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THAT NEW CHESTNUT—THE PROPRIETARY STATUS OF BITCOINS

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

THAT NEW CHESTNUT—THE PROPRIETARY STATUS OF BITCOINS

Jeremiah Lau*

AA v Persons Unknown
Are Bitcoins1 property? In AA v Persons Unknown,2 the High Court of England and Wales held that Bitcoins are property for the purpose of granting an interim proprietary injunction. Bryan J’s judgment stands out as one of the most reasoned judgments3 on the issue thus far. However, with respect, it does not quite go far enough to make good on its conclusion. It has removed a prominent argument standing in the way of recognising Bitcoins as property. Unfortunately, this was a missed opportunity to demonstrate a convincing positive case for why they should be considered property. It was also a missed opportunity to question the appropriateness of asking whether Bitcoins are property simpliciter, as opposed to asking more pointed questions.
Case and comment

379

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