March 1, 2021

El Supremo tackles a virtual currency swindle for the first time


Bitcoin is not money, but a intangible active grouper of exchange that does not have the legal consideration of money. This is what the Supreme Court (TS) in a judgment in which it supports that a businessman sentenced to two years in prison for a continued crime of fraud in the management of their clients' bitcoin must compensate them with "the money in euros that, for the deception inherent in the scam", they gave him to invest in this type of assets, plus the consequent compensation for the damages caused. that the condemned, Aythami MP, owner of the company Cloudt Trading & Devs, must face liability in bitcoins, and not in euros.

"The defendants were not stripped of bitcoins that should be returned to them," the Supreme Supreme Court said in a resolution of which Judge Pablo Llarena has been a speaker. the act of patrimonial disposition that must be compensated materialized on the money in euros"That they trusted the defendant on deposit to reinvest them in bitcoins and give them, at the end of the contract, the profits obtained in exchange for a commission. The virtual currency that is used in certain transactions on the Internet, the Supreme Court stresses, is not something "susceptible to return, since it is not a material object nor does it have the legal consideration of money".

As found by the Court of Instruction No. 17 of Madrid in the judgment under appeal, Aythami M. P. had from the outset "the intention to seize the bitcoins received without intending to fulfill their obligations." In fact, "there is no evidence" that he carried out any operation or that he returned any amount to the complainants. His only desire was "the abusive capture of the money of those he convinced."

In its first sentence for a fraud in this cryptocurrency, the court rejected the claim of the complainants that the restitution was made in bitcoins and only in case that in the execution phase of the judgment they were not returned, they were valued by agreeing the restitution of its value in euros.

The bitcoin, explains the TS, "is nothing but a unit of account of the network of the same name" and recalls that, from a public and distributed account book where all transactions are stored permanently in a database denominated Blockchain, 21 million of these units were created, which are commercialized in a divisible way through a verified computer network. For the room the cryptocurrency is therefore "an intangible asset, in the form of an account unit defined by computer and cryptographic technology called bitcoin, whose value is that each unit of account or its portion reaches by the concert of the offer and the demand in the sale of these units is made through the platforms of Bitcoin trading"

The Board makes it clear that although the price of each bitcoin "is set at the cost of the exchange made, and there is therefore no world or only bitcoin price, the amount of each unit in the different purchasing operations tends to be equal at all times " This allows it to be used "as an intangible asset for consideration or exchange in any bilateral transaction in which the contracting parties accept it". But, clarifies, "in no way is money or can have such legal consideration."

(tagsToTranslate) ricardo coarasa



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