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ABLI-SAL Cryptoasset Series – Cryptoassets and Property Law (Singapore edition)

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ABLI-SAL Cryptoasset Series – Cryptoassets and Property Law (Singapore edition)

Author: Dr Jason Allen
Associate Professor of Law, Yong Pung How School of Law, Singapore Management University, Singapore;
Partner, Stirling & Rose Digital Law, Australia

Asian Business Law Institute and Singapore Academy of Law

November 2022

Please contact for queries relating to this publication. 

Tackling the question of all questions, i.e. whether cryptoassets are property in the eyes of the law, this 84-page report:
  • considers evolving definitions that impact dealing in various forms of cryptoassets;
  • delves into how the courts in Singapore are shaping the contours of case law in this largely unregulated space;
  • analyses gaps in judicial responses and the existing statutory framework for treating cryptoassets as property; and
  • puts forward options to better address those gaps.
With internal and external hyperlinks that direct readers to relevant resources at one-click, this report is easy to navigate and suitable for legal and non-legal professionals alike.

Table of Contents

Understanding cryptoassets

Legal definition of cryptoassets

Working definition of cryptoassets

Understanding property law in Singapore

Real property

Personal property

Data and information

Intellectual property

Understanding cryptoasset judgments by the Singapore courts

B2C2 Ltd v Quoine Pte Ltd

CLM v CLN and Others

Janesh s/o Rajkumar v Unknown Person (“CHEFPIERRE”)

Other Singapore decisions

Understanding the importance of the cryptoasset judgments

Understanding the problems

The traditional dichotomy

The Ainsworth test

Possessing cryptoassets

Cryptoassets as documentary intangibles

Cryptoassets as choses in action

A third category of personal property

Statutory interpretation

Understanding the options

Option 1. Make no change to the common law

Option 2. Expand the existing categories of choses in action and choses in possession

Option 3. Articulate a third category of personal property




Regulatory guidance

White papers

Secondary sources

Other materials

Appendix A – Definition of cryptoassets around the world
Appendix B – Use of “chose in action” or “thing in action” in Singapore statutes
Appendix C – Use of “personal chattels” in Singapore statutes
You will get a PDF (3MB) file