Bitcoin is A Legal Asset in China, Asserts Court

By Rushali Shome

China’s tenuous ties with the world of cryptocurrencies are well documented. Even though the world has seen some major blockchain breakthroughs and crypto innovations coming up from within the country, the government of China has always been wary of Bitcoin and such other cryptocurrencies.

However, that might begin to change because a court in China has recently acknowledged Bitcoin, the pioneering cryptocurrency, as a legitimate commodity.

Basically, it has been provided recognition in the country as being a form of “virtual property”. Although this indeed sounds quite exciting, we would have to warn you so that you do not get your hopes too high up. This recognition in no way means that it will become any easier to trade Bitcoin in the country. This acknowledgement of Bitcoin being a form of “virtual property” merely ensures the secure ownership of this asset.

The recognition came in the form of a verdict by the Hangzhou Internet Court, which said that the cryptocurrency would have the status of a “virtual property”. The ruling was careful to reassert that Bitcoin can now legally owned by the citizens of the country. This basically means that the holders of the cryptocurrency will be protected from possession-related conflicts and disputes, as it now a form of property.

To quote the translated version of a Beijing News report:

”Bitcoin holds the attributes of property. It’s valuable, scarce, and disposable. Therefore, we should recognize it as virtual property according to the ‘General Civil Law.’ Virtual property is legally protected by the laws of the People’s Republic of China.”

It must be noted that this is not the first time that a Chinese judicial body has states that Bitcoin is a legal form of asset. Last year, the Shenzhen Arbitration Commission had also laid down that Bitcoin can be owned and transferred, and that “the asset should be protected in accordance with law”.

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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