

According to the norms, the blockchain information service provider should fill in the registration form through the National Internet Information Office service management system. This should be done within 10 working days from the date of providing the service, it stated.

Also, the blockchain startup has to establish an inspection of users and their identities and provide the company’s real documents.

A Beijing-based lawyer Xu Kai’s perspective on the draft rules stated that the norms dis does not address blockchain technology’s immutable feature and that this nature is in conflict with Chinese laws on user data, SCMP added.

The recent draft rules are in line with existing regulations on blockchain media platforms, that was implemented after a sweeping cybersecurity law in 2017 that has raised privacy concerns, the report said.

Though the Chinese government issued a ban on ICOs and cryptocurrencies, the applications of blockchain tech are still under development. Also, the government of China has invested more than $3 billion in blockchain-focused funds, despite its heavy crackdown on cryptocurrency publications, events, and trading.

The country’s president Xi Jinping also recently reaffirmed that blockchain will remain as one of the core technologies the country will focus on in the years to come. These decisions have shoes hope in the country’s intent to further blockchain innovation.

Recently, the country’s Electronics Standardization Institute (CESI), under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), has planned to release three blockchain standards for smart contracts, privacy and deposits in order to improve the country’s development of the blockchain industry.

Featured image from Shutterstock.