For the first time in history, a man was sent to prison for remote crypto mining. The historical event took place yesterday, 2 July, in Japan where the Sendai District Court ruled a sentence of one year in prison for a 24-year old person from the city of Amagasaki in the Hyogo prefecture.
The Japanese media publication Kahoku Shimpo related: “The Sendai District Court ruled on an imprisonment sentence of 1 year, [with the] sentence suspended for three years…The judgment on mining abuse was the first in the whole country.”
The event takes place right after the Japanese police arrested various Coinhive users in 10 prefectures who were mining cryptocurrencies using computers of other Coinhive users. In this particular case, the convicted young person received a one-year prison sentence for mining cryptocurrency using other people’s computers without their consent.
The aforementioned Japanese media publication further detailed that: “According to the judgment, he embedded a mining program into a tool that advances online games advantageously, in January – February, without justifiable grounds, released it on his blog, downloaded it to another person’s computer, and started mining.”
It is believed that this particular case didn’t involve the use of a mining tool installed on a website, but instead, it involved the use of Coinhive in an online game cheat tool. The main justification for this conviction, it seems, is the violation of Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law, which deliberately prohibits the usage of cheating programs for games.
The difference in legal status between the two cyber-crimes
Even though the arrests in 10 of Japan’s prefectures following the Coinhive case seem to be more justified, lawyer Takashi Hirano stated for news.bitcoin.com that there is a legal difference between the two uses of Coinhive. His client, Moro-san has been recently fined for $909 for installing Coinhive on his website and illegally mined cryptocurrency.
Hirano went on record stating: “I think that there are major differences in the legal configuration between using Coinhive on one’s website and embedding Coinhive in one’s cheat tool.”