The court’s verdict makes use of virtual assets criminal and stipulates heavy prison sentences and penalties.
The Supreme People’s Court, the apex court in China, on Thursday ruled that transacting virtual assets is “illegal fundraising.”
The Supreme Court rulingIncludes amendments to the previous designations of articles on crypto transactions.
In one of the amendments, item 8 of Article 2 encompasses “illegal fundraising by way of online lending, investment in shares, [and] virtual currency transactions,” the court ruled.
The court’s decision gives authorities the power to prosecute suspects and apply necessary penalties.
The court stated that those who are suspected of engaging in illegal fundraising could face prosecution under Article 176. criminal law. Illegally handling large amounts money can result in three to ten year imprisonment, and a fine of RMB50,000 to RMB500,000 (or $7,900-$79,000).
For charges involving lesser amounts, suspects could be sentenced to up to three years in jail. Additional fines range from 20,000 to 200,000 RMB (roughly between $33,160 and $31,600).
The ruling details indicate that the amendments will take effect on March 1st.
China banned crypto trading and mining in 2021, doing so in a crackdown that reinforced what the country’s regulators had already put in place in previous years.