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7 Cryptocurrencies as Property in Civilian and Mixed Legal Systems

Daniel Carr

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: 13 April 2024

Electronic money — Currency

This chapter examines how the forms of property analyses in civil law and mixed legal sytems would need to be adapted to accommodate the cryptocurrency as an object of property (res). It first considers whether cryptocurrencies would count as objects of property, whether it is appropriate to treat them as ‘currency’ or ‘money’, and how they could be accommodated in a legal regime that categorises res as either tangible things or intangible rights. It then asks whether the incorporeal form of cryptocurrencies should be subordinated to their function and purpose, whether the law of possession will be directly applicable to cryptocurrencies, and how the civil law requirement of specificity could be satisfied by the cryptographic uniqueness of cryptocurrencies. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of recognising cryptocurrencies as res, focusing on questions of ownership, vindication and possessory actions, acquisitive prescription and original acquisition.

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