Shanghai Hongkou District Court: Ethereum (ETH) is treated as a property, comes under the protection of the laws
In a surprising turn of events Shanghai Hongkou District Court, made a judgement, that Ethereum and other virtual currencies are not considered as money but come under the legal protection of owning a property.
An Old Case
On August 2017, Bejing based technology company raised funds using cryptocurrencies namely through Bitcoin and Ethereum. But due to new state laws by China, the technology company had to return the raised currencies to the investors.
Due to an operational error 20 ETH got wrongly credited to an investor. And when the company tried reaching the investor out, he cut the communication. With no other choice, the company decided to sue the investor at the Shanghai People’s court.
The court’s initial decision was that the company’s appeal was justified and the investor should return the money. Unsatisfied, by the court’s decision, the investor appealed that since the government banned cryptocurrencies, the legal case is unjustified.
The court made a new judgement recently which stated, while cryptocurrencies may not be treated as money, they do come under property rights.
When hearing a case involving the ownership of 20ETH, the court states: China does not recognize the monetary properties of "virtual currencies" including Ether. However we cannot deny the fact that Ether should be protected by law as a general propertyhttps://t.co/AnK7QlocGz
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) September 28, 2018
The defendant investor returned the 20 ETH, which was a property of the company in Beijing, within 10 days from the effective date of this judgment.
Although China has shown a tough stand against cryptocurrencies, the court’s decision to respect the property rights of an individual signifies a strong shift of opinion towards cryptocurrencies. China undoubtedly will take out laws regulating cryptocurrencies.
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