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Blockchain Gains IP Credence Among Chinese Legal Institutions

Blockchain Gains Credence Among Chinese Legal Institutions

Blockchain has found its way to an internet courtroom in Eastern China to get justice for writers, reports China.org.cn.

The painstaking effort exercised in getting justice for authors whose intellectual properties are misappropriated just got easier, as explained by a judge of an internet court in China,Wang Jiangqiao. He said:

“Writers used to resort to screenshots and downloaded content as evidence, which was hard to gain legal recognition as the process was not credible enough.”

But it seems with the perks of blockchain’s immutability and timestamp actions, the credibility of the facts stored on a blockchain is much more reliable. Wang added that:

“Blockchain guarantees that data cannot be tampered [with], due to its decentralized and open distributed ledger technology. Therefore, all digital footprints stored in the judicial blockchain system, [including] authorship, time of creation, content, and evidence of infringement, have legal effect.”

More so, plaintiffs have had to suffer the high cost of legal bills when seeking justice through the traditional method as Wang observed that “notarial procedures and hiring of professional lawyers push up the costs of seeking justice”.

The media outlet also reports that 107 prominent online writers have signed contracts to produce works in a “writers’ village” in the city’s Binjiang District of Hangzhou. Hangzhou is home to many, if not most, online writers in China.

Three internet courts have been situated in three districts: Hangzhou, Beijing, and Guangzhou. While internet-related cases are a norm because of the high internet activity in the country, Hangzhou appears to be in the front lead to adopt blockchain solution in solving copyright issues, first with writers.

The first time a case was solved through evidence brought forward on the basis of blockchain happened about five months back. A Chinese defendant successfully argued his innocence in the Chinese court at Hangzhou using blockchain timestamp data, clearing his name from charges of copyright theft.

It appears that writers are not the only ones who need the services of the internet court, as China is home to over 800 million internet explorers with online businesses at the heart of the activity. Other related case types being handled by the court include contract dispute arising from online shopping, product liability dispute arising from online shopping, disputes over internet service contract, disputes arising from the financial loan contract disputes and small loan contract disputes signed and executed on the Internet.

On the traditional side of things, other real-world courts are adopting the concept of blockchain as a reliable witness to intellectual property as seen in the case of the Russian Intellectual Property (IP) court successfully using a blockchain-based solution for storing copyright data.

Even though cryptocurrencies are banned in China, its Supreme Court seems to think blockchain evidence can be seen as legally binding material in court.

 

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Hong Kong Stock Exchange Looks to Blockchain and Fintech Acquisitions

Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) has announced that it is considering investments in blockchain and other fintech companies through acquisitions next year.

If this materializes, it will represent a change in direction for the exchange which has close relationships with China. Hong Kong, being an autonomous territory of China, has a political system independent from the rest of the country, affecting both the economy and its commercial system. Many Chinese businesses have moved their operations to Hong Kong after China’s crackdown on ICOs and cryptocurrency in general. These included the world’s largest exchange, Binance, which moved from Beijing to Hong Kong and other locations around the globe to escape punitive legislation.

The territory is now laying claim to becoming a major hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain in the region, even creating a recent “talent list” to employ more industry professionals to support its DLT focus in the years to come through a new employment program. A fintech lead at InvestHK reflected on Hong Kong’s push towards blockchain:

“Blockchain is a very high priority for us. There is hype, and there is the fast grab of money with ICOs in some cases. But what we are looking at building here in Hong Kong is an infrastructure for new businesses and existing businesses, to make sure the technology and innovations remain a key enabler for financial sector growth.”

Unconfirmed sources suggest that Charles Li, CEO of HKEX, is now looking at blockchain and has had meetings with both potential start-ups and established companies. Concern remains about the current poor relationship between China and the US, and how this might affect businesses in Hong Kong. This is a possible reason why the exchange is considering adopting its own venture capital model similar to that of Nasdaq.

Earlier this month, HKEX senior managers had discussed possible acquisitions and more, the results of which will be revealed next year. Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment, told Bloomberg, “The strategy is in the right direction but it is not easy to achieve the targets. HKEX needs to maintain a momentum of growth by exploring new businesses.”

In March, Financial Times reported that HKEX was collaborating with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to implement blockchain. Perhaps, this is an indication of the direction the exchange is willing to take when it reveals its plans next year. Blockchain company acquisitions may be on the table.

 

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China Cracks Down on Crypto News Sites as ICOs Feel the Heat

Chinese authorities have recently turned their attention to news sites and those reporting information on current news about cryptocurrencies.

