An arbitration committee in the Chinese city of Nanjing has launched an online ruling system that is said to have a built-in blockchain network for depositing and storing data in legal disputes.
The Nanjing Arbitration Committee said 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 an Arbitration Law in 1995 so that city governments can form arbitration committees that have the legal authority to rule on economic disputes relating to contract issues in business, finance, and real estate, etc.
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 goal is to let the committee issue a ruling within 30 days after the filing and to also lower the costs incurred during legal disputes.
The move follows a recent announcement from China’s Supreme Court, which has recognized that evidence stored and authenticated by a blockchain network shall be legally binding in an online ruling procedure across internet courts in the country.
In fact, the Nanjing Arbitration Committee is not the first entity to have tested blockchain in a ruling procedure.
According to a report from the Xinhua news agency in March, the Guangzhou Arbitration Committee also worked with WeBank – one of the first online-only banks in China owned by Tencent – to move a series of credit loan data to a blockchain system.
Whenever a loan default occurs, the committee can automatically issue a ruling based on the loan information stored on a blockchain to parties involved in the credit contract, the report said at the time.