Should anybody lose their bitcoin to hackers or have their coins stolen, the first thing they’ll want to do is get the police involved to help them in retaining their lost funds. However, when the country’s regulators are working against you, like they are in Russia, that can be extremely frustrating for those who are the victims of malicious actions.
Russia Goes Against BTC
A man in Russia who has had more than 100 bitcoin units stolen from him over two years ago has sought legal assistance in bringing the thieves to justice. Sadly, while bitcoin and crypto trading does occur on Russian soil, the country does not see bitcoin or other forms of crypto as money or legal tender. Thus, the court has rejected the man’s request for assistance and is indirectly taking the side of the criminals who made off with the money.
This has been a long-term argument in the bitcoin space for many years. Does BTC qualify as money? Is it property? Is it based on thin air? Who determines what bitcoin is, and how can it ultimately garner the respect and attention it deserves? In the United States, for example, bitcoin is considered property over money, through there are some companies such as Overstock.com that do accept BTC payments in lieu of fiat for goods and services.
Adding insult to the victim’s injury is the fact that his bitcoins were stolen after he was kidnapped by the defendants in 2018. He has requested that the court grant him assistance in retaining the money the kidnappers stole, which included about $90,000 worth of Russian rubles and more than $900,000 in BTC. It is estimated that close to $1 million was taken.
However, while the rubles were ordered to be repaid, the man was voted down when it came to getting the BTC units back. The court argued that not only is bitcoin not money, but it also doesn’t qualify as property under standard Russian law, and thus cannot be returned. In the court’s eyes, bitcoin does not exist, and something that doesn’t exist cannot be given back. However, the defendants are looking at roughly eight to ten years in prison, so it’s not like justice is not being served.
How Can the Coin Garner the Respect It Deserves?
Still, however, it’s discouraging to see so many regulators have such a backwards view of a currency that at this point has been around for more than 12 years and has ultimately proven itself over and over again in the world of finance. The victim – who remains unnamed at the time of writing – still has the option of going to an appeals court and filing a notion to get the cryptocurrency back, though at this stage, its virtually anyone’s game.
Russia has recently experienced a solid burst in crypto trading thanks, in part, to the spread of the coronavirus.