While the price of Bitcoin may have risen to just above $9,000 and stuck around there in what appears to be a bubbling market situation, the global regulatory growth of Bitcoin this week has exploded. First, there was great news in India as the Bitcoin banking ban was overturned, and then South Korea officially legalized cryptocurrency.
Now, France has followed suit in declaring that Bitcoin is a legal tender and should be treated with money. This is a big step in regulatory acceptance of the coin as this means official legal recognition of Bitcoin. Japan was one of the first countries to recognise Bitcoin as legal tender and that has led to strict, but clear, regulations around the industry in the country.
France offering the same legal clarity for cryptocurrency thanks to a court ruling offers companies operating with cryptocurrency, or offering services that relate to cryptocurrency, now have legal certainty of where they can operate.
The advancements that have been seen this week from India, France and South Korea paints a picture of recognition and acceptance of Bitcoin at the nation level, a level that will have a lot to say in the global adoption of cryptocurrencies.
When one considers that Bitcoin began its life in the mainstream as something to be sceptical of and concerned about for most regulators and governments, and now to see that there are understanding and embracing of the coin, things look bright for the future.
Having Bitcoin legalized and regulated as well as general currency means that there will be a lot of stricter rules of operation, but the operation stakes will be set and companies will know their boundaries when trying to innovate.
The decision to offer Bitcoin the same status as money came from a case between French cryptocurrency exchange Paymium and UK-based alternative investments firm BitSpread.
The French company loaned 1,000 BTC to BitSpread prior to the Bitcoin Cash hard fork in 2017. Following the chain split, the two parties both claimed the Bitcoin Cash created belonged to them.
With this asset now called into question, the court had to consider the legal nature of Bitcoin. After establishing that Bitcoin was a legitimate form of money, it ruled in favour of the borrower. More so, the reasoning saw that Bitcoin lending is the same as any other consumer loan. Therefore, ownership of the property borrowed during the loan contract transfers to the borrower.