05 Sep, 2023

Chinese Court Declares Digital Assets as Property and Protected By Law

Susan Oh
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Susan Oh
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Susan Oh is a leading figure in the integration of AI and blockchain for social good, serving as the CMO for BeOmni by Beyond Imagination and a civic technologist dedicated to creating scalable solutions. She is a board member of the Blockchain Commission For Sustainable Development supported by the UN GA Office of Partnerships, and...
Massimo Moretti
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Massimo Moretti
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Massimo, a seasoned entrepreneur, and CEO of SIGNVM Group, has an impressive 6-year history in the Web3, Crypto, and Blockchain space. His key achievements include founding a pioneering VR/AR studio in Paris and serving as Huobi Global's Business Development Director and Country Director in France. Massimo excelled at building strong partnerships with top exchanges like...
Chinese Court Crypto


  • People’s Court in China declares cryptocurrencies legally protected property that the authorities can’t confiscate.
  • The decision boosts investors’ confidence in China’s crypto market and leads to more explicit regulations for trading crypto in the country.

The Authorities Can’t Seal Virtual Assets

In a verdict, an intermediate People’s Court challenges China’s reluctance towards cryptocurrencies. Moreover, it asserts that virtual assets must be recognized as legal property protected by China’s laws.

This decision indicates a significant turnaround compared to the previous regulatory landscape. Previously, authorities attempted to restrict cryptocurrency-related activities.

China’s history with cryptocurrencies featured bans and strict regulatory measures.

However, according to the court’s decision, authorities can no longer entirely seal virtual assets from owners. Consequently, this marks a noteworthy shift in the country’s approach to cryptocurrencies.

Chinese Court Declares Crypto Legal Property
Chinese Court Declares Crypto Legal Property

At some point, the PRC’s strategic embrace of crypto technology will catch US policymakers’ attention. 

Chinese courts don’t create a legal framework around anything without the blessing of central authorities.

Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer @ Bitcoin and Crypto Exchange Coinbase

The report issued by the People’s Court proposed strategies for addressing crimes related to virtual assets. It emphasized the challenges of confiscating money and property in such cases, recommending a unified approach integrating criminal and civil law.

China’s Crypto Ban History

In 2017, China banned Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which restricted blockchain projects from generating funds. The closure of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges followed this move.

It eventually led to migrating Chinese traders and investors to offshore platforms.

The government’s stance continued to harden with time. To maintain its influence in the digital financial world, the Chinese central bank announced its plan to launch the digital Yuan as a new digital currency in 2019.

This was followed by the banning of crypto trading and mining by Chinese authorities in 2021.

These actions represented a cautious approach by Chinese authorities towards cryptocurrencies, driven by concerns about capital flight, financial stability, and potential illegal activities associated with digital assets.

Contrasting Stance of Chinese Courts and Government About Cryptocurrencies

The decision to recognize cryptocurrencies as legally protected property highlights the contrasting stance of Chinese courts regarding digital assets.