Cryptocurrencies as Property: Ruscoe and Moore v Cryptopia Limited (In Liquidation)  NZHC 728
15 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 17, 2020
On 8 April 2020, Gendall J, sitting in the High Court of New Zealand, decided Ruscoe and Moore v Cryptopia Limited (In Liquidation), providing the most recent and authoritative common law statement in the world on whether a cryptocurrency is property. The case provides significant guidance for any jurisdiction, common or civil, faced with determining whether cyrptocurrencies are property. This note outlines the approach taken to ‘the property question’ by Gendall J, in four parts. Part I introduces the property question. Part II provides a brief overview of blockchain and the nature of cryptocurrencies. Part III briefly recounts Gendall J’s reasons for the judgment concluding that cryptocurrencies are property. Part IV offers some brief reflections on the implications of the decision for property and for the relationship of property to contract.
Keywords: cryptocurrency, property, Ruscoe and Moore v Cryptopia Limited (In Liquidation)
JEL Classification: K11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation