China to enforce crypto inheritance law soon

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  • China has passed a civil code into law, which protects inherited cryptocurrencies 
  • Under this code, “virtual assets, such as bitcoins, [can]be inherited,” as are all property legally acquired by an individual.
  • The new civil code will enter into force on January 1, 2021. 

China has recently passed the long-awaited civil code, which increases the scope of inheritance rights, including crypto. The third session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) voted and enforced the “Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China” just a few days back. According to a Xinhua news report, the civil code ”includes six parts on real rights, contracts, personality rights, marriage and family, inheritance, and tort liabilities” in addition to the general and supplementary provisions. 

The report further noted that the decision to draft a civil code was announced in October 2014 and the legislative process started in June 2016. It added: 

[The new civil code] states that the property rights of individuals are equally safeguarded to those of the State and collective, and online virtual assets are protected, too.

Wang Chen, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, told the session that:

The compilation of the civil code is an important component of the plans of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core for developing the rule of law.

The new civil code will enter into force on January 1, 2021. Under this code, “virtual assets, such as bitcoins, [can]be inherited,” as are all property legally acquired by an individual, according to the report. Wang Liming, executive vice president of the Renmin University of China and a law professor, said: 

The civil code is the first law to carry the title ‘code’ for the People’s Republic of China. It lays down the fundamental principles and regulations regarding civil activities and relations. It reflects the will of the people and protects their rights and interests.

Several courts in China have also ruled that cryptocurrencies are properties, which should be protected by law.

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