In what will come as pleasant news to the bitcoin community, China has said that it is not illegal to own bitcoin in China.
Local news portal, The Beijing News, quoted Sa Xiao, Council Member at Bank of China Law Research Association as saying, “It is legal to own bitcoins in China.” Xiao stated that occasional exchange of bitcoins between individuals and individuals is legal.
Xiao also opined that if one runs BTC trading as a business and has caused significant customer losses w/ serious consequences, the possibility of punishment according to criminal law (225#4 Other illegal business practices that seriously disrupt market order) cannot be ruled out.
1/ “It is legal to own bitcoins in China” says Sa Xiao, Council Member at Bank of China Law Research Association, cited by The Beijing News. Besides, Xiao considers occasional exchange of bitcoins between individuals and individuals is legal
Source(in CN): https://t.co/lQRaBECcIC
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) May 22, 2019
In China, the stance on bitcoin has been very inconsistent. While one faction of the government stated that bitcoin was illegal and companies such as WeChat and Alipay disabled cryptocurrency payments on their platforms.
As earlier reported by Crypto-News India, the reality was that owning and transferring Bitcoin was never banned by China in the first place. The ban was over BTC trading, and operating of cryptocurrency exchanges that facilitate BTC trade. That ban still continues to be in place. In short, there’s no change of positions.
Apart from that, a court in China, had stated that although, bitcoin’s legality is not clear in China, “bitcoin return contract concluded between private individuals does not violate the mandatory provisions of the legal and regulatory effects and should not be considered invalid. Chinese laws and regulations do not prohibit privately held and legally transferred bitcoin.”
Xiao’s statement came about when the The Beijing News reported a case which involves 100+ users who were scammed of 7000+ BTC. The scammer claimed they would borrow users’ BTC to arbitrage between exchanges and distribute profits back to users. However scammer disappeared after users’ last large deposit.