The Singapore High Court said that NFTs are property in its first written ruling on an NFT case.
NFTs are kept on blockchains. They can be used to show art, videos, and music.
Last Friday, Justice Lee Seiu Kin said that NFTs could be property if they met certain legal requirements, such as being easy to tell apart and having owners that third parties could recognize. He explained why he got an injunction in May to stop the sale and change of ownership of an NFT. But Justice Lee said that the request for an injunction was important and that one of the parties did not have to be there, so he did not hear their arguments.
He also said that his decision should be understood in the context of an interlocutory application, which is a request for a court order made before a trial, usually about how things should be done.
The order from Justice Lee is the first one in Asia. It is also the first business dispute case in the whole world. Janesh Rajkumar, from Singapore, wanted it to protect Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) No. 2162.
BAYC is a limited-edition set of NFTs that feature apes with different faces, clothes, and other items. They are status symbols for people like Justin Bieber and Madonna, who have them.
In court papers, Mr. Janesh says he wants to take BAYC No. 2162 back from a person online who goes by the name “chefpierre” but whose real name is unknown. His Singapore lawsuit continues.
The Singaporean bought the NFT to keep on August 6, 2021
He used the NFT, which is rare and has a high value, to borrow cryptocurrencies on NFTfi. But in loan agreements, he would say that he would pay back the loan in full to get the NFT back.
If Mr. Janesh couldn’t pay back the loan on time, he would let the lender know, and the lender would give him some time. In the loan agreements, he also said that the lender couldn’t “foreclose” on BAYC No. 2162 if payments were late.
Mr. Janesh borrowed money from chefpierre on March 19 and asked for more time to pay it back. Chefpierre then suggested that the loan from March 19 be refinanced, which Mr. Janesh agreed to.