HomeAltcoin NewsBailed Out with Bitcoin - Federal Court Allows Crypto Payments for Bail

Bailed Out with Bitcoin – Federal Court Allows Crypto Payments for Bail


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While the entire cryptocurrency market has marked a serious decline throughout 2018, the idea of people being able to use them for various purposes seems to become more and more apparent. The Federal Court of San Francisco allowed for a bail to be paid in Bitcoin, marking yet another step towards further widespread adoption.

The 25-year-old Martin Marsich was arrested at SFO on charges of hacking the popular Redwood City-based video game company Electronic Arts (EA). Marsich is alleged to have illegally accessed the company’s internal network of computers and breaching 25,000 accounts which allow users to purchase items to be used in video games. Should he be found guilty of his charges, the young man can face up to five years of jail time and a fine of as much as $250,000.

What draws the attention to this particular case, however, is the fact that the Federal Court in San Francisco ordered Marsich to pay $750,000 in Bitcoin or any other type of cryptocurrency for his bail.

Speaking on the matter was U.S. Assistant District Attorney Abraham Simmons, who holds that this is probably not the first time a judge has allowed a bail to be paid with cryptocurrencies. Simmons noted:

It really is quite broad. […] The judge could order just about anything. What the objective is is to get the defendant to comply with an order to appear later.

He further clarified:

The idea is to get him to court, not necessarily to maintain the value of any particular asset. […] I would imagine that either side would alert the court of an extreme change in the value of the asset, but it doesn’t mean that the court would care one way or the other.

Local Courts Not so Accommodating of Crypto

According to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, the County’s Superior Court wouldn’t allow a bail to be paid with cryptocurrencies.

I can’t believe they do. I think they’re strictly certified checks and currency. […] I think they take only greenbacks.

Unlike Simmons, he hasn’t heard of anyone using cryptocurrencies to pay his bail, attributing this to be a part of “a new world.”

Nevertheless, a slight controversy could be extrapolated from the words of both officials. According to Simmons, the main purpose of bail is to get the “arrested to court” instead of maintaining the value of a particular asset. However, the San Mateo County DA holds that only certified checks and greenback currency is accepted, which is seemingly foregoing the main purpose of the bail in the first place.

What do you think of the decision of the San Francisco Federal Court to accept Bitcoin for bail? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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