South Korea’s Supreme Court rules Bitcoin is an asset

06 Jun, 2018
by Ryan McInally
South Korea’s Supreme Court rules Bitcoin is an asset

In a landmark ruling by Seoul’s Supreme Court, South Korea has decided that Bitcoin is a legally “recognizable asset”

The move overturns a decision made by one of the countries lower courts involving a case that dates back to September. Previously, the Suwon District Court had formally charged a 33-year old with the surname Ahn of selling and distributing child pornography. He had been operating websites since 2013 and was arrested in May of 2017 for sharing approximately 235,000 obscene files. Even though Ahn was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in prison, his Bitcoin he received in exchange for transferring illegal pornography was never confiscated.

According to the government, they could not seize Ahn’s Bitcoins because they weren’t a tangible asset, meaning the government could not get their hands on the currency. The court has reversed their decision and made it legal for the government to confiscate digital assets or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Ahn will have to forfeit 191 Bitcoins to the South Korean government, which are worth approximately $1.45 million at present time, along with $654,000 in hard cash. The court was able to use Bitcoin’s ledger to track payments the individual received for his illicit service.

South Korea has been showing interest in creating pro cryptocurrency regulation, most recently proposing to lift a ban on ICOs – as well as announced recently, a hospital in Seoul will begin accepting cryptocurrency for medical services.

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