While the crypto company Coinhive has earned a bad reputation for enabling illicit cryptomining privacy-oriented coin, Monero, its users are often either arrested for simply running the software or are let go, due to mere technicalities.
News portal, CryptoNewsZ reported that recently a Japanese man was set free by a court despite being guilty of using Coinhive to mine the cryptocurrency Monero. The news report stated that the 31 year old website designer used to run Coinhive software on his website to mine virtual currency, and the Yokohama District Court of Japan has apparently issued order to release him. The Coinhive program enables the users to take advantage of the visitor’s website spare computing power to mine cryptocurrencies.
For reasons best known to itself, the District Court of Japan has ruled that the man is free of any crypto-jacking crime and has not been convicted of any serious crimes. The court added that it was unreasonable to punish the man.
This acquittal comes as a shock as in the past, Japanese courts have sentenced people to imprisonment for similar crimes. Last year in July, a Japan court sentenced a Sendai District Court crypto miner to jail after it emerged that the miner had not intimated people before using their computers to mine cryptocurrencies illegally.
At the time, the court had observed, “In the case of electromagnetic record creation charges, we punish illegal directives that do not let the personal computer and others behave in accordance with the intention of the user, or cause them to behave unintentionally.”
According to another local daily, Nikkei, the court sentenced the 24 year old man, who was unemployed, for one year. Originally, the sentence was for four years, but the court suspended the remaining jail time.
The miner, in his defense, had said that he had not stolen any information off the personal computer and he had not destroyed the device. Elaborating on why he did not intimate the user, he said, “I thought that the number of downloads would be reduced.”
In another related news, Coinhive announced that it would be shutting down its operations, due to financial problems. At the time the company had said, “Some of you might have anticipated this, some of you will be surprised. The decision has been made. We will discontinue our service on March 8, 2019. It has been a blast working on this project over the past 18 months, but to be completely honest, it isn’t economically viable anymore.”
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