A district court in Japan has sentenced a man to prison in a crypto mining case, for the very first time. The case follows the arrests of a Coinhive users by the police in 10 administrative jurisdictions. However, this case is different from previously discussed cases of crypto mining using website visitors’ computers system for process of mining unknowingly.
What Is This Mining Case
On Monday, media reported that a man has been given a year imprisonment sentence for using a remote mining tool to mine cryptocurrency using other people’s computers, without their consent. The Kahoku Shimpo publication elaborated:
“The Sendai District Court ruled on an imprisonment punishment for one year, [with the] sentence suspended for further 3 years…The judgment on this such mining case abuse, was the first in the whole country.”
This news follows multiple other reports of the Japanese police cracking down on the use of remote mining tools where website visitors were unaware that their systems were being used to mine digital currencies. Recently, the police in 10 prefectures nabbed 16 people and arrested three.
There is More to the Story
A source familiar with the matter explained that this case involves the use of Coinhive in an online game cheat tool, instead of one installed on a website.
“According to the judgment, he embedded a mining program into a tool that advances online games advantageously, in January – February, without justifiable grounds, released it on his blog, downloaded it to another person’s computer, and started mining.”
Famous security researcher Dr. Takagi Hiromitsu commented on the news, confirming that “This case was not about Coinhive on the web but a cheat tool of an online game.”
Different Legal Status
Lawyer Takashi Hirano believes that there is a legal difference between the two uses of Coinhive. Moro-san was recently fined about $909 for installing Coinhive on his website and mined cryptocurrency without his website users’ consent.
“I think that there are major differences in the legal configuration between using Coinhive on one’s website and embedding Coinhive in one’s cheat tool.”
Furthermore, cheating programs for games are often illegal in Japan because they violate Japan’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law, according to Yomiuri Shimbun. Violators can be picked up by the police and charged with a crime.