The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) Takes Stand on Crypto Assets

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) of the Lawtech Delivery Panel published a 46-page legal statement clarifying the status of digital assets in the law.

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) reportedly declared crypto assets as a tradable property under English and Welsh law. Accordingly, smart contracts stand as enforceable agreements.

Quoting the statement: “We conclude that cryptoassets possess all the characteristics of property set out in the authorities. As far as we are aware, the proprietary status of cryptoassets specifically hasn’t yet been the subject of any authoritative decision in any common law jurisdiction.”

The legal statement by the task force focuses on providing a solid foundation for the mainstream adoption of crypto assets and smart contracts in the U.K. It will also potentially aide companies working in the crypto industry.

Why does it matter?

The UK jurisdiction taskforce statement carries significant implications for dealers of blockchain-based assets in the UK.

After all, cryptoassets don’t fall into the category of physical things or rights. Hence, whether or not they get treated as a property matters a lot. The effect also influences the status of crypto-assets under English private law. Additionally, it resolves many uncertainties in areas like tax and data protection. And helps courts indicate the extent they want to rely upon smart contracts in UK laws.

Chancellor to the High Court, the Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Vos, chair of the UKJT made comments. He said in legal terms, cryptoassets and smart contracts undoubtedly represent the future. He also hopes that the legal statement goes a long way toward providing much-needed market confidence. As well as, legal certainty and predictability in crucial areas to the technological and legal communities and to the global financial services industry.

The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce (UKJT) is one of six taskforces in the U.K., promoting the use of technology in the legal utilization of the country. Its purpose is to answer several legal questions in the field. Thus, providing a legal foundation for the future utilization of cryptoassets and smart contracts. Also, the multiple-front efforts clarify areas of great importance to both the crypto community and the financial services industry.


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