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French Court Classifies Bitcoin as Currency – The Capital

Marko Vidrih

Another good news for the cryptocurrency community came from France, where the Commercial Court in Nanterre recognized bitcoin as a currency.

According to the Les Echos publication, Bitcoin received the official status of money in France. The court decision was issued in late February, although reports about this appeared just now.

A commercial court in Nanterre recognized Bitcoin as a convertible intangible asset similar to fiat currency.

Attorney Hubert de Wauplan of Kramer & Levin said that this decision allows the legal use of Bitcoin as money. It can also stimulate an increase in the number of Bitcoin transactions in France, making the country’s cryptocurrency market more liquid.

The court made such a decision in a dispute between the French cryptocurrency exchange Paymium and the British cryptocurrency investment company BitSpread.

In 2014, Paymium lent BitSpread a certain amount of Bitcoins. When the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) coin appeared in 2017 as a result of a hard fork, all Bitcoin holders received a BCH in the ratio of 1:1. The question arose whether BitSpread should return the Paymium BCH companies that appeared in the borrower’s Bitcoin wallet.

To resolve the dispute, the court had to deal with Bitcoin’s legal nature and, after defining Bitcoin as a fungible asset, identified Bitcoin lending as a consumer loan. With this type of loan, ownership of the property is transferred to the borrower during the term of the loan.

For this reason, the court declared the Bitcoin cash tokens to be the property of the borrower, just as dividends belong to the shareholders of a share certificate. Based on this court decision, future loan contracts in cryptocurrency could result in clauses for the return of additional assets created by a fork.

More recently, Germany became the first country in Europe to assign Bitcoin legal status, recognizing it as “private money” and “financial instrument”. The very first country in the world to accept Bitcoin was Japan, which almost three years ago legitimized it as a payment instrument.

Author: Marko Vidrih

Featured image credit: Freepik

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