The defendant in a cryptocurrency theft case in Southeast China has been sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison and fined 200,000 yuan ($28,240).
In March and April of 2018, the defendant used technologies such as “implanting a Trojan horse virus” and collecting scattered ETH to implant a program into a customer’s database while maintaining their servers. The defendant transferred 383.6722 Ethereums from the electronic wallet of the customer’s “imToken” app more than 520 times. After that, he exchanged these coins into 109,458 USDT, with a value of about 430,000 yuan ($60,733).
“My e-wallet had Ethereum recorded from time to time. Whenever there is income transferred into my e-wallet, it will be immediately transferred by the other party within a few seconds. This situation lasted for one or two months,” the customer said.
As early as last March, the first Bitcoin theft case in Jiangxi Province was solved. At that time, the informant suddenly found that his phone number had been hacked, and that cryptocurrency including Bitcoin and radar currency in the “Radar Network” account bundled with the phone number had been transferred away. The stolen virtual currency was equivalent to nearly 14.5 million yuan. Radar Network was founded by a global laboratory, dedicated to the storage and transaction of virtual currency, and there is no corresponding company or institution in China.
Virtual currency includes cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, NFTs and stable currency. For ordinary investors, in addition to the speculative risks, unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges will also bring about higher security risks. In recent years, cryptocurrency’s price and transaction volume have increased, and crypto exchanges have become the first choice for hackers to steal and extort money.
Since 2021, China’s regulation of virtual currency transactions require overseas crypto exchanges to stop providing trading services to domestic users. Still, cryptocurrency holders in the country are protected by law in cases of theft or breach of loan agreements.
In September of this year, two courts in Beijing made judgments on a civil dispute over Litecoin investment, requiring the defendant to return 33,000 Litecoins to the plaintiff. The judgment shows that Litecoin, as a specific virtual commodity, does not have the same legal status as currency, but it has the attributes of virtual property and should be protected by law.