BEIJING, China—The Chinese government has approved a policy that will require all users of blockchain-based services to register their real identities with the authorities, in contrast with the technology’s reputation for safeguarding anonymity.
Announcedby the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s Internet watchdog, the Regulation for Managing Blockchain Information Services will come into effect on Feb. 15.
It will apply to any China-based entity regarded as a “blockchain information service provider” — defined as an “entity or node” providing online information services using blockchain technology to the public via a website or mobile app. The policy is a comprehensive regulatory framework set up specifically for the country’s burgeoning blockchain industry, Sixth Tone reported.
According to the policy, blockchain information service providers will be required to register their names, service types, and server addresses with the government at least 10 days before offering their services to the public. Another rule will require individuals who use such services to provide the authorities with their national identity card number or phone number; organizations, meanwhile, will have to provide their government registration code, Sixth Tone reported.
The Cyberspace Administration says the policy aims to promote the healthy development of China’s blockchain industry and protect the security of information on blockchain platforms. “The development of blockchain technology has brought great opportunities to the country’s economy and society,” a CAC spokesperson stated. “But meanwhile, it’s also used by criminals to store and disseminate illegal information.”