There have been a few court cases involving cryptocurrency. To show the argumentation of the court, we want to point out two recent judgements:
In a larceny case tried by the Zhejiang Taizhou Court,176
the defendant stole the password of the victim's trading platform account, changed the account linked to the trading platform and then transferred the resulting funds (70.96 bitcoins; ca. RMB 220'971) to his own bank account. The defendant argued that bitcoin was a virtual commodity and thus not subject to the criminal target of larceny. The court finally ruled that bitcoin was not only a specific virtual commodity, but that it also represents the victim's property which should be protected by the criminal laws.
The Jiangsu Nanjing Court177
tried a civil case as follows: The plaintiff instructed the defendant to invest an amount of RMB 53,040 to buy the equipment to go into mining. For various reasons, the plaintiff later on could not exchange the DK coins given to him by the defendant into FIAT and thus claimed that the defendant did not return her debt. The court considered that, (a) a debt in connection with coins is considered illegal and not protected by the law; (b) DK coin is considered a virtual currency and not a real currency; (c) DK coin as special virtual commodity does not have the same legal status as a legal currency and should thus not be used in the market. Although it is the citizens' freedom to invest/exchange DK coins or similar, such act shall not be protected by the law. The court finally dismissed the case.