China provides official clarity on holding Bitcoins and p2p OTC trading


  • The country still prohibits Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
  • There are altogether 461 pending court cases regarding Bitcoin.

Xiao Wei, a Council Member at the Law Research Association of the Bank of China, has recently announced that Chinese citizens can safely hold Bitcoins (BTC) despite its ban in the country. The Chinese legal system strictly prohibited ICOs, but has a different perspective about the possession of cryptocurrencies and the rights associated with them:

“In 2013, China gave a clear definition of the legal nature of Bitcoin itself: a specific virtual commodity, that is, its status as a “property.” The General Principles of Civil Law, implemented on October 1, 2017, reconfirmed that virtual property is protected by Chinese Law. Xiao Wei analyzed that based on this, owning Bitcoin is legal in China.”

Likewise, OTC trading will also not be considered as a crime. According to the laws, this would be an act of “disposition of power” in which one person transfers to another an asset along with the rights associated with it. “How to dispose of it is the private right of the owner, and others have no right to interfere,” Wei explained.
 
Wei’s statement tells us that the Chinese government has a restrictive policy that seeks to reduce the activities associated with cryptocurrencies.  BJNews reported that there are altogether 461 pending court cases regarding Bitcoin.
 
However, the Chinese government has maintained its ban. Xiao Wei is in contact with other lawyers and there is a general agreement that according to the Country’s Criminal Law, non-p2p trading may fall under the Article 225, numeral 3 of the Criminal Law, “Other illegal business operations that seriously disrupt market order.” So far, almost all trials associated with cryptocurrencies in China have been the result of fraud against third parties.
 

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