A Chinese court has officially recognized virtual assets as legal properties protected by law . This decision was made irrespective of the blanket ban on cryptocurrencies imposed by Beijing in 2021.

The People’s Court Report

The People’s Court in China has released a comprehensive report that delves into the legal aspects of virtual assets. This report, titled “Identification of the Property Attributes of Virtual Currency and Disposal of Property Involved in the Case,” is a pivotal document that reaffirms the legal status of virtual assets.

The report unequivocally states that, under the current legal policy framework, virtual assets are considered legal property and are entitled to protection under the law. This recognition is a significant departure from the previous ban on foreign digital assets. Moreover, it asserts the rights of individuals holding virtual assets.

It’s important to note that the People’s Courts of the People’s Republic of China operate independently. It is free from interference by administrative or public organizations. These courts handle a wide range of cases, including criminal, civil, administrative, and economic disputes.

Managing Crimes Involving Virtual Assets and Evolving Chinese Policy

The report confirms the legal standing of virtual assets and also offers recommendations for dealing with crimes related to them. In cases where money and property are involved, and confiscation isn’t feasible, the report suggests a unified approach blending criminal and civil law. This approach further aims to strike a balance between protecting personal property rights and safeguarding social and public interests.

Notably, China’s stance on cryptocurrencies has evolved over the years. Despite the blanket ban on crypto-related activities and foreign exchanges, Chinese courts have taken a more favorable view of Bitcoin and other digital assets.

In September 2022, a legal expert asserted that crypto holders in China are entitled to legal protection in cases of theft, misappropriation, or breaches of loan agreements. This position further underscores the growing recognition of individual rights in the crypto space.

Bitcoin as Virtual Property and Changing Tides

Furthermore, in May 2022, a Shanghai court made a landmark ruling, declaring Bitcoin as virtual property and thus subject to property rights. This recognition further solidified the legal status of cryptocurrencies in China.

China’s historically hostile stance towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has been well-documented. However, recent developments further suggest a softening of this stance. Notably, China’s Bitcoin mining share, which had dropped to zero post-blanket ban, has made a remarkable comeback, securing the second spot within a year.

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