A court in Hangzhou, China, upheld Bitcoin’s status as “virtual property.” The ruling reaffirms that Bitcoin is legal to own in China and indicates to holders that they will be protected by the country’s legal system in disputes.
The first case of Bitcoin property infringement was resolved in the Hangzhou Digital Court, as first reported by The Beijing News. The local court confirmed that the Chinese legal system recognizes Bitcoin as “virtual property” with legal protections.
Facts and circumstances behind the case
In 2013, the plaintiff purchased 2.675 BTC for 20,000 yuan ($2,900) from a store on Taobao, the leading Chinese online marketplace, allegedly operated by the defendant, Shanghai Technology Company. In 2017, the plaintiff wanted to access the funds and found the store was closed and could not contact the operator to gain possession of their Bitcoin.