France Court Declares Bitcoin a Fungible Asset Like Money in a Crypto Ownership Dispute

Bitcoin has been declared a fungible intangible asset, which is an interchangeable good, in the Commercial Court of Nanterre, reported local media Les Echos.

First, in France, the court decision allowed the legal nature of bitcoin, which was recently also declared a “Recognised Form of Investment,” by an Australian Judge in a Court Case Judgment. Hubert de Vauplane, lawyer specializing in Kramer & Levin says,

“The scope of this decision is considerable because it allows bitcoin to be treated like money or other financial instruments. It will therefore facilitate bitcoin transactions, such as lending or repo transactions, which are growing, and thus favor the liquidity of the cryptocurrency market.”

The decision came in a case due to a disagreement among the French exchange platform, Paymium and the English alternative investment platform, Bitspread. Paymium basically loaned 1,000 BTC to BitSpread in 2014, prior to the Bitcore Core’s hard fork in 2017 resulting in a new cryptocurrency Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

This causes one to inquire the possession of rights among debtors and creditors prior to and after the split. Here, the dispute is over the ownership of the Bitcoin Cash and if the BCH coins received in a one-for-one parity after the fork should be returned by the borrower to the lender as well.

The Tribunal as such treated the lawful structure of bitcoin as a fungible asset as money putting bitcoin lending under “customer loan” (not consumer credit). Under customer loans, the ownership of goods loaned to the debtor for the duration of the loan is also transferred. As a result, BCH was declared by the court to be the debtor’s property, like the remittance to the investor.

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