Landmark Ruling in Hong Kong Acknowledges Cryptocurrencies as Property and Permits their Inclusion in Trusts

In a groundbreaking verdict, the Honourable Madam Justice Linda Chan has issued a ruling that acknowledges cryptocurrencies as property and effectively permits their inclusion in a trust. This ruling, which pertains to the case of Gatecoin Limited and is officially referred to as Re Gatecoin Limited [2023] HKCFI 91, notes that cryptocurrency inherently possesses all of the essential qualities of conventional property. However, it should be noted that Gatecoin Limited’s 2018 Terms and Conditions expressly stated that cryptocurrencies were not held on trust for its clientele, owing to a lack of certainty of intention. With this crucial development, Hong Kong joins several other common law jurisdictions in formally recognizing the proprietary nature of digital assets.