November 14, 2023

Stealing NFTs Became Crime in China

NFTs in China

NFTs in China

The Chinese government has recently declared that individuals found guilty of stealing NFTs, including digital treasures, will be charged with criminal offenses.

The statement also mentioned that the theft of digital collections will be assessed along with other associated crimes committed during the heist, such as hacking into computer systems and data theft.

New laws have been introduced that state that digital collectibles like NFTs can be considered online virtual property because of their unique codes, non-tamperable features, and comprehensive transaction information.

Given that the Chinese government outlawed all crypto-related transactions and activities in late 2021, the Chinese government referring to digital collections as “network virtual property” is a significant milestone.

“The theft of digital collections violates the protection law and interests of the crime of illegally obtaining computer information system data,” the Chinese government said in its statement. “Since property is the object of property crime, digital collections can become the object of property crime. If the digital collection is stolen by intrusion into the system or other technical means, the act also damages the property law.”

According to the statement, China has not yet developed a “secondary flow market” for digital collections. However, consumers can still use trading platforms to buy, acquire, transfer, or dispose of these assets, ensuring complete ownership and control.

This year, there has been a surge in civil cases involving cryptocurrency in China. However, different courts have produced conflicting verdicts, with some confirming the legal protection of virtual assets while others claiming the opposite. In May, Chinese prosecutors revealed their intention to clamp down on “pseudo-innovations” in the country’s NFT business.

Although there are restrictions, there has been a rise in the demand for NFTs in China. The state-owned newspaper, China Daily, announced last month the development of its own NFT platform and metaverse, which will be launched next year.

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