China wants public input on proposals for blockchain regulation

Authorities in China have floated draft rules on blockchain projects for public consultation, in a process that is expected to run until November 2.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) launched its consultation phase this week, with new regulations it says are designed to protect companies, investors and the general public from blockchain projects.

At the same time, the proposals aim to foster the development of blockchain technology, and the emerging industries around distributed ledger technology in China. However, the plans have already drawn criticism from some in the sector, over concerns the measures could stifle innovation and development.

The proposals will require real-name accounts and registration for all blockchain projects, with a requirement that user data is held and made available for inspection for up to six months.

According to CAC documentation, the new rules oblige blockchain service providers to work with the authorities in the supervision and inspection of user data.

“Blockchain-based service providers should work with the authorities to carry out supervision and inspection, and provide the necessary data and technical assistance,” it noted.

Blockchain companies will also be expected to register with the authorities within 10 days of formation, with licenses contingent on proper user data recording, monitoring and reporting.

The CAC also said there would be a greater emphasis on self-regulation blockchain, saying it would implement measures for the “industry to strengthen self-regulation and set up industry standards, educate service providers, and promote the industry credit rating system.”

With early feedback mixed, it remains to be seen how the consultation will influence the final proposals. But with blockchain regulation firmly in the sights, it looks certain that conditions for blockchain businesses in China could be set to become tighter in the near future.

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