The South Korean Supreme court made a ruling that has impact on how cryptocurrency is seen in the country. This might be the first step towards official regulations.
Everything Started With Porn
The Supreme Court made a final decision on a case that involved a pornographer, identified as Ahn. He was arrested for distributing hundreds of thousands of obscene pictures. It was reported he made almost 2 billion from site viewers. As he was arrested, a digital wallet with 216 BTC was also seized. The prosecutor described the cryptocurrency as illegally earned assets.
The case was initially trialed at a lower court. It ruled against Bitcoin seizure because Yahoo Finance declared that Bitcoins “only existed electronically”, so no physical form existed. Then, the prosecutor appealed to higher court. It ruled in the favor of the prosecution, saying that cyber assets are profit earned from goods trading.
The trial was finally taken to the Supreme Court, which upheld the previous ruling. It was also added that the decision made “will allow any cyber assets gained from illegal activity such as gambling, drug deals, pornography and prostitution to be confiscated.” While this decision is definitely a logical one, it can also be a huge tipping point that can solve the regulatory questions that worldwide government agencies struggle with right now.
Nobody can dispute the fact that cryptocurrency has economic value. We see luxury real estate agents that use crypto to broker deals in Las Vegas . There are even strippers that have QR codes tattooed on them, allowing access to easy Bitcoin tips. Cryptocurrency does equal wealth and the simple fact that it is questioned is something that is weird to see for those that do know blockchain and crypto.
What should be highlighted is that there is an obvious motivation behind the ruling. The fact that so much BTC was seized automatically means over $1.5 million that ends up in the accounts of the South Korean government. However, it is a precedent and cybercriminals will most likely be hunted with much more vigor in the near future.
What was completely unintended (most likely) is the declaration set that cryptocurrency has economic value and is an asset. This would be really useful in settling a debate that did hit the US Securities Exchange Commission, the Korean Supervisory Service and the Financial Conduct Authority in UK, together with numerous other regulatory bodies.
Are digital coins assets? If so, they can be regulated and the future of cryptocurrencies becomes bright.