The London Arbitration Court, part of the High Court of England, recognized Bitcoin as property. The decision was made as part of a hearing on the theft of 100 BTC.
Decrypt, a preliminary court decision, was the first such precedent, and if ratified in the future, it will make it easier for victims of hacking and fraud to file claims for damages.
The decision was made in the case of Liam Robertson, CEO of Alphabit Cryptocurrency Fund, managing $ 195 million. Robertson claimed to have lost $ 1 million in BTC fraud last month. The London Arbitration Court issued an Asset Freeze Order. which ordered Coinbase to temporarily freeze stolen funds. This means that the High Court first recognized Bitcoin as legal property.
At present, according to British law, bitcoin is “data” and not property, which means that it cannot be returned in case of theft. However, Robertson’s lawyers claimed that Bitcoin is his property. Since the theft of his BTC did not entail the transfer of ownership, Robertson still “owned” the stolen coins, lawyers said.
Robertson’s lawyer Marc Jones (Marc Jones) said that such a court decision creates a legal precedent.
“If someone finds himself in a similar situation, he will be able to refer to this case and say:“ Judge, we are not asking you to do something that we have never done before – see the decision in the Robertson case against unknown persons. ”
Robertson lost 100 BTC in July this year. He claims that he was talking on the phone with the head of the algorithmic trading fund, they concluded a deal that resulted in Robertson having to transfer 100 BTC. However, this conversation was listened to by an unknown person who sent a letter to Alphabit on behalf of the director of the fund and indicated in it his cryptocurrency wallet address to which Robertson transferred funds.
Within a day, 80 BTCs owned by Robertson were on the Coinbase exchange, 15 BTC – on LocalBitcoins, 5 BTC – on a third-party wallet. Due to the fact that the court recognized the cryptocurrency as property, the exchange froze the stolen coins, and Robertson received its bitcoins from Coinbase this Tuesday. Robertson said his lawyers plan to do the same in order to recover the remaining 15 BTC with LocalBitcoins and 5 BTC, which are stored in a cold wallet.
Now, the court is awaiting consultation with a working group led by industry representatives and supported by the UK government, which is working on whether to ratify bitcoin as property or not. They are planning
publish your report later this summer.
The UK is actively addressing the issue of cryptocurrency regulation Recall that in late July, the UK FCA released
crypto asset management guide.