HomeAltcoin NewsChinese Court: ETH Is Not a Currency but a General Property

Chinese Court: ETH Is Not a Currency but a General Property


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Despite the country’s nationwide ban on cryptocurrencies, a District Court in Shanghai has ruled that Ether (ETH) should be treated as general property and falls within the protection of the law.

 A Case Going Back and Forth

The Shanghai Hongkou District People’s Court was seized with a case involving a transaction of 20 ETH across multiple parties.

Reportedly, before the country banned initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency transactions, a technology company in Beijing launched an ICO raising Ethereum and Bitcoin. The plaintiff in the case is an investor, who is seeking a refund of 20 ETH that he had invested in the defendant’s ICO.

Purportedly, after the country instituted the ban on cryptocurrencies, the defendant initiated a refund of the 20 ETH. However, due to an “operational error,” the ETH was sent to a wrong account that was different than that of the plaintiff. The latter is now seeking monetary reparation for the damages he has sustained, arguing that the third-party which received the ETH did so without any merit, hence constituting unjust enrichment.

ETH is Property

In its findings, Shanghai Hongkou District People Court has laid out a few key points, among which most notably is the following:

Although the state does not recognize the monetary attributes of so-called “virtual currency” such as the Taikoo currency, it does not deny that the Ethereum is generally protected by the law as a property in the general legal sense.

This seems like another legislative victory for cryptocurrency proponents, following the news of earlier this month that the country allows evidence authentication through blockchain-based technologies.

Despite the country’s continuous clampdown on cryptocurrencies, traders in China are working hard to continue being a part of the field, using an array of creative ways to stay involved.

What do you think of the district court’s arguments regarding cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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