China Strikes a Death Blow to Blockchain Privacy

China Strikes a Death Blow to Blockchain Privacy

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) inducts a new policy targeting blockchain companies running within its borders. The policy is set to eradicate the concept of anonymity

In the Blockchain Information Service Management Regulations (posted on the CAC website on 10 January) the bringing forth of the new policy will uplift the health of the industry and will be in effect on 15 February. Within 20 days of implementation, blockchain firms must register their names, service category, domain, and server addresses. Failing to register will result in fines starting from 20,000 yuan ($2,900) up to 30,000 yuan ($4,400). Repeat offenders will be subjected to criminal investigation.

Who Should Comply with the New Regulation?

In the published document, websites and mobile applications built on the blockchain that administers technical support and offers information to the public are covered by the policy. The CAC will be responsible in the supervision of content, and at the same time, censoring prohibited ones.

The compulsory registration means blockchain startups and firms will give the government access to data. They are also required to augment their account signup process and ask for the user’s valid ID or mobile contact.

Events that Led to the New Regulation

The South China Morning Post suspects an April 2018 incident drove this new policy to execution. The incident involves an open letter about a supposed sexual harassment done inside a Chinese university and was published anonymously on the Ethereum protocol.  

By October, the country issued a regulatory draft containing recommendations against anonymity.

China’s Regulatory Crusade

In 2017, China prohibited citizens from trading in cryptocurrencies. By February 2018, the government extended the restriction to crypto exchanges and ICO web pages by adding it to the country’s firewall, cutting access to those sites. The People’s Bank of China and regulatory agencies upheld the move.

To date, there are 11 propounded blockchain regulations centered in the Chinese capital Beijing and its major cities Guangzhou and Shanghai.

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