Shanghai Court Recognizes Bitcoin as Virtual Property

The Minhang District Court of Shanghai declared Bitcoin to be a virtual property protected by Chinese law.

This isn’t the first time that the court has ruled that cryptocurrency assets should be protected in regard to Chinese regulations on property ownership.

Back in 2019, in the ruling of a dispute case involving Bitcoin, the Hangzhou Internet Court recognized that the cryptocurrency asset has virtual property and that it should be protected in accordance with Chinese regulations. Before that, in 2018, the Shenzhen Arbitration Commission also ruled the same.

According to the court, cryptocurrency meets the virtual property requirement because it is valuable, scarce, exchangeable, and disposable.

This time, the court case involved a plaintiff who purchased Bitcoin mining machines from the defendant through the Internet. But with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) cracking down on cryptocurrency mining, the plaintiff believed the transaction was illegal. The plaintiff then asked for a refund claiming that the contract was invalid.

But the court held that Bitcoin has the attributes of a virtual commodity, so the sale and purchase contract was valid, and the court rejected the plaintiff's claim.

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