Singapore Court Recognizes Crypto as Property During Bybit lawsuit
Summary: A Singapore High Court ruling has acknowledged cryptocurrencies as property that can be kept in trust. Judge Jeyaretnam ruled the above point in a dispute between Bybit and ex-employee Ho Kai Xin. The ruling ruled that stolen USDT and other cryptocurrencies are property, as their physical manifestation changes with every transaction.
Until the end of the year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has been pressing Singaporean crypto service providers to place client funds in a statutory trust. A new High Court judgement in Singapore will now shape the future of cryptocurrencies. The Singapore High Court has acknowledged cryptocurrencies as a kind of property that may be kept in trust.
Ruling in Favor of Bybit
Judge Jeyaretnam has ruled in the dispute filed by Bybit against its ex-employee Ho Kai Xin. Almost 4.2 million USDT were allegedly moved from the cryptocurrency exchange into the employee’s personal accounts, as reported by Bybit. Ho has claimed that a distant cousin is in possession of the relevant funds, but a court has now ordered him to repay Bybit in full.
Considered as Property
The option may seem obvious, but it really includes significant phrases that are essential to the legal status of digital assets. Judge Jeyaretnam has ruled that the stolen USDT, along with all other cryptocurrencies, is property.
The Judge stated:
“The physical manifestation at the level of digital bits and bytes is not permanent, and changes with every transaction. Nonetheless, we identify what is going on as a particular digital token, somewhat like how we give a name to a river even though the water contained within its banks is constantly changing.”
According to the ruling, virtual assets are not considered real since they cannot be physically held in the same way as, say, a car. They don’t have a unified physical self. However, Judge argued that cryptocurrencies actually manifest in the physical world, although in an invisible form.
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