French Commerce Court Officially Classifies Bitcoin As Currency


Through a recent trial that had come up, the French court of Commerce has recently classified Bitcoin as a form of currency.

Legal Dispute Setting Precedent

Through a report that the France-based news outlet, Les Echos, made on the 5th of March, 2020, it became clear that the Commercial Court of Nanterre compared Bitcoin to fiat money. This happened during a ruling that occurred on the 26th of February, 2020. The court officially classified Bitcoin as an asset that is both fungible and interchangeable, as well as not being individualized. This puts Bitcoin within the same category of regular fiat.

The ruling itself came after a legal dispute arose between Paymium, a French crypto exchange, and BitSpread, an alternative investment firm. They disputed over loan totaling in at 1,000 BTC, or about $9.1 million, that was done back in 2014. Paymium made the loan, and is currently disputing the 1,000 BCH that BitSpread holds after the hard fork of 2017.

Lawsuit-Mandated Ruling And Implications Thereof

Due to this dispute, the court was first to address Bitcoin and where it stands in the eyes of French law. It has subsequently been classified as a fungible asset, classifying Bitcoin itself as a consumer loan. Under the definition of French law, a consumer loan encapsulates the transfer of ownership of some sort of property to the borrower for the duration of said loan.

A lawyer of Kramer & Leven, Hubert de Vauplane, gave a brief explanation regarding the implications of the court decisions that had occurred. He explained that the decision itself has a considerable effect across the country. This is due to the fact that Bitcoin is now officially treated as money or any other form of financial instrument. Thus, the trend of facilitating transactions through Bitcoin, either through repo or lending transactions, will grow considerably. This, in turn, will give a massive boost to liquidity in the cryptocurrency market.

A Slow, Steady Integration

Due to this ruling, the French court eventually ruled that the applicable Bitcoin Cash belongs to Bitspread as the borrower, quite like how dividends belong to a shareholder.

This marks an essential overall step within the global regulation of crypto. With the official ruling that Bitcoin is now a currency within French Law, it might set the trend for other countries to follow. As the world slowly starts to integrate the crypto industry within its financial sectors, it’s only a matter of time before crypto will become as common as a potato.

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      A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.