UK Law Commission Seeks To Recognise Crypto As Property

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The United Kingdom’s Law Commission published a consultation paper focusing on seeking to recognize crypto as property, soon after it appeared that the UK may be moving away from its goal of becoming the next crypto hub. 

The paper proposed that property rights are vital to social, economic, and legal systems. In light of this, the text argued that “property in this sense refers not to specific things themselves but to the social consensus between people as to how those things should be held, used, exchanged and protected”, further adding that “property law is default law and so should apply to transactions relating to objects of property rights unless parties exclude its operation”.

Internet Of Property Via Crypto

The UK Law Commission noted that legal property is the indispensable process that fixes and deploys capital. Henceforth, without property mankind cannot convert the fruits of its labor into fungible, liquid forms that can be differentiated, combined, divided, and invested to produce surplus value. Given this, the paper highlighted that the advancement of digital asset-related technology will exponentially expand the scope of this productive process, creating “an internet of property”. 

The paper emphasized that the internet of property via crypto may potentially facilitate more inclusive and just access to property rights and to the legal recognition and protection they provide. It stated that “Digital assets themselves enhance this process by enabling the communication of value via electronic means, which broadens the scope of and access to markets and increases the transferability, composability, and liquidity of things of value”. 

The paper added that “some digital assets (including crypto-tokens and crypto assets) are treated as objects of property by market participants. Property and property rights are vital to modern social, economic, and legal systems and should be recognized and protected”, and reforming the law to provide legal certainty would lay a strong foundation for developing and adopting digital assets”,