China has introduced new anti anonymous regulations, requiring blockchain companies to register with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC).
Healthy Blockchain Industry
The document released by the CAC says the new rules are being enforced to ensure a healthy development of the blockchain industry in the country. The CAC has declared any firm that has an online (website, wallets etc) service that give technical support, or even provide information on blockchain, must be registered.
The regulation is set to come in power on 5th of February. Blockchain firms falling under the rule will have 20 days to register, giving information such as names, domains and even server addresses. Failure to comply would result in a fine ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 Yuan (roughly USD 2,900 to USD 4,400). Further non compliance, the document states, would result in legal proceedings.
Anonymity No More
The new regulations are an attempt by the state to have censorship control over an industry that relies on a censorship free technology. The first instance of the policy came from a draft released in October last year. The draft had recommendations on eliminating anonymity from blockchain.
China has a very strict censorship policy. Anything that it deems to have a negative impact on the country, even its image, is censored. Last April, The South China Morning Post published information about an anonymous open letter was published on the Ethereum blockchain that claimed of sexual harassment in a top Chinese university.
News like this is routinely censored in the country. Since the letter was published on the Ethereum blockchain, the Chinese authorities have no method of controlling the spread of the information.
China has banned all forms of crypto trading since 2017, with the regulation extending to exchanges and ICOs last year. The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) ban was recently challenged, however. Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration declared cryptocurrencies as properties, giving them the same legal coverage as any physical property held by a person