High Court in Seoul rules cryptocurrency is sizeable

South Korea’s Supreme Court made a ruling yesterday recognising cryptocurrencies as assets with “measurable value”, paving the way for future seizures of illegally obtained digital coins.

The ruling is in connection with a criminal case involving a person identified only as Ahn, a 33-year-old male sentenced to prison for running a pornographic website through which he obtained 191 Bitcoins valued at over $1.4 million. After the ruling, authorities seized his cryptocoins.

The high court said the Bitcoins were earned from the proceeds of crime, so, “If we return the bitcoins to Ahn, it will be giving him back profits that were earned illegally from running an online porn site,” violating the Protection of Children and Juveniles From Sexual Abuse Law.

Confiscation of cryptocurrency obtained through criminal activity has also taken place in other countries, including the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.

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