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Stealing 100 BTC is not a crime as Bitcoin has no legal status

July 2, 2020

June 30th A Russian criminal court refused an application for restitution of a victim of a crime that was serious in many other jurisdictions. on the grounds that Bitcoin (BTC) as a virtual currency does not enjoy the same protection of property as other assets.

The case dates from 2018, when the two men, who pretend to be Federal Security Service (FSB) agents, and their accomplices kidnapped the victim and forced him to give them 5 million rubles, or $ 90,000 in cash, and $ 99.7 to give BTC worth around $ 900,000 at the time. The kidnappers were sentenced to eight and ten years in prison.

Virtual currencies have no legal status

As part of criminal proceedings The victim asked the court to force the thieves to pay the money they stole. The court ruled in part in favor of the victim, demanding that the thieves pay 5 million rubles. However, with regard to the cryptocurrency, the court found that it could not comply with this request because Russian law does not recognize virtual currencies as legal tender or its replacement.

Stealing 100 BTC is not a crime as Bitcoin has no legal statusStealing 100 BTC is not a crime as Bitcoin has no legal status

The victim can still try their luck in a civil court. Regardless of future legal proceedings, this court decision should be emphasized: In essence, it was determined that Bitcoin theft is not a crime.