Bitcoin Is a Digital Asset Says Intermediate People’s Court in China

The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court publicly announced an appeal for a Bitcoin foreign property damage compensation dispute on May 6, according to Baidu news. 

The second Court trial’s findings indicated that Bitcoin is a digital asset and should be protected by the law. All Bitcoin obtained through illegal means should be returned or compensated at a discount, says the local news.  

All started with a robbery

According to the report, an international married couple in Shanghai, Pete and Xiaoli Wang, were robbed at their apartment by four people in 2018. The robbers forced the couple to transfer their crypto currencies to the attacker’s accounts. The reporter said: 

“These four used methods of controlling the couple’s mobile phones, restricting their freedom, beating and threatening them and forcing the two to transfer all the 18.88 bitcoins and 6466 sky coins they own.” 

During the first court hearing, the group of four expressed their willingness to return the Bitcoin and Skycoin obtained from Pete and Xiaoli Wang. The court sentenced the robbers to between six months and fifteen days to eight months of imprisonment for the crime of illegal detention.

The court also decided if the guilty parties were unable to return the same cryptocurrency, they should instead return local currency valued at the same price as BTC and Skycoin on June 12, 2018. 

Not off the hook that easy

However, the four refused to accept the decision. They appealed the ruling, saying that: 

“The current Chinese laws do not recognize the property attributes of Bitcoin and Skycoin, and do not regard Bitcoin and Skycoin as objects or property in the legal sense of China. Therefore, Pete and Wang Xiaoli do not have the right to request the return of property rights.”

After almost 2 years of fighting in court, the couple eventually gave up on getting their Skycoin back. They continued to insist, however, that the court order the return of their Bitcoin. The court did eventually order the four robbers to return the couple’s 18.88 BTC. 

As Cointelegraph reported previously, similar disputes have occurred in China in the past. The Chinese court in Hangzhou made the same decision, recognizing Bitcoin as virtual property.