The Impact of Cryptocurrencies on the General Powers and Duties of South African Insolvency Practitioners

Authors: Sidasha Singh and Juanitta Calitz

ISSN: 1996-2185
Affiliations: Senior Associate, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr; Associate Professor, Department of Mercantile Law, University of Johannesburg
Source: South African Mercantile Law Journal, Volume 33 Issue 2, 2021, p. 289 – 318


Within the context of the fourth industrial revolution, cryptocurrencies pose several challenges in the framework of corporate insolvency law. In South African law, no statutory framework vis-à-vis cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, currently exists. This has however not prevented entities from engaging in the cryptocurrency market. The specific dilemma is that insolvency practitioners do not have legislative guidelines to assist them in dealing with the subject of cryptocurrencies. Consequently, international judicial developments must be consulted and analysed with the aim to close the gap between the legislature and Industry 4.0. This article unpacks the South African legal position on cryptocurrencies within the context of the statutory powers and duties of insolvency practitioners. It engages in an analysis of selected international courts cases that have dealt with the concept of cryptocurrencies within the context of insolvent estates and continues to make recommendations for the development of an efficient and effective regulatory model.