STJ judges Bitcoin and cryogenics cases, judiciary ahead of innovations?

Digital coins or people who want to preserve bodies after death, issues impact the judiciary, but there are no regulations in Brazil.

Considered one of the courts of last instance in Brazil, the Superior Court of Justice has ministers to make decisions. When there are decisions on conflicts of jurisdiction in state courts or issues not contemplated in the federal constitution, it is up to the STJ to give a position.

In the case of Bitcoin Champion for example, digital currency is not yet regulated in the country. Despite recent debates, there is still no definition of how digital currency will be regulated in Brazil.

Another sensitive issue that has already reached the STJ is cryogenics, which is the preservation of the body after death. With the growing number of adopters of both technologies, there are no laws that support those interested in these sectors.

The STJ judges several cases of emerging technologies, putting the judiciary ahead of innovations

The world has gone through profound changes over the years, impacting directly on humanity’s relationship with nature and society. Such innovations, in large part, have sought scientific methods to reach a reality at least since ancient Egypt.

In fact, since the Stone Age, man was already looking for tools to improve his chances of survival. However, these innovations also increase the conflicts between human beings.

With this, states mainly use science, but discuss the need for regulations. This judicial tool would give instructions on how to take better advantage of a novelty, minimizing conflicts.

The debates in executives and legislators usually take longer than the implantations of regulation. In other words, several processes that await decisions of some subject that is not yet in the legislation end up reaching the judiciary.

This is the idea of a special launched by the Superior Court of Justice this Sunday (6). According to the court, the judiciary should try to better understand the nuances of innovations in order to make correct decisions.

„Exactly because of this dynamic, to decide on a litigation related to a scientific or technological innovation, the Judiciary first needs to better understand the nuances that involve each issue, in order to make a fair and technically grounded decision,“ stated the STJ in a special article

To cite examples, STJ highlighted cryogenics

Among the various technologies that shake the judiciary, the STJ highlighted the cases involving Bitcoin and cryogenics. In the case of the latter, the debate involves beliefs even wrapped in religion and life after death.

„Among humanity’s oldest desires, immortality is one of the most persecuted throughout time. Attribute credited to the gods and promised by religions, eternal life – at least from the physical point of view – has not yet been achieved, which does not prevent people from hoping that one day scientific evolution will make it possible,“ quoted the STJ.

In a recent case, a family came into dispute after the death of their father, who wanted cryogenics and would have manifested it in life. One of her daughters wanted to keep her father’s wish, while the others wanted a conventional burial.

In this case, the STJ understood that the father’s cryogenics, carried out in the United States, does not offend morals and good manners, being allowed to be fulfilled.

And Bitcoin, how does the STJ judge cases of currency?

In Bitcoin, the STJ cited as one of the examples the dispute between brokerage houses and banks. By closing the brokerage account unilaterally, brokerage houses went to court against the institutions. The STJ understood, however, that the brokerage houses could have their accounts closed, provided previously notified.

In addition, the STJ adjudicates some cases of conflicts of jurisdiction involving Bitcoin crimes. In a recent case, a „man who would capture people for investment in Bitcoins in exchange for the promise of fixed, high profitability“ had his case brought to the STJ. In defining the trial, the STJ determined that the case should be judged by the state court.

With these examples, such as Bitcoin, the STJ judges that the role of the judiciary in innovations „walks“ ahead of the executive and legislative. Therefore, it would be up to the magistrates to better understand the cases in order to make correct decisions.

Other cases that were used as examples were: mirroring of WhatsApp and Transportation Application.