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‘Crypto Debt’ Drove South Korean College Student to Armed Robbery

A young man from South Korea has received a nearly three-year suspended prison sentence after being convicted of an armed robbery, which he committed to settle a cryptocurrency-related debt.

As reported by the South Korean news source WowTV, the 22-year-old, whose identity remains undisclosed, had accumulated debts upwards of $37,000 due to unsuccessful cryptocurrency ventures.

The individual, identified as a college student, faced his sentencing at a Gwangju District Court division. He was convicted on charges of robbery, violent threats, and theft.

Testimonies at the court detailed how the young man stormed into a convenience store in Gwangju’s Dong-gu district on June 11 of the current year, wielding a weapon.

The court was informed that upon entering the store, the young man brandished his weapon, menacingly threatening an employee.

He then pilfered more than $425 in cash.

Additionally, he grabbed several store items during his escape, including Google Play gift cards.

His criminal spree didn’t stop there. The man continued his thefts in various other city stores, targeting similar items.

Judge Koh Sang-young delivered a verdict, sentencing the man to two and a half years in prison, with an additional three years of probation and a mandate of 200 hours of community service.

However, in a surprising turn, Judge Koh opted to suspend the prison term. It was determined that the man had been acting from a place of “desperation,” even considering ending his own life at one point.

It was also highlighted by News1 that this was the man’s first brush with the law.

Crypto and ‘Extreme Choices’ Drove S Korean Man to Armed Robbery

Judge Koh remarked that the individual had made his choices, driven by the immense burden of his accumulating debt.

Furthermore, the court took note that the man’s family had committed to earnestly support his rehabilitation. This assurance was instrumental in Judge Koh’s decision to hold off on enforcing the prison sentence.

However, Judge Koh emphasized the gravity of the crime, pointing out that it was by no means trivial. The judge particularly underscored the trauma experienced by the store employee, who was in genuine fear for their life during the incident.

The backdrop to this event is significant. In 2021, South Korea grappled with a series of tragic incidents where investors, beleaguered by significant financial losses in the cryptocurrency market, tragically took their own lives.

The country was deeply shaken last year by a heart-wrenching incident involving a family. A husband and wife, along with their 10-year-old child, met a tragic end when their car was driven into the sea, apparently as a desperate act stemming from overwhelming cryptocurrency-related debts.

Probing into their recent activities, investigators uncovered that the couple had made a series of Bitcoin (BTC) transactions just prior to the devastating event. Their bodies were later discovered off the coast near Wando, in South Jeolla Province, located in the southwestern region of South Korea. This distressing event underscored the sometimes dire consequences of the volatile cryptocurrency market and its impact on individuals and families.

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I want to save money. Will cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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