A court in China has ruled that Ethereum can now be considered a legitimate property in a country and economic worth.
Ethereum Is A Legal Property
In a new decision, a district court in China has declared that Ethereum, a cryptocurrency, is a legitimate property in the country and has an economic interest. This new decision follows other verdicts on cryptos’ legitimacy, including Bitcoin, by different courts around China. While Ethereum is not considered to be a legal tender in China, citizens have the right to keep and transfer the crypto in the same way as properties.
The Shenzhen Futian District People’s Court in Guangdong Province, China, in its recent decision, stressed that Ethereum is a legitimate property and, as such, is protected under Chinese law. In a story by a local news service, 8btc, the court reported that Chinese people are not barred from possessing or exchanging the digital currency Ethereum.
In its verdict, the Chinese court said that the properties represented by Ethereum have economic worth and can be traded publicly. Curiously, the court’s decision came to light because of the case of cryptocurrency fraud brought before the judge.
The fraud case involved a blockchain engineer, Li. He worked for a firm called Shenzhen Xinyijia Technology Co. Ltd. In April last year, Li took part in the “Haode Star” initiative, a joint venture between his company and Shenzhen Haode Trade Co. Ltd., who, in this case, is the complainant. Li had a private key and payment pin for the project.
After his probationary term on 31 May 2019, Li became disappointed with the situation. On June 20, he used the private key and payment keys of the Haode Star project to log into the Haode Trade account on the Imtoken cryptocurrency platform. Li is said to have stolen 2 Ether coins and 4 million Haode coins.
In fact, the court found that on 15 July, Li robbed an extra 0.4 ETH from the same account using company certificates. Upon acquiring ETH and Haode coins, Li moved them to his personal trading accounts at Okex and imToken.
The transaction documents issued by Haode Trade put the value of stolen ETH coins at more than 6,000 Chinese yuan ($846). Li allegedly returned all the Haode coins and the 0.4 ETH he took out of the business. He was ordered to pay 5,536,99 yuan to the complainant and was then sentenced to seven months in jail after being asked to pay a fine of 2,000 yuan.
Chinese Courts Recognize Cryptocurrencies as Legitimate Property Already
This is not the first time that the Chinese court has ruled that cryptocurrencies are legitimate assets. Two years earlier, the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration ruled in favor of upholding an equity transfer deal between Bitcoin, BCH, and Bitcoin Diamond (BCD). Also, in 2018, the Shanghai Hongkou District Court ruled that Ethereum was a commodity constitutionally covered under Chinese law. While China does not officially accept cryptocurrencies as a monetary tender, the Court acknowledged that it did not argue that Ether and other cryptos would be secured under law as general capital.