Alliance chain points exchange: a new trend?
Recently, Sara’s team noticed a news that a business points alliance was established somewhere in the southwest recently and released the “White Paper on China Points Blockchain Standard (Draft)”. According to the report, member companies of the alliance, including a number of large central enterprises, state-owned enterprises and private enterprises, will realize rapid contracting among members, chain issuance of points as well as value swap and traffic sharing on the points alliance chain, and the district party secretary of the place also publicly expressed support at the inaugural meeting.
In addition, it is worth noting that in January this year, a province held a special meeting to explore the interchangeability of consumption pass points of different businesses in the fields of public transportation, hotel accommodation, catering and shopping, and tourist attractions through blockchain tourism consumption pass points. It is worth noting that the provincial government’s financial office approved the establishment of an international asset trading limited company, whose business scope includes tourism consumption points trading.
Then the question arises, is it legal to exchange consumption points for interchange?
Alliance chain points, is it a token ticket?
In the previous article, Sara’s team has talked about the current mainstream merchant points from two sources, one is the reward points, that is, the points rewarded by the user through purchasing the operator’s goods or services, or completing specific tasks, etc. or obtaining the operator’s reward points, which represent certain rights and interests enjoyed by the user to a specific merchant, such as exchanging for specific types and values of goods. The other type is payment points, which are commercial prepaid cards in nature. In this article, we only discuss reward points.
According to our understanding, the current play of alliance chain points is that each brand’s points are passes on the points chain, and all points can be exchanged between different merchants, with the exchange ratio determined by the market, and users of each merchant can use the exchanged points to exchange for products/services of other organizations. Is there any legal risk in this model of setting up pass-through redemption between points on the alliance chain?
As far as the pass-through point system is concerned, it creates a kind of points that can be exchanged between merchants on the chain. When the barriers between different merchants’ points systems are broken, the points can be freely exchanged between merchants.
Article 20 of the People’s Bank Law stipulates that no unit or individual may print or offer token bills or vouchers for circulation in the market in lieu of RMB. Article 28 of the Regulations on the Administration of RMB stipulates that no unit or individual shall print or offer for sale token tickets or coupons for circulation in the market in lieu of RMB.
Determination of Token Coupons
Regarding the determination of token coupons, the General Office of the People’s Bank of China’s “Letter on the Determination of the Nature of Shopping Cards” dated July 5, 2000 holds that according to the relevant provisions of Article 19 of the People’s Bank Law, the Interim Regulations on Cash Management and the Notice of the State Council on the Prohibition of Printing, Offering, Purchasing and Using All Kinds of Token Shopping Coupons, “token coupons ” shall generally have the following elements: first, they shall have a certain amount of money; second, they shall be used indefinitely or have a certain period of use, i.e., they shall have a certain span in time; third, they shall be used and circulated within a certain range and may be used to purchase unspecified commodities; and fourth, they shall be bearer and unregistered.
According to the legislative context at that time, the so-called “token coupons” should refer to “coupons with token function”, i.e. “token shopping coupons”, which can be compared with the 1993 State Council’s “Prohibition on Printing, Offering, Purchasing and The “Notice of the State Council on the Prohibition of Printing, Offering, Purchasing and Using All Kinds of Token Shopping Vouchers” and the “Urgent Notice of the Office of the State Council on Correcting Malpractices in the Industry on Resolutely Stopping the Wind of Issuing and Using All Kinds of Token Shopping Vouchers” and other normative documents can be corroborated. However, with the development of the times, the term “tokens and vouchers” may be interpreted as “tokens” and “vouchers”, and the former concept may in turn include “Digital tokens”.
If the “tokens” can be used among different groups and the scope of redeemable goods is expanded indefinitely, it may be considered as a substitute for RMB circulation in the market, thus violating Article 20 of the People’s Bank Law and Article 28 of the Regulations on the Administration of RMB, and if the circumstances are serious, it may not be possible to exclude the risk of being considered as constituting the crime of illegal operation under Article 225 of the Criminal Law.
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