Bitcoin and public policy in the application of international arbitration
Cryptocurrencies are a fast-spreading form of transaction in the global financial system and regulators have recognized that crypto-assets are here to stay; they can support financial inclusion, provide secure payments and improve controls. However, cryptocurrency technology, with its innovative features such as decentralized nature, lack of central authority, and inherent anonymity of users, creates significant concerns in terms of tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.
The facts presented in the Court’s decision are as follows: The Applicant, residing in
The parties had agreed that any dispute between the members of the aforementioned site and any claim relating to an overdue debt concluded through the site will be resolved on the basis of an express agreement to this effect by arbitration by the internet operator. On these grounds of the arbitration agreement, an award was made by an online arbitration tribunal (located in the United States) and the
The judgment delivered under decision no. 88/2021 of the
The Court of Appeal stated that according to the Greek legal order, bitcoin is considered a “digital asset” and not a currency. It is essentially a unit of digital value that can be exchanged electronically and has no physical form. Bitcoin is created and controlled by a network of computers using complex mathematical formulas, and not by any single authority or organization.Due to its nature, the
Following the publication of the aforementioned court decision, the Greek legislators seem hesitant and observe a standby attitude by avoiding to proceed with a structured legal framework of cryptocurrencies. Further away,
Therefore, in light of all the above legislative developments, we can expect a positive approach from the Greek courts on this issue.
However, the conservative approach of the Greek court regarding the enforcement of an arbitration award related to a cryptocurrency payment may reflect similar court decisions to come in other jurisdictions. One would expect that courts in jurisdictions that lack adequate cryptocurrency regulation would indeed be inclined to refuse enforcement in similar circumstances. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it should be borne in mind that the courts of the Contracting States of the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.
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