Chinese court rules bitcoin as an asset protected by the law. Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court has allegedly ruled that bitcoin is an asset protected by the Chinese law in a case that had been ongoing for many years.
The case involved three Chinese and a Malaysian who broke into the home of an American and his Chinese wife on the night of June 12, 2018. The intruders had then forced them to transfer 18.88 bitcoins and 6,466 skycoins to their account after locking up the couple and beating them.
Findings from the first hearing of the case revealed that there was an economic dispute and the perpetrators were sentenced to prison for six and a half months to eight months. The defendants agreed to return all skycoins but not bitcoins, arguing that cryptocurrencies were not assets under the Chinese law. Due to that, the couple did not have the right to demand for them. The court disagreed and ordered them to return all stolen cryptocurrencies or pay them the coins worth. The couple had then proceeded to file a lawsuit when they received neither bitcoins or equivalent funds.
After which, the four defendants appealed, reiterating that cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and skycoin, were not legal property under Chinese law. However, Shine news outlet reported on Thursday that the Shanghai court has ordered them to return the coins, under the findings that “the court found bitcoin to be a digital asset that should be protected by the law.
Chief judge in the case, Liu Jiang explained that the documents released by the central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), have never denied bitcoin as an asset and the laws in China do not prohibit citizens from holding them.
Several other Chinese courts have made a similar ruling on cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies was recognised in a case involving 20 bitcoins, 50 bitcoin cash, and 13 bitcoin diamond in 2018. Additionally, the Hangzhou Internet Court legally recognised bitcoin. Even more recently, the Shenzhen Futian District People’s Court in Guangdong Province declared ethereum legal property in China.