NFTs now hold a legal status similar to property in Singapore, thanks to a high court ruling on Friday. The order refers to a May injunction case surrounding the sale of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT. The Judge confirmed that NFTs meet the legal requirements to be considered property. Therefore, the ruling will have a significant impact on NFTs in Singapore and perhaps around the world.
NFTs are now legally property in Singapore
The court case in Singapore regarding the sale of a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT has gone all the way to the highest court in the country.
On Friday, Justice Lee Seiu Kin confirmed the status of NFTs as meeting the requirements for property status. A key reason for this includes NFTs being distinguishable from one another (hence the non-fungible term).
The injunction is the first of its kind in Asia. In addition, the nature of the request – a commercial dispute over NFTs – is extremely rare worldwide. We will see more web3-related cases in the coming years once the legal system catches up with the technology.
What next for NFT law?
Mr. Janesh Rajkumar originally put forward the Singapore NFT case to protect his BAYC NFT. He used the NFT as collateral for cryptocurrency loans on the community platform NFTfi.
Mr. Janesh had agreed on a loan with someone known as ‘chefpierre’ and had asked for an extension of time to repay the borrowed sum.
According to the claimant, the two parties began discussions, but chefpierre refused the new conditions and threatened to use the foreclose option to seize the NFT. In the end, chefpierre received BAYC #2162 using the foreclosure option. Mr. Janesh launched a legal case in Singapore to dispute this.
Following this, the Judge in the NFT Singapore case put an injunction in place to stop the sale or transfer of the BAYC NFT.
On the back of this BAYC injunction, NFTs have been given property status. However, this isn’t a permanent conclusion. Justice Lee also stated, “A different conclusion may well be reached with the benefit of fuller submissions.”