UK – Judge Orders Bitcoin Compensation for Cybercrime Victims

Historical ruling in the ! For the first time ever, a judge has ordered the confiscation of , worth over £900,000 from an imprisoned . The , Grant West, had approximately £1M worth in , at the time of his arrest in September , saved in various accounts. West has agreed to comply with the order. 

Going by the online pseudonym of ‘Courvoisier’, West terrorized British companies for over two years. Among his were Sainsbury’s, , and . He broke into their servers stealing more than 78 M clients’ personal information and selling it in the dark web for . West was sentenced in May 2018 to 10 years and 8 months in prison for numerous offenses including; unauthorized modification of computer material, conspiracy to defraud and possession of the criminal property.

The process of compensating West’s proved to be difficult, as the fluctuating value of over time, made the calculations concerning the compensation particularly problematic. At the time of his arrest, the authorities have confiscated 82 bitcoins from West’s accounts. In the time that elapsed since his arrest, the value of changed dramatically – in December , few months after his arrest, the value of rocketed to almost £18,000, before falling below £7,000 in May 2018. In order to combat the ever changing rates, the value of the bitcoins was calculated by authorities at a rate of £8500 per unit. Some of the money seized from the criminal following his arrest was in other cryptocurrencies including Ethereum and Cash.

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The unprecedented ruling gives hope to many cybercrime . Whereas was perceived by criminals as a safe way to hide their stolen money, believing it is untraceable and untouchable by the authorities, the ruling proves that it is no longer the case. Cybercrime may now hope to be compensated for stolen assets, even if the savvy criminal kept his ‘earnings’ in cyber currency.

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