Chinese law has declared that bitcoin can be seen as a virtual property with actual real life value. This means that the cryptocurrency is protected by law. The court case was reported by local media, and the judge stated that bitcoin is valuable, scarce and disposable. These are the same attributes as property, and therefore bitcoin should be seen as virtual property.
According to ‘General Civil Law’ property and virtual property are protected by the law’s of China. It’s the first major ruling from the Hanghzou Internet Court. This is one of three new courts specialized in anything related to the internet, ranging from copyright infringements to contract disputes.
The Chinese internet courts declared earlier this year that they will accept blockchain data as evidence. Establishing China as rather progressive when it comes to blockchain and bitcoin, despite their often weird stance towards mining and other cryptocurrency related businesses.
The court case mentioned earlier in this article was a rather small one. A consumer bought 2.675 bitcoin from an exchange in 2013, but was not notified well enough to remove the coins. When he came back in 2017, the exchange was closed and his coins were no longer accessible. The consumer’s request to be paid was denied by the court, but not without stating that bitcoin is a virtual property.
Also published on Medium.