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Japanese Police Deletes its Warning about Crypto Mining after Losing Monero Case

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Adobe/milkovasa


The long-running Monero (XMR) mining saga that pitted Japanese web developers against the police over the matter of crypto mining software may have come to a close last month, but the police force appears to have added an intriguing coda – by removing its public warning about the dangers of crypto mining widgets.

As reported in January, the case dates back to 2017 and involved a Yokohama-based music site developer named Moroi Seiya (aged 34), who used a crypto mining Coinhive-developed app on his pages. The widget has been discontinued by Coinhive, and Moroi made just USD 9 worth of XMR from running the script on his site. But back in 2018, he was handed a USD 900 fine by officers.

The police continued to crack down on the use of these mining widgets, which used site visitors’ CPUs to mine coins. In the case of the Coinhive script used by Moroi, 70% of the mined tokens were distributed to site publishers and 30% to developers.

The crackdown saw the National Police Agency publicly warn developers that it considered these widgets to be “viruses,” and post a warning entitled “cautions regarding tools used for mining virtual currencies (mining tools)” on its website.

That warning had remained in place from mid-2018 until earlier this year. In the time between, the agency fought a long legal battle with Moroi, with the case going from civil courts to the High Court and finally the Supreme Court – which eventually ruled in Moroi’s favor.

Much of Moroi’s legal campaign was crowdfunded by web activists and developing community members.

Now, ITTime reported, the notice appears to have been quietly removed from the police’s website. Since January 28, the media outlet noted, a search for the page returns nothing but a “page not found” message.

Using tools from the Internet Archive-operated Wayback Machine, however, the media outlet was able to unearth the page – noting that it appeared to have been live until January 21 – the day the court delivered its verdict in the case.
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