The case regards a pornographer captured on charges of breaking the Protection of Children and Juveniles From Sexual Abuse Law in May 2017. The accusations that go back as far as 2013 declare that the man identified only as Ahn had apportioned 235,000 indecent pictures online and made 1.9 billion profits from users of the site. During his arrest, 216 Bitcoin kept in a digital wallet was seized that the prosecution described as assets that were made illegally.
First, a lower court decided against the seizure affirming that “bitcoins only existed electronically and had no physical form.” Then the case was appealed by the prosecutor in a higher court which “ruled in the prosecution’s favor, saying the cyber assets could be seen as profit earned from the trade in goods.”
The Supreme Court maintained this order and also added that the decision “will allow any cyber assets gained from illegal activity such as gambling, drug deals, pornography and prostitution to be confiscated.” The Supreme courts answer might be obvious in some ways, though it can also be the start for solving regulatory questions government services all over the world have been struggling with.
Cryptocurrency is “an asset with economic value”, there is no arguing with that. Also the motivation for the ruling is obvious. Currently that the precedent has been stated it has to be no surprise that cybercriminals are sought out more actively.