back to article China’s top court calls for blockchain to record vast number of transactions

China’s Supreme People’s Court has issued an opinion calling for massive adoption of blockchain across China’s judiciary, financial sector, and government, and for the technology to underpin intellectual property in the nation. Published last week, the opinion* reveals that the Court has already recorded 2.2 billion items on a …

  1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    Good luck with that.

    You want all that data stored/tracked in/by the blockchain, fine, go ahead & require it in China. But the rest of the world does not have to do it, so unless & until everyone else adopts your "standards", you will have just cut yourself out of the global blockchain playground.

    If you require $FunctionX to be present in all the blockchain you allow in country, and nobody else wants to include that bit, then you will block their blockchain & prevent them from doing business in your country.

    And the more data points you require in the blockchain datablock, the more work it will be to maintain all those trillions of bits & bytes until each blockchain winds up being ungainly to handle for anything, making it much less useful to anyone for anything. Do you _really_ think the rest of the world will decide to likewise hobble their potential economic growth potential?

    Have fun playing with yourself, nobody else will join you in that shit-filled sandbox you insist on playing (and shitting) in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good luck with that.

      I'm also not sure they've understood block chain. It relies on a majority view of what is and is not correct / genuine.

      If there is only one party running software for the computation of hashes, that party has the freedom to alter the block chain and change the record of transactions. OK, that involves a blatant lie about how the chain stacks up, but if no one else is checking it, the lie stands.

      And if someone else does check it, it then comes down to who can overrule who. Most block chains assume a majority of people whose software produces the same result wins. But in China, what are you going to do if the government says one thing, but your own computation of the hashes spots an alteration in the record? Will the chain even be public, and will the software source be open for inspection, recompilation and independent hosting? And are the transactions submitted to the block chain "right and proper" in the first place? Or will it simply serve as an unalterable verifiable record that you've been screwed over?

      One can take a positive of this. If it's imposed across all government by Central government, then its a way in which regional officials cannot alter the official record without that being evident to central government. Thus if land is confiscated, then it is difficult for the land registry to be altered to hide the original ownership of the land, and a complaint can be investigated and settled by central government. As a tool to stamp out corruption, it likely helps a bit but also simply moves the point of power in a corrupt deal upwards.

      1. sitta_europea

        Re: Good luck with that.

        [quote]

        ...not sure they've understood block chain.

        [/quote]

        It's China. Quite sure they have.

        1. NoneSuch Silver badge
          Pirate

          Blockchain and Red China will not mix well.

          The Chinese Communist Party likes to rewrite history frequently. Blockchain makes it quite inconvenient to rewrite the historical "truth."

          Expect Chinese technology soon that takes an existing blockchain, parses it, then re-builds it with embarrassing elements deleted in the process. The new blockchain will replace the old. Anything that shows the CCP is flawed will be purged.

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Blockchain and Red China will not mix well.

            Blockchain! With new added memory hole!

      2. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Good luck with that.

        Sounds like that's why they want it so they can controla and steal everything.

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Good luck with that.

      There is nothing wrong or strange about private block chains or block chains with a specific purpose outside selling tulips and ponzi schemes.

      There are interbank transfers that happen on private blockchians where the public ledger is only public to participants.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Blockchain instead of a server

    And massive amounts of transactions too.

    I look forward to reading about how long the lowly official needing to record something has to wait for the petabyte-sized ledger to update.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Blockchain instead of a server

      You've reminded me of the running joke in Interesting Times, where in the China-analog of the novel, all records are kept by scribes highly-trained in poetic calligraphy. This leads to issues such as, for example, the minute-taking for a meeting actually taking hours ("..How far have you got?" he asked. The eunuch coughed politely. "How softly the bloom of the apric..." he began. "Yes, yes, yes" said Lord Hong. "Could we on this occasion dispense with the poetic framework please...")

      Perhaps this blockchain initiative is the CCP hankering for a high-tech equivalent to exquisitely rendered calligraphic record-keeping?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blockchain instead of a server

      If the update time is going to be dependent on how many hosts are computing block chain hashes, that indicates a trend towards fewer hosts doing the work as time goes by, to keep operations ticking over at an acceptable rate. That suggests less certainty of the correctness as time goes by, which kinda defeats the point.

      It makes some sense if it's there to allow one bit of government to retrospectively validate the records of another.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Blockchain does not make sense. This is just another ham-fisted bright idea to use "modern" technology to "solve" a problem that doesn't exist.

        A government does not need a public ledger. It is itself the guarantee of proper handling of data.

        The Bitcoin ledger is currently flirting with a size of 400GB. I am supposed to be able to use BitCoin to buy stuff. Do you think I'm going to be able to store a 400GB ledger on my smartphone to pay for my baguette ? I don't.

        Am I supposed to have 400GB of data on my PC to order to pizza ?

        Fuck that.

        1. iron Silver badge

          But that the beauty of this distributed technology - it's so fecking big that you have to use one of two centralised API services to buy and sell using your distributed e-money.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It is ironic that, to use a technology that is supposed to democratise / distribute the ledger freely so that all can see, one has to rely on services that are very much more traditional in terms of account credentials, conventional databases of users and their holdings, etc. And, these get hacked and emptied, defeating the supposed benefits of a block chain currency in the first place.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After techies

    lawyers were the next biggest contingent at all the blockchain events I went to.

  4. Filippo Silver badge

    But... why?

    Why not implement the same features, but on a centralized server? What's the point of using a blockchain? There's exactly one USP of a blockchain, and that's that nobody has admin-level powers over the data. I can't believe China sees that as a plus. So... why?

    The same question goes for about 99% of the various blockchain projects out there, by the way.

    1. druck Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: But... why?

      They've been suckered by the blockchain hype, and will now have to drag around an ever growing digital anchor on every transaction. Well done to whoever sold them that crok of shit.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: But... why?

        Well yes, but we're talking blockchain evangelists on the one side and the CCP on the other. I'm definitely feeling a wasp/scorpion "don't really care who gets stung" vibe on this one.

  5. Howard Sway Silver badge

    a model of automatically carrying out investigation and imposing credit-based punishment

    So the blockchain is going to record every single thing you do, and then some AI is going to trawl through it and automatically impose a punishment if it sees something it doesn't like.

    I guess it's just another win for blockchains bringing freedom from control by centralised authorities.

  6. DaemonProcess

    proof

    As stated it will be bring proof that a transaction has taken place. Hopefully a weapon against fraud and corruption by officials and private individuals. But only if it has been designed properly with no single control over the chains.

    The 1 party system puts all the power in 1 place with 1 single version of the truth, including re-writing history.

  7. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I fail to see what this achieves that cannot be done far more efficiently with a dumb database?

    1. that one in the corner Bronze badge

      Par for the course when blockchain is allowed on the links.

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