Gabriela Kennedy’s Asia Pacific column in the December issue of Computer Law & Security Review features Mayer Brown article, ‘Money for Nothing: Bitcoin Platform “Bitfinex” Hacked in Hong Kong’ by Gabriela Kennedy and Karen H.F. Lee.
Gabriela and Karen’s Hong Kong article, looks at bitcoins, a peer-to-peer digital currency, which is viewed as a virtual commodity rather than a virtual currency in Hong Kong and therefore not seen as fully fungibile. This impacts the remedies available to individuals whose bitcoins are stolen in cases such as the hacking incident on 2 August 2016 during which bitcoins worth approximately US$65 million were stolen from Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange, Bitfinex. In most countries including Hong Kong, bitcoins and bitcoin trading platforms are largely unregulated, leaving bitcoin users little recourse against bitcoin trading platforms in the event of fraud or hacking incidents. However, given the continued growth of bitcoins, it is likely the bitcoin market will begin to be regulated with more protection expressively provided to users under the law.
Gabriela is on the editorial board of Computer Law & Security Review and edits the Asia Pacific column, a country by country analysis of the latest legal developments, cases and issues relating to IT, media and telecommunications in the Asia Pacific region.