The Phantom Debtor

7 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Sjef van Erp

Sjef van Erp

Amsterdam Law School; Trento University, Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 13, 2021


It was briefly sketched that the hybrid society in which we now live, where we see our real world merging with a digital world, is affecting what constitutes a debtor’s patrimony. Next to the more traditional assets, more and more digital assets are part of a debtor’s estate. These assets may represent a considerable economic value, which is of great importance in cases of judicial enforcement. Given that these developments are fairly recent and still go on at an incredible pace, the legal problems which arise here are abundant.

Keywords: phantom debtor, patrimony, crypto-assets

JEL Classification: K11, K35, K42

Suggested Citation

van Erp, Sjef, The Phantom Debtor (September 13, 2021). Available at SSRN: or

Sjef Van Erp (Contact Author)

Amsterdam Law School ( email )

Postbus 15654
1001 ND
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND

Trento University, Faculty of Law ( email )


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