One country in the region just saw its Supreme Court make a landmark ruling – Bitcoin is now recognized as an asset. Last year, lower courts had decided that it was not an asset but with this new Supreme Court decision, the lower court saw its law overturned. This decision was driven by a legal battle in which a criminal tried to sell his Bitcoin holdings but the government confiscated his Bitcoin for being involved in illegal activity. Note that the government fought to win this battle as the first ruling said that despite the illicit dealings – a Mr Ahn was selling pornography on the internet – Bitcoin was not tangible.
Korean law stipulates that hidden assets range from cash to stocks and other forms of tangible assets. The view that Bitcoin is an intangible asset as it comes from digitized files more or less suggests that it is not an asset. However, this so-called intangible asset can be traded on an exchange and can be used to buy goods and services like any other true asset.
Despite this Supreme Court ruling being driven by coin exchanges of an imprisoned porn salesman who is spending 18 months behind bars, the big picture means that Bitcoin has reached a level of legitimacy. And it changes the landscape for future decisions on ICOs and other uses of cryptocurrencies as lawmakers struggle with this new digital asset. The trading of coins and of course the issuance will now meed a more proactive authority that clearly understands that the Supreme Court has ruled that Bitcoin is, after all, an asset.