The Shanghai High People’s Court recognized bitcoin as a virtual asset protected under Chinese law. The court notes that the cryptocurrency has economic value.
Bitcoin is an asset protected by law in China
The Shanghai High People’s Court said bitcoin qualifies as a virtual asset protected by Chinese law despite a ban on cryptocurrency trading in China, Sina reported Friday.
Last week, a notice was published on the court’s official Wechat channel saying the following:
In actual jurisprudence, the People’s Court formed a unified opinion on the legal status of bitcoin and defined it as virtual property.
The court went on to explain that bitcoin “has some economic value and meets the characteristics of property, the legal rules of property law apply for protection.”
This statement marks the first time China’s highest court has ruled on a bitcoin case.
The Bitcoin Case
The court’s statement refers to the case of Mr. Cheng Mou, who filed a lawsuit in the People’s Court of Shanghai’s Baoshan District on October 10, 2020, demanding that Mr. Shi Mou return his one bitcoin.
After a trial on February 23, 2021, the court ordered Shi to return his BTC to Chen within 10 days of the judgment. However, Shi refused to make the payment, prompting Cheng to seek further reimbursement from the local court system. Subsequently, the Baoshan court arranged mediation between the two parties.
Liu Yang, an attorney with the Beijing law firm Deheng, told local media that the high court’s statement would be important as a reference ruling for civil disputes involving bitcoin in the Shanghai area.
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