Knowing the private key and owning the linked coins is not necessarily the same 
in front of a court.

At least in german law there is a difference between ‘Eigentum' means ownership 
and ‘Besitz’ means ability to deal with it.
Being able to deal with an asset does not make you the owner.

Tamas Blummer

On Jan 20, 2015, at 6:23 PM, Matt Whitlock <> wrote:
> If you have the private keys for your users' bitcoins, then you are every bit 
> as much the owner of those bitcoins as your users are. There is no custodial 
> relationship, as you have both the ability and the right to spend those 
> bitcoins. Possession of a private key is equivalent to ownership of the 
> bitcoins controlled by that private key.

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