Claiming a disruptive influence, the government has also prohibited some advertising through the staging of some crypto-related activities. This now includes locations such as hotels, shopping malls and office buildings, according to the Beijing News.

Apparently, such measures have been introduced in order to protect the Chinese yuan which has been under pressure for the US dollar for most of this year, resulting in falling value. The latest restrictions state the aim:

“To protect people’s property and safeguard the status of legal tender, to guard against money laundering risks and maintain the stability of the financial system, all shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, offices and other places shall not undertake any form of cryptocurrency-related promotion activities.”

At present, the restriction is lifted to an area of Beijing, Chaoyang District, with a population of around 6 million. The government appear to have been aggravated by recent crypto index fund BitUP’s promotional activities.

ICOs banned in China are increasingly coming under pressure and most of the big names have set up overseas to avoid becoming entangled in complicated government prohibitive regulations. Thus, any advertising relating to ICOs is quickly jumped on by the authorities in an attempt to eradicate ICOs from mainland China.

WeChat and Jinse use have both fallen under China’s regulatory axe, the latter with a readership of 350,000 a day including Asia Today. WeChat was “suspected of publishing information related to ICOs [initial coin offerings] and speculations on cryptocurrency trading”.

Just to show the government’s determination to stem the rising tide of ICOs, a conference which would have been happily entertained by any other nation was nipped in the bud earlier this year when the one-day event, dubbed the Global Fintech & Blockchain China Summit 2018, was halted as police raided the event evacuating all attendees and speakers, and then cancelling the afternoon’s keynote addresses.

 

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Unresolved Crypto Legal Cases Mount in China Due to Unclear Regulations

Courts in China are struggling to clear cases relating to cryptocurrency due to a lack of clear regulation despite the current ban.

Reportedly, many of the cases which relate to crypto, which now stand at 270 at the last count, have arisen due to Bitcoin’s falling price. Coupled with contrasting interpretations of the law at the local level, this has caused a backlog in the courts.

Cryptocurrencies are officially banned in China since mainland residents were restricted from trading in cryptocurrencies on exchanges late last year and ICOs were outlawed. Nonetheless, crypto related disputes are increasing in both frequency and volume. However, it appears this state law is applied at the local level often without an official government mandate.

The current problem has arisen because courts often can’t ascertain exactly how illegal many of the activities that come before them are, due to a lack of regulatory clarity. Reports indicate that many local areas had no official statement from the State regarding the ban and how to implement it.

In the first week of August, out of the 274 pending crypto cases, 126 related to criminal activity relating to property and economic crime and another 107 related to breach of contract, with two administrative issues.

Such cases as this one relating to crypto exchange Coinice are quite typical. The exchange sent a client BTC 5 in error during a system upgrade. The client quickly sold this, refusing to return the funds when the error had been spotted. His argument was that as Bitcoin trading was an illegal activity in China, the exchange had in fact committed the illegal offense.

The result, having been ruled as a civil case by a Beijing court, maintained that the client had initially agreed to Coinice’s service conditions and thereby was instructed to return the funds. The client appealed, taking the case to an appeals court, the Second Intermediate People’s Court of Beijing, which upheld the lower court decision. It maintained that the illegality of the exchange’s operations didn’t affect the requirement of the defendant to return the funds.

Many Chinese companies have moved their operations to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the United States and the EU in order to escape the ban and continue trading.

 

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10-Year Token Payment Delay Show Rare Developer Commitment

Beijing-based startup Nebulas has made the decision to postpone the initial coin offering (ICO) team’s token payments. They added an additional seven years to prove their determination for the company’s success, in a rare case of altruism for the lambasted industry.

The ICO team were initially planned to be paid through reserves of the startup’s native NAS token over three years following the offering before they agreed this could take place over the forthcoming decade instead.

Nebulas’s marketing director Becky Lu said that the decision was made so that the team could focus their efforts on the ”technical vision” of the company. She said that the decision was not easy as there were still many risks surrounding the blockchain industry and the future value of NAS, saying ”I think that shows our determination”.

Further to this commitment, a blog post from the company on Medium says it will publish the addresses of the undistributed NAS tokens. These make up 55% of the total number of tokens, with 45.5 million currently in circulation.

With the number of ICOs failing to provide the business that they have promised at a shamefully high level, Nebulas’s commitment stands out and sets a high standard for quality.

Its ICO raised USD 60 million in December last year through sales of NAS. The current NAS market cap stands at approximately USD 54.9 million.

The Nebulas project

The Nebulas white paper describes the project as a “value-based blockchain operating system and search engine” with an objective of finding solutions to three key blockchain issues. These include measuring the value of blockchain applications, creating a prosperous and long-term ecosystem, and continuing the development of an existing blockchain.

