Dismissing the lawsuit from the Kyoto resident who wanted a refund from Mt. Gox the Japanese court has admitted that Bitcoin are ‘not subject to ownership’. The local newspapers report that the Kyoto resident used to have 458 Bitcoins in the company account which is equal to ¥31 million. However, he lost all of them as Mt. Gox went bankrupt in February last year.
Interesting the appellant did not hire any attorney; instead, went on his own to put his lawsuit which has now been dismissed by Presiding Judge Masumi Kurachi who held that Bitcoin can hardly be referred to tangible assets. The Civil Code provides ownership only for palpable entities subject to control.
According to the Judge “Bitcoin is more like a slippery asset because transactions between users are structured in such a way that calls for the involvement of a third party”. Soon after the lawsuit was dismissed by the judge a number of disgruntled voices have started coming up from various section who think this is incorrect on the part of the judiciary.
According to those who disagree with the dismissal of the lawsuit though Bitcoin turned out to be much more complicated and ambiguous issue, the Japanese law should seriously consider the definition of Bitcoin facing quite a number of lawsuits against Mt. Gox. The lawsuit was dismissed without giving consideration to the nature of cryptocurrencies.
Need to Change the Law to Recognize Bitcoin as an Asset
Though presiding Judge Masumi Kurachi explained that Bitcoin can hardly be referred to tangible assets, the problem of Bitcoin regulation has been existing before although obviously wasn’t paid enough attention. Additionally, as the situation when Bitcoins are considered to be impossible to own is incorrect.
The law does not seem to understand how patently wrong. For instance, a person can buy products and items with Bitcoin, sell with Bitcoin then how cannot he own it. The law not just in Japan but elsewhere also seems to not be able to adapt with the changing financial technologies that are all set to disrupt the existing financial system.
For instance, Bitcoin’s contribution to the development of Bitcoin industry for 2015 has already exceeded that of 2014 ($375.4 million to $339.4 million). The number of new Bitcoin companies increased by 80%. These facts serve as an evidence of great interest in the sphere. However problems remain that judiciary and the financial regulators are still living in 20th century.
To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at firstname.lastname@example.org