NFTs Can Be Considered Property, According to Singapore High Court Ruling

The judge issued this ruling as an explanation for the injunction he granted in May preventing any potential sale of a Bored Ape NFT.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2022 at 11:10 a.m. UTC
Updated Oct 31, 2022 at 5:21 p.m. UTC
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Non-fungible tokens (NFT) can be considered property, the Singapore High Court has said.

Justice Lee Seiu Kin ruled Friday that NFTs meet certain legal requirements to be considered property, such as being distinguishable from other similar assets and having an owner who can be recognized by third parties.

The judge issued this ruling as an explanation for the injunction he granted in May preventing any potential sale of a Bored Ape NFT. The Bored Ape Yacht Club is a collection of 10,000 cartoon monkeys that have often fetched prices in the realms of $150,000.

The claimant in the case used the NFT as collateral to borrow crypto from another party known by the pseudonym "chefpierre," something he had done multiple times before with other lenders. However, in the midst of discussing refinancing their loan, "chefpierre" threatened to exercise the foreclose option on the NFT unless the loan was paid back in full, which the claimant was unable to do.

The judge's decision may prove a watershed moment for NFTs should investors and traders be more confident that their status as property is recognized in law.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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