Employee was Accused of Plugging into Bitmain’s Server to Steal 100 Bitcoins

An Ex-employee of Bitman was sentenced to one year and three months’ imprisonment with a fine of 50,000 Chinese yuan for plugging into Bitmain’s server to steal 100 Bitcoins according to a  local report.

As a Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant with a large number of bitcoins, Bitmain has naturally become the target of lawbreakers,.

The employee stole 100 Bitcoins remotely

The accused Mr. Zhong was appointed as an Operations by Btimain since November 16, 2015. On September 15, 2017, the accused remotely controls his computer in the company by using TEAMVIEWER software, taking advantage of ROOT privilege to access the Bitmain’s rented Alibaba Cloud server. Then he transferred 100 stolen Bitcoins to his personal crypto wallet by inserting code into the Bitmain’s Bitcoin wallet program.

On September 16, Bitmain called the police after finding its insufficient Bitcoin balances. After the incident, the accused Zhong voluntarily surrendered himself and was detained on January 2, 2018. He has returned 90 bitcoins to Bitmain.

It was judged that the accused Zhong illegally acquired computer information system data by technical means, resulting in economic losses of more than 10,000 Chinese yuan which constituted the crime of illegally obtaining computer information system data.

As a result, the accused Mr. Zhong was sentenced to one year and three months’ imprisonment with a fine of RMB 50,000. Ten bitcoins were sent back to Bitmain.

For bitcoin is a virtual property, so why did the crime was judged as illegally obtaining data rather than a crime of theft? The main basis for defining the nature of Bitcoin as a virtual property is the statement of People’s Bank of China on December 5, 2013. The statement confirms Bitcoin as a property. However, the statement is not the legislative recognition by the legislature. In the absence of legislation to confirm the property nature of Bitcoin, not being sentenced to theft reflecting the seriousness of criminal justice.

Stealing bitcoin by technique means is not new in China. Earlier this month, a man was arrested for luring others to use the Bitcoin cold wallet he created.

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