Written by Erik Weijers 5 months ago

Shanghai High Court: Bitcoin is virtual property

Although China issued a ban on Bitcoin mining and crypto trading last year, owning it is not prohibited. And according to a recent ruling by the Shanghai High People's Court, Bitcoin has the status of virtual property.

The verdict answers the question that Chinese citizens might have of what they actually own when they own Bitcoin. Is it a currency? A casino coin? Rock-solid property? After the ruling, they know that Bitcoin is legally protected as property.

The ruling was the culmination of a dispute between two citizens. In February 2021, a lower court had already ruled that one gentleman had to return 1 Bitcoin to another within ten days. The former refused to do so. Mediation was also unsuccessful. The High People's Court then had to be called upon to rule that Bitcoin is a property that may not be taken away illegally.


It is reassuring that even a country like China, with its high level of surveillance and strict view of crypto, sees legal room for the designation of Bitcoin as property. It makes it extra difficult to imagine that many countries will ban Bitcoin ownership. However, like in China, it has happened many times that countries ban the mining and trading of Bitcoin and crypto. This is how countries financially keep citizens under their thumb. The result is that countries lose tax revenue because of these measures: miners and crypto exchanges and their employees pack their bags. After all, there are plenty of countries that welcome them with open arms.

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