According to a Japanese media report, one of the courts in Tokyo, Japan, gave the order to seize as much as $46,000 in Bitcoin (BTC) and NEM (XEM) dating back to the hack suffered by the Coincheck exchange two years ago.
In January 2018 the exchange lost 530 million dollars in NEM and other crypto assets. Since then, the authorities have continued to keep track of all the movements of the assets made by the criminals in order to recover them and identify those responsible.
Last March, the Japanese police arrested two men, a 30-year-old doctor from Hokkaido and an administrator from Osaka Prefecture. Later, it was the doctor himself who was indicted for buying the tokens stolen during the hack at a discounted price on the dark web, seeing that he certainly knew where the funds came from.
The cryptocurrencies have now been seized and frozen and will be transferred to the competent Japanese authorities who will auction them off, as happens when assets and real estate are seized.
This seizure of crypto funds would be the first case in japan’s history.
It is worth noting that even though people have not participated in a theft directly, they become accomplices in the theft as they operate with stolen and resold assets.
Coincheck hack, why did Japan confiscate the crypto assets?
The choice to confiscate the cryptocurrencies is certainly questionable since, in these cases, once the origin of the crime has been ascertained, the crypto assets should be returned to their rightful owners, in this case to the Coincheck exchange. But perhaps, given the amount in question, the exchange preferred to turn a blind eye.
This, however, should give pause for thought: attacks in this sector are difficult to trace, but with a lot of effort and time it is always possible to trace the criminals, especially because the blockchain allows to monitor the activities and transactions made, practically indefinitely.