China passes law protecting cryptocurrency inheritance. China has passed its long-awaited civil code expanding the scope of inheritance rights to include cryptocurrency. Chinese courts have also recently ruled bitcoin and ethereum to be properties protected by law.
The third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, voted on and passed the “Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China” on Thursday. Xinhua News Agency reported that “[The new civil code] states that the property rights of individuals are equally safeguarded to those of the State and collective, and online virtual assets are protected, too.”
The new civil code coming into effect on January 1st, 2021 states that “virtual assets, such as bitcoins, [can] be inherited,” as are all property legally acquired by a natural person.”
Wang Liming, executive vice president of the Renmin University of China and a law professor, was quoted as saying: “The civil code is the first law to carry the title ‘code’ for the People’s Republic of China. It lays down the fundamental principles and regulations regarding civil activities and relations. It reflects the will of the people and protects their rights and interests.”