The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) published a draft policy framework on Oct 19, 2018, to regulate blockchain-powered services in the country. The leading internet censorship agency said it is open for public feedback till November 2, 2018, before finalizing the implementation of the new policy.
First Step Toward Blockchain Regulation?
If implemented, the new policy dubbed “The Regulation for Managing Blockchain Information Services,” will be the first set of regulations explicitly targeted at China’s homegrown blockchain industry.
Under proposed new rules, Chinese users will be mandatorily required to submit their real names before being able to access blockchain-based services. This is in stark contrast with one of the critical ethos that adds to the charm of the technology: anonymity.
Social media platforms using blockchain technology usually enable users to posts without revealing their true identity. Additionally, it is incredibly tough, if not downright impossible, for the government to track users as any centralized entity does not control the data on the network.
The CAC announcement reads:
“In order to standardize blockchain information service activities, promote the healthy and orderly development of blockchain information services, protect the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations, and safeguard national security and public interests, we have formulated the Regulations on the Management of Blockchain Information Services.”
According to the local media in China, the CAC’s latest move was prompted by an April 2018 open letter written by an activist to bring a more than 20-year-old sexual harassment case into the limelight. The activist alleged a coverup of the alleged crime that took place at a top Chinese university.
As the open letter drew public attention, the SAC stepped in to prevent its circulation on social networking platforms such as Weibo and WeChat.