This ruling, which was made on a share transfer dispute and does not equate to a legal precedent, recognized digital assets as a form of property, confirming that merchants may freely accept it as a payment method under the country’s current financial regulations.
1/ Chinese court confirms Bitcoin protected by law. Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration ruled a case involving cryptos. Inside the verdict: CN law does not forbid owning & transferring bitcoin, which should be protected by law bc its property nature and economic value.
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) October 26, 2018
“The agreement can be seen that Bitcoin has Property attributes can be dominated and controlled by manpower, have economic value, and can bring economic benefits to the parties. This is the unanimous expression of the parties and is recognized by all parties. The expression and recognition do not violate the law, and the arbitral tribunal should recognize this,” states the case document.
Messari cryptoanalyst, Katherine Wu, recently posted an informational thread on the scope of the ruling, emphasizing that this is simply an arbitration ruling based on China’s current property and contract law.
“In the arbitrator’s view, whether or not bitcoin is legal, the **circulation and the payment** of bitcoin is not illegal. Bitcoin does not have the same rights as fiat, but that does not mean that holding or paying w[ith] crypt is illegal,” states Wu in the tweet.
While this ruling may not have a long-term impact on China’s current trajectory, it does provide a brief glimpse into the internal decision making currently going on inside the country.
The news comes just a week after the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator, published the draft of the policy that would force blockchain services to have their users provide real names and national IDs, effectively stripping the anonymity factor of certain blockchain platforms. These services would be forced to hold the user data for upwards to 6 months in order to shut down accounts that breach the government’s censorship standards.
Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.