A German Court Verdict Alters BTC’s Official Position

A local BTC trader was arrested for working with the likes of BTC without a license from BaFin. The Berlin-Tiergarten condemned the accused, but the ruling was revoked by the Court of Appeal.


The repealing of the verdict was due to the fact that the position of BTC was not inferred correctly by BaFin. The repealed verdict was supported by the fourth Criminal Division, which stated that BTC was not in sync with banking laws, and yet the regulators expanded the range of criminal law to match it.

German Law System Considers BTC an Unknown Entity

The appellate court declared that the currency is not issued by any public authority and as such it’s unrecognizable and it does not have a steady comparable rate. According to KWG’s Section 1(11), this prevents it from being identified as a financial instrument. This contrasts with what BaFin contended in May 2018.

The court also said that as per Section 1(32), the trading of BTC does not require licenses and therefore it ruled that this was not a crime, according to Section 1(54). Hence, BaFin cannot punish the accused. Finally, the Court of Appeal censured BaFin for trying to amend criminal laws and crossing into federal authoritative jurisdiction.

The Expansion of Conflicts in Regulations

The recent judgment has left the position of bitcoin unclear in a legal sense and intensified the conflicting accounts of how BTC law is understood and used across Europe. While the EU had allowed taxing the digital currencies companies, projects, and revenues in 2016; it did not state an identification of cryptocurrencies in general. Some European countries made BTC legal, but the currency was never regulated on a scope that includes all of Europe.

After this recent court verdict, it is impossible for BaFin to criminalize the trading or usage of cryptocurrencies until it amends the KWG. Until then, bitcoin and its likes will follow European rules.

The President of blockchain service Bitwala, which is run out of Berlin, Germany, Mr. Minckwitz has stated that all of Europe should see eye to eye in order to be able to produce a comprehensive BTC bill. He said that since digital economics function across borders, clear rules should provide equal opportunities and should be set in a unanimous manner across the EU. The fact that every country has its own regulations is a hindrance to innovation in the industry.

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