A Chinese court in Shenzhen City has recently handed down a judgment in an Ethereum theft case. Where he ruled that the token is protected by law as a legal asset with “economic value”, and that Chinese citizens are not prohibited from owning or transferring it.
Chinese court ruling
According to the 8btc news portal, the defendant Li took over as Blockchain Engineer from Xinyijia company in Shenzhen in March 2019.
In April 2019, Li participated in the project called “Haode Star”, jointly developed by the company Xinyijia and the victim Haode Trade Co., Ltd. Therefore, Li mastered the private key and the payment password of the project “Haode Star “
In this sense, Li resigned from the Xinyijia company on May 31 of the same year, since in a personnel evaluation he counted as unqualified during the trial period.
Dissatisfied with the resignation, on June 20, 2019, he used the private key and the payment password of the project “Haode Star” that he had mastered, and entered the Haode company account in imToken.
ImToken is an encrypted trading platform over the mobile Internet. By this time Li steals 3 ETH and 4 million Haode coins. On July 15 of the same year, Li again steals 0.4 ETH from the account. After that, the defendant transfers the stolen Haode coins to his account at imToken and OKEX.
According to the transaction logs provided by Haode Trade, the value of the allegedly stolen ETH was over 6,000 Chinese yuan, which is equivalent to $ 846. According to the report, the defendant has returned all of Haode’s coins and the 0.4 ETH he took.
In addition to paying the plaintiff 5,536.99 yuan, he is sentenced to seven months in prison and a 2,000 yuan fine.
There are two ways to get ETH. Many people buy Ethereum by paying the corresponding fiat money. The other way occurs in mining. As a consequence, ETH has both an objective exchange value and a subjective use value.
Chinese courts place a value on Ethereum property, that is, a legal asset. Because people own it, there is no reason to deny the value of the crypto asset. In this sense, the Chinese court declares Ethereum as a legal asset with economic value.
Despite declaring this ruling on behalf of Ethereum, this is not the first time that a Chinese court has ruled that crypto is property. In 2018, the Shenzhen International Arbitration Court ruled in favor of protecting a “wealth transfer agreement” involving Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Diamond.
That same year, the Shanghai Hongkou District Court determined that ETH was a property protected by Chinese law. Although China does not recognize the monetary properties of crypto assets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. The court said at the time that “We cannot deny the fact that Ethereum must be protected by law as general property.”