Chinese Court Says Cryptocurrencies Are Property and Legal: Report

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Chinese Court Says Cryptocurrencies Are Property and Legal: Report
  • A Chinese court report says cryptocurrencies qualify as property and are legal.
  • The report mirrors the contrasting stance of Chinese governments and the courts.
  • China’s Bitcoin Mining share is second in the world despite the ban on cryptocurrencies.

A Chinese court report says cryptocurrencies are considered legal property under the current legal framework and are protected by the law, according to a report from a local news outlet. The recent report highlights, once again, the differing stance of the Chinese government and the courts on cryptocurrencies.

The report titled “Identification of Property Attributes of Virtual Currency and Disposal of Property Involved in Cases” analyzed the criminal law attributes of cryptocurrencies. The report stated that the economic attributes of cryptocurrencies qualify them as legal property.

Based on the nature of cryptocurrencies, the report recommends that cases on virtual assets should be treated under a unified heading of criminal and civil cases. This, the report said, is important to achieve a balanced protection of personal property rights and social public interests.

Although cryptocurrencies are banned in China, the court has repeatedly offered contrasting views on them. In September 2022, a lawyer argued that, despite the ban, cryptocurrency holders are still protected under the law in China, and in May 2022, a Shanghai Court ruled that Bitcoin qualified as virtual property.  

The ban, which started in 2021, affected cryptocurrency activities in China, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency markets. In June of that year, the People’s Bank of China told banks and payment platforms to stop facilitating crypto transactions.

Earlier in May 2021, several Chinese state institutions discouraged users from trading cryptocurrencies. According to them, the government would offer no protection for people who continued to do so.

However, over the years, the Chinese government has softened its stance on cryptocurrency. Recently, China’s Bitcoin mining share rose to the second-largest in the world, rising from zero following the ban.