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Chinese court: bitcoin is a property with "economic value" and must be protected by law

Oct 30, 2018

Recently a Chinese arbitration court stated that crypto-assets such as bitcoin have to be considered as property, regardless of the infamous internal restriction on cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

As it was reported by a local newspaper, the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration decreed that cryptocurrencies supposed to be legally treated as a property with “economic values”. This decision came after the latest business clash over the ownership and transfer of crypto-actives.

A case review was published on Oct. 26 by way of WeChat. As it turned out, the unnamed claimant signed a contract with the defendant, permitting the latter to handle, trade, and invest in cryptocurrencies on his behalf. Nevertheless, the agreement turned sour after the defendant rejected to return the claimant’s crypto-actives post a determined term.

Analyzing the case with all the evidence and using different theoretical approaches the court came to conclusion that bitcoin should be legally covered by China’s Contract Law, despite of its status as illegal object in the country:

“Bitcoin has the nature of a property, which can be owned and controlled by parties, and is able to provide economic values and benefits.”

As a confirmation of its position the court disregarded all points put forth by the defendant, stating the return of cryptocurrencies is a contractual obligation not governed by the central bank’s dictum. Notable, the court accented that no Chinese legislation restricts ownership of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency and linked transaction between two parties.

The Shenzhen court is well known and has a solid reputation regarding contract issues in business, real estate, and finance.

Stay with Offshorelicense to be informed on all of the latest legal news in the sphere of crypto, LegalTech and other related topics. If you have some doubts concerning the new regulations and their effect on you, it might be the right time to seek a professional help. The earlier that professional advice is sought the more successful result will be!

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