China’s Supreme People’s Court and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released a joint statement on the expansion of property rights around various items, including virtual property, data, and digital currencies.
The guideline released on July 22 aims at improving the socialist market to offer a stronger protection stance for private ownership of property. This document opens up regulation and legal protection for new classes of property such as digital assets, virtual currencies, and data.
The new laws focus on seven major areas, including property protection, market order, fair trade, and livelihood guarantee, He Xiaorang, a member of the judicial committee, said. The new guidelines further aim at “protecting private enterprises’ properties from illegal seizing or freezing as well as preventing wrongful rulings by public or judicial systems.”
Despite the mention of digital assets and virtual currencies, the guideline did not define fully what constitutes a digital currency. However, with the digital yuan (CBDC) development in place, the current changes point to the government setting up a solid regulation structure before its launch.
China: Digital assets as property
China’s efforts in developing a CBDC are well beyond what most of the nations across the globe have considered. The government passed its first crypto law in November 2019, aiming at standardizing the application and management of passwords. The law, adopted earlier in the year, protects cryptographic intellectual property rights and promotes the progress and innovation of cryptography and public/private key technology.
Digital assets have been classified as property in a couple of instances across China too. A court judge in April declared Ethereum (ETH) as property in a legal theft case presented. Notwithstanding, back in 2018, another judge ruled on Bitcoin being treated as virtual property across the country.