It harnesses a measurement system titled the Nebulas Rank, developed to find real values using “liquidity, speed, width, and depth of capital”.

 

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Chinese Hodlers Now Estimated to Have Reached 3 Million Despite Ban

Speaking at “New Financial Trends and 2018 Financial Technology Summit” in Beijing, researcher Li Honghan estimated that are now over 3 million investors in China holding on to cryptocurrency assets, reports Bitcoin.com.

Li Honghan, a researcher with the International Monetary Institute of Renmin University of China was discussing the current state of cryptocurrency in the country.

It appears if Li’s figures are correct then China’s prohibitive stance on the trading of cryptocurrencies have had little effect. China is still a major Bitcoin player with 50 to 70 per cent of global mining taking place in the country, although this number is not comparable with its far more significant figures before the ban was actually put in place.

Given that China is not one of the 91 countries worldwide that is unrestricted in trading in cryptocurrency, it does demonstrate a large following despite the legal ramifications that go with ownership. Li’s estimates would suggest that 0.2174% of Chinese citizens own bitcoin.

Li has predicted that DLT will revolutionize many aspects of the financial sector in the future, a view held by many financial experts in the country. Recent comments by China’s president Xi Jinping that the “blockchain was 10 times more valuable than the internet” clearly highlights the direction that the Chinese government is taking regarding the future of blockchain technology in the country.

In other news from China, a leak of an audio recording reported to be of Li Xiaolai, a renown Chinese Bitcoin tycoon has been released, attacking China’s crypto sector, calling some of the industry’s leaders ‘cheats’ and ‘liars’.  Xiaolai, the founder of Bitfund, also attacks a number of cryptocurrencies and refers to some investors as inexperienced traders, claiming that prominent crypto figures should amass a large social following during a bear market then capitalize during bull upturns.

Jon Ostler, CEO of finder.com has said that “China lifting its ban on cryptocurrency would likely have a significant impact on prices…It is such a big potential market that even murmurings of the ban lifting would probably push value up in the short-term.”

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Kiev Wants His Statue, the CIA Is Tight-Lipped. So Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?

In Ukraine’s Capital, Kiev plans are underway to install a statue of the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto in the same location where a statue of Russian communist revolutionary Lenin, used to stand, writes CNN.

Father of the Russian nation, Lenin, had stood on the spot until it was torn down by Ukrainians during the 2014 Revolution of Dignity when the government of the day was overturned.

The idea of the erection of a statue to honor Bitcoin’s reputed founder was down to a group known dramatically as the Satoshi Nakamoto Republic. The initial idea is to have a virtual monument on the site which can be viewed using tech such as smartphones and tablets, with an app developed by Raccoon World.

The hope is that an actual statue might one day follow, to be located on Lenin’s empty plinth. The same group is raising a petition to present to Kiev municipal authorities, the Kyiv City State Administration, in the hope a real statue can be mounted at the site.

Satoshi Nakamoto Republic, Andriy Moroz, co-founder of the group, suggested that Satoshi Nakamoto symbolizes the future:

“The monument to Lenin was a symbol of last centuries that had already passed, leaving conflicting feelings in the hearts of people. Satoshi and the decentralization of society are a new era and new opportunities,” Moroz, who also serves as the First Ambassador of the Republic, told Radio Free Europe.

The group’s plans don’t end there, with the announcement that they are looking to establish Satoshi Nakamoto City, which will be located on an island, once a suitable location has been found. Once established they plan to start a blockchain “republic” of their own.

It’s been reported that the Nakamoto statue concept is open for all comers, including at present Beijing, Dubai, New York, and Tokyo.

Only Satoshi Nakamoto can reveal his true identity, or so say Ethereum News, or perhaps the CIA may be helpful. This was certainly the view of Daniel Oberhouse, a Motherboard writer, who actually went to those lengths by asking both the FBI and the CIA if they could shed any light on the enigmatic Bitcoin creators whereabouts.

Rebuffed by the FBI, he did, however, have more success -at least receiving a response- with the US’ own enigma, The Central Intelligence Agency. Unfortunately, the agency was less than helpful:

“The request has been rejected, with the agency stating that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested documents.”

Apparently such a statement, according to an ex CIA operative, actually has a name and is a procedure used when the agency has no desire to look into a query due to security issues. A rejection of a request on security grounds implicitly suggests that the documents the requester are seeking indeed exist, but to confirm their existence would mandate their disclosure.

It’s called the “Glomar Response.” And for now, the search continues.

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