The Shanghai High People’s Court recognized Bitcoin as a virtual asset that is protected by Chinese law. The court recognized that cryptocurrencies have economic value, in a lawsuit that set a precedent.
Despite China's ban on cryptocurrencies trading, it is taken into account as an important unit of economic value. The Shanghai High Court has ruled that Bitcoin qualifies as a virtual asset protected by Chinese law, Bitcoin.com reports, citing a Chinese news agency.
Last week, the court's official Wechat channel posted a notice stating that it had formed a unanimous opinion on the legal status of Bitcoin.
“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.”
The court explained that Bitcoin “has a certain economic value and conforms to the property’s attributes, the legal rules of property rights are applied for protection.”
The announcement marks the first time that a higher court in China has ruled on a Bitcoin case. The court's statement refers to the case of Mr. Cheng Mou who filed a lawsuit with the Shanghai Baoshan District People’s Court on October 10, 2020, demanding that Mr. Shi Moumou return his one Bitcoin.
After the trial, the court ruled on February 23, 2021, that Mr. Shi must pay Mr. Cheng Mou his 1 BTC within 10 days of the decision. However, Mr. Shi refused to make payment, prompting Mr. Cheng Mou to seek further damages from the local court system. Subsequently, the Baoshan court agreed to mediate between the two parties.
A lawyer at Beijing-based law firm Deheng told local media that the high court’s statement would go a long way as a reference ruling for Bitcoin-related civil disputes in the Shanghai area.
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