The BBC reported the Kyoto man had lost 485 BTC worth approximately ¥31 million following the collapse of the Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange in 2014.
However, the Tokyo District Court said Bitcoin was “not subject to ownership,” effectively dismissing the lawsuit seeking repayment.
The BBC reported that Judge Masumi Kurachi ruled that Japanese law only allowed for proprietorship of tangible entities that occupy space and which allow for exclusive control over them. As such, Bitcoin could not be owned. An example the judge gave was that transactions between users must involve a third party and therefore exclusive control over Bitcoins was not possible.
Even since Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan in early 2014 amid claims it has lost 850,000 Bitcoins, clients whose Bitcoins vanished have been trying to raise legal cases in order to gain some kind of compensation. For instance, a class-action lawsuit in