Singapore International Commercial Court’s Ruling in First Virtual Currency Trial

02 May 2019 CaseWatch

The much awaited decision of Singapore’s first reported virtual currency trial is out: the Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”) held that the operator of a currency exchange platform was liable for breach of contract and breach of trust when it reversed trades of certain virtual currencies made at a highly abnormal exchange rate by an electronic market maker (B2C2 Ltd v Quoine Pte Ltd [2019] SGHC(I) 03).

The SICC made two interesting holdings on novel issues:

  • Cryptocurrencies, although not legal tender, have fundamental characteristics of intangible property and can be treated as property that may be held on trust; and
  • When raising an argument of unilateral mistake to render trading contracts void or voidable where algorithmic trading is involved, an important factor to consider is the state of mind of the programmer of the software at the time of writing the relevant part of the software. This update takes a look at the salient points of the SICC’s decision.

If you would like information and/or assistance on the above or any other area of law, you may wish to contact the partner at WongPartnership that you normally deal with or any of the following partners:

Joint Head – Commercial & Corporate Disputes Practice
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LAM Chung Nian
Head – Intellectual Property, Technology and Media, Telecommunications and Data Protection Practices
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TIAN Sion Yoong
Partner – Financial Services Regulatory Practice
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