Chinese Arbitrator Builds Online Ruling System on a Blockchain

An arbitration body in the Chinese city of Nanjing has launched an online ruling system that it says has a built-in blockchain network for depositing and storing data in legal disputes.

The Nanjing Arbitration Committee announced on Thursday that the online platform is now live in a testing phase. Data uploaded to the system will be stored in a distributed fashion among participating nodes, such as evidence deposition platforms, financial institutions, and other arbitration committees.

China enacted a law in 1995 enabling city governments to form arbitration committees that have the legal authority to rule on economic disputes relating to contract issues in areas such as business, finance and real estate.

The Nanjing committee said the online system allows parties involved in contract disputes to view digital evidence simultaneously over a tamper-proof and distributed network. The integration of blockchain tech is aimed to facilitate the issuing of rulings within 30 days following a filing and to also lower the costs incurred during legal disputes.

The move follows a recent announcement from China’s Supreme Court, indicating it recognized evidence stored and authenticated by a blockchain network as legally valid in online ruling procedures across internet courts in the country.

Furthermore, the Nanjing Arbitration Committee is not the first entity to have utilized blockchain in a ruling procedure.

According to a March report from the Xinhua news agency, the Guangzhou Arbitration Committee has worked with Tencent-owned WeBank – one of the first online-only banks in China – to move loan data to a blockchain system as part of a trial.

Whenever a loan default occurs, the Guangzhou committee can automatically issue a ruling based on the loan information stored on a blockchain to all parties involved in the contract, the report said at the time.

Arbitration image via Shutterstock

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