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Dutch Court Says Bitcoin Isn’t Money, But a Medium of Exchange

Avatar Jayanand Sagar 5 years ago

A court in Overijssel, Netherland has said that bitcoin is not money, but rather a medium of exchange, according to a report from Tweakers.

The conclusion comes from a case against a person who promised to pay a fee for the delivery of bitcoins, but says that only part of the bitcoins were actually supplied.

According to a rough translation, the complainant paid 22,000 euros for 2750 bitcoin, but says he only received 990. Thereafter, the lawsuit was starts, and as such the definition of what money is came into question.

(Given the amount that was to be paid in exchange for the amount of bitcoins, this is likely to have happened in late 2012, early 2013 – before the massive price spike.)

Should bitcoin have been considered money in the view of the court, then the complainant would likely have the right to 130,000 euros, given the fact that the exchange rate had gone up considerably since the deal was made.

But since the court has considered bitcoin to be merely a medium of exchange (which many would consider as money), the defendant was forced to pay damages of 1760 euros in addition to legal fees of 2700 euros.

The court in Overijssel says that bitcoin is not “common” money, nor is it legal tender.

The question of whether bitcoin is truly money has been widely debated, but many in the community would agree that a medium of exchange is money.

Could the court have determined bitcoin wasn’t money because it isn’t tangible? There’s likely to be a ton of disagreement on this one, we reckon. What do you make of it?

You can read the original post here (Dutch).

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