China has passed a new law that will allow its citizens to inherit internet property, including digital currencies.
The new law was passed during a session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) which concluded recently in Beijing. During the session, the legislature adopted the country’s first-ever civil code, with President Xi Jinping promulgating it into law.
The civil code guarantees Chinese citizens protection of their rights including contract, property and inheritance. This was the first time that China’s inheritance law has been reviewed since it first came to effect over three and a half decades ago.
The amended inheritance law now states that when a person dies, “the legacy is the personal legal property left by she/he,” Lixin Yang, a professor at the Renmin University revealed. Speaking to the China Central Television, Yang stated that this will allow the citizens to inherit internet property including digital currencies and virtual gaming items.
China has greatly evolved in the past three decades and the inheritance law hasn’t been able to keep up, Yang continued. The country is now more reliant on technology and virtual items have become quite valuable.
The civil code has been in the works since 2014, Li Zhanshu, the chairman of the NPC’s Standing Committee revealed. The Committee has been collecting public opinion on the provisions that mean the most to the people. With the inclusion of the amended inheritance law in the civil code, it’s clear that Chinese citizens have high regard for virtual currencies.
The new law comes into effect on January 1, next year.
The passing of the law is a big step towards digital currencies going mainstream and gaining wider acceptance. However, the best policy is through having access to the private keys, Dovey Wan believes. The founding partner at Primitive Ventures tweeted:
China's Inheritance Law has expanded the scope of inheritance to include internet property and cryptocurrency (so Bitcoin is included)
🤔 but I would rather my Bitcoin be protected by the key itself not the law tho , the problem with law is always enforcement not legislation
— Dovey 以德服人 Wan 🪐🦖 (@DoveyWan) May 25, 2020
Digital currency inheritance is a relatively new concept, one that very few people are even aware of. However, in the event that a digital currency owner dies, it’s imperative to have a plan on how his digital currency can be accessed. This became quite clear after Gerald Cotten, the founder of QuadrigaCX exchange died. Cotten was the sole keeper of the private keys to the exchange’s $250 million digital currency wallets.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.