The Chinese government is known to come down hard on anything they see as a threat to the nation. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were no exception. The state had placed a blanket ban in the past in order to protect the Chinese Yuan. The stance has changed with Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration overturning the ban. Property, Not Money According to the local media reports, the court recognizes Bitcoin not as a digital currency, but an asset or a property. This means people and organizations can own, trade and transfer Bitcoin just like they would any property. The clarification also means that the ruling does not come in conflict with the financial laws and regulations that are meant for money. This opens a lot of doors for the crypto community in China. Bitcoin, although still not declared a currency, has gained the same rights and protection that of a property and since it is legal to trade properties, anyone can accept crypto payments in the country. What The Court Says A crypto researcher, Katherine Wu, went over the documents released by the court and explained what happened; “Bitcoin has characteristics of a property […], can be controlled by the owner, and has economic value to the owner. It does not break any laws. This arbitrator agrees” She further analyzed, “In the arbitrator’s view, whether or not bitcoin is legal, the circulation and the payment of bitcoin is not illegal. Bitcoin does not have the same rights as fiat, but that does not mean that holding or paying with crypto is illegal” In China, many merchants have already gone cashless. Even small kiosks in China accept payments using popular payment applications, such as Tancent’s WePay. With the court declaring that holding and transferring Bitcoin legal, merchants in China now can utilize the cheap and fast payment offer of crypto transactions without fear of breaking the law. Not Just Small Merchants The ruling from the Shenzhen Court comes only a few weeks after Beijing Sci-Tech Report (BSTR), one of the oldest technology published magazine in the country said it would start accepting Bitcoin for its annual subscription. The move, according to the publishers, is to help promote blockchain technology and show off the practicality of cryptocurrencies. BSTR will be accepting 0.01 BTC (around USD 64, at time of writing). The publishing house will be fixing the price in BTC, not USD equivalent. However, it assures its readers that if has plans to compensate its readers, should the price fluctuate a lot. Ethereum Hotel is another example of big corporations accepting crypto payments in China. The Ethereum Hotel is one of many major hotels in several large Chinese cities that are accepting cryptocurrencies. Ethereum Hotel offers special discounts to patrons who pay for services in the second largest cryptocurrency. The Analysis The recent ban on cryptocurrencies and now the legal status of Bitcoin and other cryptos shows clearly that the Chinese government is open to the technological innovations by blockchain technology. The ban was clearly an attempt to protect the devaluation of Yuan and control spiraling fraud and scams in the sector that would destabilize the economy. Even with the ban, the country has acceptance of the blockchain technology and encourages its use in different applications and infrastructure, especially in database management.