A member of the Bank of China Law Research Association says sporadic bitcoin (BTC) trading isn’t illegal in the country despite the trading ban enacted in 2017. This new revelation by cnLedger, a cryptocurrency news source that focuses on China, begs the question of what Chinese law enforcement and regulators would deem “occasional BTC trading.”
Occasional Bitcoin Trading Allowed in China
In a series of tweets posted by cnLedger on May 21, 2019, the Chinese news source said that there were no laws against the occasional bitcoin exchange between individuals. The tweets cited statements made by Sa Xiao to local news media outlet BJ News.
1/ “It is legal to own bitcoins in China” says Sa Xiao, Council Member at Bank of China Law Research Association, cited by The Beijing News. Besides, Xiao considers occasional exchange of bitcoins between individuals and individuals is legal
Source(in CN): https://t.co/lQRaBECcIC
— cnLedger (@cnLedger) May 22, 2019
Xiao, a Council Member of the Bank of China Law Research Association, said that the country’s bitcoin ban didn’t outlaw the exchange of virtual currency between individuals. According to Xiao, cryptocurrencies being digital property means that owners have the right to trade amongst themselves.
However, cnLedger also reported that BTC trading businesses that resulted in “serious losses” to customers would attract punishment according to the existing provisions in China’s criminal law code. BJ News highlighted one such case where an alleged scammer defrauded more than 100 traders, disappearing after the crime.
The available reports failed to provide any clear guideline of what could be constituted as an occasional exchange of bitcoin between individuals.
Legal Status of Bitcoin in China
Since banning initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency trading in September 2017,