CHINA / SOCIETY
3 mln yuan Bitcoin theft case exposes lack of supervision over digital asset management companies: expert
Published: May 09, 2021 05:23 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG



A case involving the theft of 3 million yuan ($464,000) worth of Bitcoin in East China's Jiangxi Province exposes the lack of supervision over digital asset management companies in China, experts said. 

Police in Jiangxi recently solved a case in which 3 million yuan of Bitcoin was stolen from and eventually returned to the victim surnamed Shan from Xiushui county in Jiujiang. 

Shan reported to local police that he was unable to access to his email account linked with his digital currency wallet after the password was altered by someone else. The wallet contained a total of 8.236 Bitcoins, equivalent to 2.96 million yuan. 

According to the police, transactions of the virtual currency Bitcoin are carried out with blockchain technology, making it extremely confidential. Without a scene of crime or any actual traces of a crime, the investigation proved particularly difficult. 

Preliminary investigations showed that the email account was connected with more than 20 telephone numbers, which had been illegally obtained by the suspects to throw police off their trail. 

Despite the difficulties, police successfully located the suspect, surnamed Zeng, from East China's Jiangsu Province through mass data screening and analysis, and eventually apprehended him in Nanning, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on April 20. 

Zeng confessed that he became greedy after Bitcoin's prices surged recently and conspired with others to trick users into giving their passwords for email accounts connected with Bitcoin. Zeng transferred 8.236 Bitcoin under Shan's account into his own account on 30 occasions. 

Zeng has been put under criminal detention and the case is still under investigation, police said. 

"It's not uncommon for such digital currency theft cases to happen these days, and related legislation on such criminal behaviors already exists. Such cases expose the lack of supervision on the management and operation of institutions and companies of digital assets to protect the rights of the owners," Cao Yin, managing director of Digital Renaissance Foundation, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Cao said that with more forms of digital assets on Blockchain appearing in the future, related supervision on digital asset management companies should be established as soon as possible.
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