According to CnLedger, a trusted news source for crypto currencies in China, domestic merchants are now able to legally accept Bitcoin and other cryptos as payment methods.
According to local reports, the Shenzhen International Arbitration Court has officially recognized Bitcoin as a property so that individuals and businesses can own and transfer Bitcoin without conflict with existing financial regulations.
The Chinese court has confirmed that Bitcoin is protected by law. Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration ruled on a case involving cryptos. The verdict states:
Chinese law does not prohibit the possession and transfer of Bitcoins, which should be protected by law because of their property and economic value.The distribution and payment of Bitcoin in China is not officially illegal.
Katherine Wu, a crypto researcher at Messari, translated and analysed court documents published by the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration to address the rationale behind the arbitrator’s decision to treat Bitcoin as property.
Essentially, Wu explained that due to Bitcoin’s decentralised nature, which provides financial freedom and economic value to the owner, the asset can be recognised as property.
The court stressed that regardless of the legality of Bitcoin and other major crypto currencies, the circulation and payment of Bitcoin is not illegal. This means that merchants can freely accept crypto currencies as a payment method without violating local law.
In the opinion of the arbitral tribunal, Bitcoin’s circulation and payment, whether or not Bitcoin is legal, is not illegal. Bitcoin does not have the same rights as Fiat, but that does not mean that holding or paying with Crypto is illegal.
Earlier this month, China’s oldest technology magazine Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR), a respected media company in the country, published its plans to accept Bitcoin for its annual subscription to promote the use of blockchain and practical applications of the dominant crypto currency.
BSTR announced that from 2019 the annual subscription to its magazine will be sold at a price of 0.01 BTC worth approximately $65. If BTC’s price were to rise significantly in the future, the magazine stated that it would compensate its customers accordingly.
Several hotels in China’s major cities have also begun to accept crypto currencies, one of which has called itself the Ethereum Hotel, offering benefits and discounts to those paying for their Ethereum services.
What does this show about China in relation to Crypto?
Given China’s optimistic attitude towards blockchain technology and positive comments from government agencies on the sector, it has become clearer that the government has probably imposed a blanket ban on crypto currency trading to prevent the devaluation of the Chinese yuan and limit market speculation.
But overall, the government remains open to crypto and the use of the blockchain to improve existing infrastructures and problems related to software and data billing.