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Shanghai High Court categorizes Bitcoin as a legal virtual property

12 May 2022 : 16:15
2 min read
  • The Shanghai High People's Court said that Bitcoin is regarded as virtual property.
  • It added that BTC has a certain economic value and conforms to the property's attribute.
  • Data reveals that Deribit and OKX still get huge traffic from China.

The Shanghai High People’s Court has made it to the headlines for classifying the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, as a virtual property protected by Chinese law.

Bitcoin classified as a virtual property

Governments all across the world have struggled for a long time to classify Bitcoin under existing rules. While one Indian member of parliament classified cryptocurrency as gambling, other countries accorded them legal status. China seemed to be viewing it as a property. This announcement came as a welcome relief to those mourning the crypto market’s recent slump. 

According to reports, the Shanghai High People’s Court issued a statement on its official WeChat channel confirming that Bitcoin is regarded as virtual property. Furthermore, many people were surprised by this because the Chinese government has yet to lift the ban on crypto trading. The court notice states:

“In the actual trial practice, the People’s Court has formed a unified opinion on the legal position of Bitcoin and identified it as a virtual property.”

It added that BTC “has a certain economic value and conforms to the property’s attributes, the legal rules of property rights are applied for protection.”

Interestingly, Cheng Mou reportedly filed a case against Shi Moumou in Shanghai’s Baoshan District People’s Court, compelling the court to issue a statement about Bitcoin. Shi Moumou was supposed to return one Bitcoin to Cheng Mou in 2020. When neither of them proposed reach an agreement, the high court was called to intervene.

Are traders inactive in China?

Everyone has observed the confusing behavior of China with the rest of the crypto world by multiple banning instances. The Chinese government took the harshest stance on the crypto industry in 2021, banning it outright and expelling BTC miners from the country.

However, the data from website traffic metric supplier Similarweb reveals that crypto exchanges like Deribit and OKX still get huge traffic from China. Interestingly, the major portion of this participation is attributed to the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) sector.

Anisha Pandey

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