Bitcoin and Digital Assets
Bitcoin and Digital Asset Law
Digital assets are becoming more mainstream and widely accepted in the world of investing and finance. In fact, Australia has the third-highest rate of crypto adoption in the world with 17.7% or 4.6 million Australians owning cryptocurrency in 2023. Bitcoin is most widely held cryptocurrency in Australia, and the world.
Bitcoin has emerged as a legitimate asset and payment network. It has been recognised internationally as a digital asset. Larry Fink the CEO of Blackrock, which has $9 trillion US of assets under management, (the world’s largest fund manager) has described it as “digitalizing gold”. Michael Saylor, Executive Chairman of MicroStrategy, has adopted a Bitcoin Standard for his major US corporation. The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, says that Satoshi Nakamoto’s innovation is real: “It has been and could continue to be a catalyst for change in the fields of finance and money”. El Salvador has adopted bitcoin as legal tender, the first nation-state to do so.
At law, Bitcoin is properly understood as a digital property. The New Zealand High Court has accepted that Bitcoin is a form of digital property. A ‘property’ really refers to the bundle of rights that attaches to a thing. For example, the ability to transfer bitcoins on the Bitcoin network constitutes a proprietary right. We are able to provide you with advice on what bitcoin is and how to legally interact with it.
Numerous commentators and experts on the matter consider that Bitcoin will become an ever more important part of society-at-large as adoption grows. A complex topic, our lawyers have specialised knowledge in the area. Carter Dickens Lawyers are one of the country’s first law firms to adopt a Bitcoin standard (that is, holding bitcoin as a firm reserve asset) and to accept Bitcoin as payment (both on-chain and on the lightening network).
We can explain to you, or friends, family and colleagues you may refer, the following:
What is the legal status of Bitcoin;
How to accommodate Bitcoin into estate planning or administration
How the Family Court deals with Bitcoin and other digital assets.
What is bitcoin the protocol (blockchain, nodes, mining, wallets etc);
Why it is historically important as money and the comparison with fiat money;
What are the different ways to own bitcoin the property and the different hierarchy of custody arrangements;
We provide “orange pilling” i.e. Bitcoin education for professionals.
Bitcoin will likely come to for an important part of many people’s estate planning. Please see our blog article on this topic:
We can also explain Bitcoin in the context of our other practice areas such as family law.
We are part of a growing professional services network who see Bitcoin as the “true innovation”, as opposed to the ‘blockchain’ and ‘crypto’ marketed by many law firms. We are sponsors of the Australian Bitcoin Industry Body.
We do not provide specific financial advice or taxation advice however we may be able to refer you to other service providers who can do so.
How do I make sure my family gets my bitcoin when I die? Let’s say bitcoin does rocket to the moon…the last thing you want is for it to be hit by the proverbial bus and your children or other heirs...