A spurned Bitcoin seller is owed money from a deal made in 2019, but he won’t benefit from the cryptocurrency’s meteoric rise in price since then, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has ruled.
According to the court’s decision, the plaintiff in the case struck a deal to sell 50 Bitcoin to the defendant in 2019 for roughly $535,000. That transaction was never consummated — although the Bitcoin was delivered, the payment never came through.
The question for the court was not whether the seller was entitled to be paid, but whether he was due the $535,000 sale price agreed to at the time, or $3.1 million, reflecting the increase in the price of Bitcoin since then.
“The plaintiff submits that it would work an injustice to deny him the benefit of the precipitous rise in [Bitcoin] value since June 2019, and asks the court to assess the damages for breach at present market value,” the court said.
Ultimately, the court concluded that the seller was owed the value of the crypto at the time of the failed sale.
“In the circumstances, using the date of breach to assess the damages puts the defendant in the position he would have been had the contract been fulfilled,” the court said. “The fact that [Bitcoin] is worth more now than it was at the time of the contract does not result in an injustice.”