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6 Cryptocurrencies in the Common Law of Property

David Fox

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: 15 April 2024

Electronic money — Derivatives — Currency

This chapter focuses on the characterisation and treatment of cryptocurrencies in the common law of property, using Bitcoin as the main example. It first examines how a crypto-coin might be viewed as an object of property, and more specifically whether it could make a suitable object for any regime of property rights at all, before discussing the fungibility, specificity, scarcity and exclusivity of cryptocurrencies in the context of property law. It then considers whether crypto-coins fall into either of the two conventionally recognised categories of personal property: choses in possession or choses in action. It also explores the applicability of rules of derivative transfer of title to crypto-coin transactions, and how the standard rules of following and tracing may be used for the identification and tracing of cryptocurrencies through mixtures. Finally, it looks at remedies available at common law and in equity for enforcing titles to cryptocurrencies.

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