Since its launch by the Xuhui Notary Public Office in Shanghai in mid-January, the blockchain technology-based notarial service app has brought great convenience to the public, especially during the period of the COVID-19 prevention and control that began later that month.
From the perspective of Pan Hao, the office's head, the app's launch marked a watershed moment in the transformation of notarial services.
Transforming way of evidence storage
After finding that one of its rivals had illegally copied its products, the legal staff of a local mobile game developer immediately used the app to collect the evidence. With the evidence, the company then filed a lawsuit against the pirate, and eventually won it.
According to the office, the evidence that users collect with the app including photos, videos and audio recordings will all be transmitted to the app’s back-end server where blockchain technology can ensure preservation of the evidence's uniqueness and authenticity.
The application of the blockchain makes cloud-based evidence storage possible, said another official of the office.
Innovating notarial services
The app has greatly benefited the public during the period of the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control. In one case, a user surnamed Li drew on it to notarize all the materials needed for overseas study without even a single visit to the office.
"The epidemic provided an unprecedented opportunity for the application of blockchain technology to notarial services," said Li Yunhong, an official of the office. "Many clients, after learning that the services are available on their phones, felt the app came to their help just in time."
Not only that office but the whole notarial industry in Shanghai has been thoroughly transforming in recent years, aiming to build a more proactive and innovative service mode.
Experts have anticipated wider application of blockchain technology in judicial activities since the Supreme People's Court, China's top court, put its seal of approval on the technology's application to evidence storage and submission in a draft guideline on legal protection of copyright released in early August.
Actually, the top court already showed its support for such practices as early as September 2018.
"With establishment of more data sharing platforms in the future, blockchain technology will play a bigger role in ensuring the authenticity and credibility of the evidence, helping the public experience fairness and justice in every case," Said Zuo Jingming, chief of the judicial department of Xuhui district.