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China's Internet Censor Releases Draft Regulation for Blockchain Startups

China's top-level internet censorship agency has set out how it plans to regulate blockchain-related service providers in the country.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) published a draft policy on Friday, called "The Regulation for Managing Blockchain Information Services" and is now looking for public feedback before it will take effect.

The rules, if enacted, would apply to any China-based entity regarded as a blockchain information service provider, and would represent one of the country's first regulatory frameworks drawn up specifically for the blockchain industry.

In the draft, the CAC defines blockchain information service providers as "entities or nodes" that offer information services to the public – "both institutions and individuals" – using blockchain technology via desktop sites or mobile apps.

Among the 23 articles proposed in the draft, one requires blockchain service providers to register with the agency within 10 days of starting to offer services to the public.

The proposed draft also orders that blockchain startups must register their names, service types, industry fields and server addresses with the CAC. This information would become publicly available and the CAC would conduct reviews on a yearly basis.

While the agency does not clearly outline what types of blockchain startups fall under its definition, some industry experts in China have said the proposed rules could have an impact on the "supernodes" of certain blockchain networks.

Jiang Zhuo'er, founder of the BTC.TOP mining pool, posted his views on the draft over the weekend, saying:

"For example, each of the 21 supernodes of the EOS network is operated by a company or an individual. As such, they must be fully compliant [with this regulation]."

Also in the draft rules, blockchain service providers in certain highly regulated fields in the country, such as news reporting, publishing, education and the pharmaceutical...

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