While most of the world now understand that Bitcoin is a viable currency, there are still those that attempt to deny its influence. What’s going to make the argument of Bitcoin opposers even weaker are new reports that are emerging from the Netherlands. Through a lengthy legal case, a court has classified Bitcoin as a commodity that carries “transferable value”. The case surrounded an amount of “owed” Bitcoin, with the judging ruling in favor of a claimant that was owed 0.591 BTC.
Small case, big implications
The claim was brought against Koinz Trading BV – a company that supposedly “buys and sells Bitcoin” – by Mr. J.W. de Vries last month. He believed that the company owed him 0.591 BTC, with the case having already progressed through a Midden-Nederland lower court. The outcome was that Koinz Trading BV was ordered to pay Mr. J.W. de Vries the value of the claim – which equaled mining proceeds in the amount owed to the claimant – or face a stern €10,000 penalty payment.
Establishing property right
As the company failed to pay the money outstanding, the case was escalated to further court proceedings. Koinz Trading BV lost the subsequent case, with the court now taking an extreme stance on the company’s practices. The judge has ruled that should the company fail to comply and pay the outstanding balance it will be ruled insolvent. During the case, the court was quick to state that Bitcoin exhibits all the attributes of a “property right”, which means that it should be dealt with as a legitimate currency that has “transferable value”.
Taking a serious turn
Obviously, the purpose of the case wasn’t to declare whether Bitcoin is a transferable value product or not. The outcome was that the court ruled that there was a legal and binding contract between Koinz Trading BV and Mr. J.W. de Vries. It was declared that since the original transaction occurred in BTC, the court awarded amount should be returned in the same exact same format. After all was said and done, the court deemed that Koinz Trading BV had a legal duty to pay Mr. J.W. de Vries, otherwise a winding-up order would be pursued – effectively closing the company.
Battling against the critics
The bigger picture in this particular case is that the Dutch court is now taking steps towards recognizing Bitcoin as a currency. This is landmark case when you consider that the rest of Europe is taking a much more negative stance towards the cryptocurrency market. Recently the G20 Financial Stability Board implied that cryptocurrency should qualify as an asset instead of a currency, with the related document stating that it “lacks the traits of sovereign currencies.” It appears that the British government is taking the harshest view on Bitcoin right now. Last month Mark Carney (Governor of the Bank of England) declared that he thought cryptocurrency had been a “failure thus far”, believing that “nobody uses it as a medium of exchange.”
Bitcoin finds a foothold
Bitcoin has been riding a huge wave of momentum with regards to acceptance, as more countries seem to be coming around to the idea of cryptocurrency in general. Even though certain corners of Europe are still fighting against the crypto movement, this recent Dutch case shows that – at least in a civil court setting – Bitcoin is rightfully recognized as a legitimate currency with transferable value.