Crypto-assets to be treated as property under English Law

The Chancellor of the High Court of England & Wales has released a legal statement confirming that crypto-assets such as Bitcoin and Ripple are to be treated as property under English law. This statement was based on a recent investigation by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce, and it has important consequences for succession. The Law Commission of England & Wales will now assess whether or not any legislation is needed, in order to embody this new concept in law. No other common law jurisdiction is yet believed to have made any authoritative decision on the legal status of crypto-assets and smart contracts, and Lord Justice Geoffrey Vos said that this was ‘a watershed for English law and the UK’s jurisdictions’.

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