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2 It’s Virtually Money

Sarah Green

From: Cryptocurrencies in Public and Private Law

Edited By: David Fox, Sarah Green

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 14 April 2024

Electronic money — Currency — Concept of money — Exchange control

This chapter examines whether, in the context of English private law, treating cryptocurrencies as money makes sense. It first explains what virtual currencies are and why they present challenges to existing categories before discussing their function as a universal medium of exchange, as a unit of account, and as a store of value. It then considers private law's conventional concept of money and the limitations of this, along with the implications of excluding cryptocurrencies from the definition of money for the legitimate expectations of contracting parties. In particular, it analyses the issue of whether an exchange of goods for other goods represents a barter or a sale and whether the defence of bona fide purchaser for value without notice would apply in the context of virtual currencies. The chapter concludes that there should be no distinction between fiat and virtual currencies in private law.

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