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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Briefings

Do we now have crypto certainty under English law?

18 January 2020

Cryptoassets are capable of being property which can be owned and smart contracts can be legally enforceable, says a Legal Statement published by the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of the LawTech Delivery Panel (UKJT) earlier this year. While the Legal Statement is not binding, it will give market participants greater certainty around crypto transactions.

The Legal Statement confirms our view expressed earlier this year that cryptoassets are capable of being owned and transferred as property under English law, reflecting that existing cryptoassets (for example Bitcoin) are already universally dealt with in this way – i.e., there is not, and should not be, any such thing as a “law of cryptoassets.” The Legal Statement also confirms that smart contracts are capable of constituting binding legal contracts.

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