The United Kingdom is now the latest nation to classify these digital currencies as property. According to The Times, a legal panel was set up to discuss the classification of cryptocurrencies. This panel was chaired by Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Gregory Vos and reached the decision that cryptocurrencies should be classified as property.
The Panel Ruling
Senior judges in the UK going by Law 360 under the auspices of a legal set up have ruled that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, in general, should be seen as property. The report went further to state that these cryptocurrencies possessed all of the features or characteristics of a property. The decision of this panel chaired by the Chancellor of the High Court further state that although these cryptocurrencies have unique features like decentralization, consensus networks, immutability, it still does not distant them from being referred to as a property in the United Kingdom.
With this panel decision classifying these cryptocurrencies as a property in the UK, they will now be treated and used like every other property. This panel decision is coming right after Isreal and China have identified and classified these cryptos as property too.
Aside from the fact that this panel decision classified these cryptos as property, it also highlights a couple of minor considerations that are required for the efficient governing of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based assets. The panel recognized private keys as a signature since it is similar to the “wet ink”.
The Need For Crypto Regulation
While speaking on the need for these minor or subtle distinctions to be applied mainstream, the Chairman on this panel Sir George clearly remarked that financial regulators and judges alike should endeavor to establish a distinction between enacting legislation and current bills passed into law.
While the UK is making effort to ensure that cryptos and other blockchain-based assets are properly regulated, the United States has called on financial regulators and judges to take a more nuanced approach towards the regulation of these cryptocurrencies. This is why the country’s tax agency, the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) have declared these cryptocurrencies to be intangible property.
A Holistic Crypto Regulation In The UK?
The panel decisions and rulings may set the center stage for the holistic regulation of cryptocurrencies in the UK. To speak on this, the Chancellor of the High Court and also the Chairman of this panel Sir George states that he hopes that the ruling of this panel will go a long way to provide the needed market confidence, predictability, and legal certainty that are currently of utmost importance to the legal and technological communities. Sir George further remarks that this legal certainty, predictability, and confidence will impact not just the legal and tech communities but the global financial industry at large.
Currently, there is no enforced or solid regulation on the buying and selling of these cryptocurrencies, however, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), the country’s number one financial watchdog is allegedly looking for ways to ban crypto derivatives.
photo sources: ©shutterstock.com by Lukasz Stefanski
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