Man Acquitted of Crypto-Jacking Charges For Running Coinhive Programme

By Prashant Jha

A Japanese court has acquitted a man who was involved in embedding Coinhive’s software on his website which used visitors PC’s computational power to mine cryptocurrencies. The Yokohama District Court ruled that it would be excessive to punish the 31-year old Coinhive website designer.

The website designer embedded a software programme from Coinhive which used to embed a cookie in the visitor’s computer without their consent or knowledge. This cookie used to draw computational power from the victim’s computer which the operator used for mining cryptocurrencies.

The Japnese District court ruled that the programme embedded by the operator cannot be considered as a computer virus. Presiding Judge Toshihiro Homma in handing down the ruling said,

” The actions of the accused does not constitute a crime as we cannot say embedding the program was socially intolerable”

However, the courted sought a fine of 900,000 yen ($900) from the accused of using its visitor’s computational power without their consent, which might have added to their electricity bill. The defense attorney sought for his acquittal claiming that the indicted culprit did not commit any crime or caused harm to anyone, neither did the actions of the accused resulted in leaking any private information of the users.

The court verdict did acknowledge that the culprit’s action did not lead to any damage to any property or caused any personal harms.

Coinhive’s CryptoJacking Tool

Coinhive has been notoriously known for openly vailing crypto jacking tools and it is being assumed that the culprit embedded the Coinhive tool somewhere between October and November of 2017.

Coinhive tools start using the computational power of the website visitors and share the mined cryptocurrency reward among the users of the tool and the developers of the tool. The Coinhive terminated its software services on March 8th deeming that the current bearish market does not allow the makers to make enough profit to keep their programmes up and running.

Since cryptocurrencies and digital assets are not regulated and thus it does not fall under the due jurisdictions of the government, so it becomes more difficult to hear cases related to the cryptocurrencies.

The issue of crypto jacking is a growing dominance in the crypto space and there is no defined way to address the issue as of now. Experts from the decentralized space acknowledge that the technology can be the only rescuer to cut down these issues.

Prashant Jha

As a content writer Prashant believes in presenting complex topics in simple laymen terms. He is a tech enthusiast and an avid reader.

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