Crime and Cryptocurrency in Australian Courts

Monash University Law Review (Forthcoming)

44 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2022

See all articles by Aaron M. Lane

Aaron M. Lane

RMIT University

Lisanne Adam

RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law

Date Written: July 18, 2022

Abstract

This article presents the findings of the first empirical study of reported Australian case law involving Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies between 2009 and 2020. The initial dataset consists of 103 cases, with 59 criminal decisions and 44 other decisions. Focusing on criminal proceedings, the study finds that cryptocurrency has been considered in the context of bail, extradition, restraining orders, trials and sentencing. Significantly, the study finds that the use of cryptocurrency in the commission of an offence is seen by courts as a factor that tends to increase the sophistication or seriousness of the offence – becoming an aggravating factor in sentencing – and leads the court to consider general deterrence above other sentencing purposes.

Keywords: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Criminal Procedure, Dark Web, Digital Currency, Sentencing, Virtual Currency

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Lane, Aaron M. and Adam, Lisanne, Crime and Cryptocurrency in Australian Courts (July 18, 2022). Monash University Law Review (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4166388

Lisanne Adam

RMIT University - Graduate School of Business and Law

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