Theft of Bitcoin (BTC) Is Not a Crime
On 30th June 2020, a criminal court in Russia denied a motion to provide restitution to a victim of 100 BTC theft. A motion that many jurisdictions would term a felony was thrown underfoot, claiming that the virtual currency Bitcoin (BTC) has no legal status, so, it can’t enjoy the same property protection as other assets.
This issue emerged in 2018. Two men that were impersonating Federal Security Service (FSB) agents and their partners in crime, abducted the victim and forced him into giving them cash of 5 million rubles ($90,000) and 99.7 BTC worth relatively $900,000 as at that time. However, the abductors were arrested and sentenced to 8 and 10-year imprisonments.
Bitcoin (BTC) or Cryptocurrency Has No Legal Status
As part of the proceedings, the victim requested the court’s ruling that will compel the Bitcoin thieves to refund the sum of BTC stolen from him. Howbeit, the ruling went partially in favor of the victim.
The court ordered the refund of the 5 million rubles worth $90,000, but when it came to the digital currency, the court declared that it cannot satisfy the claim, due to the fact that virtual currencies are not recognized as legal tender in Russia.
Nevertheless, all hope is not lost. The victim can still take the case to civil court. No matter what surfaces as the case progresses, this court’s pronouncement will always remain significant. Bitcoin theft is simply not a crime in the country. So, BTC holders should jealously protect their holdings, since there is no means to seek redress, even if the owner recognizes the thieves with proofs.