Closing arguments heard in cryptocurrency theft trial

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Mark Shin, who is charged with stealing nearly $9 million worth of cryptocurrency, sat while the defense and prosecutors gave closing arguments Wednesday.

Arapahoe County prosecutors accuse Shin, 31, of stealing the equivalent of $9 million from a cryptocurrency known as ICON.

“Depending on how this case gets decided by the jury, Mr. Shin could be going to prison or walking away with millions of dollars,” said Christopher Decker, FOX31 legal analyst.

Investigators say on Aug. 22, 2020, Shin made 558 transactions over 11 hours on his personal computer to mint nearly 14 million ICON tokens — all without paying what they were worth at the time: nearly $9 million.

Crypto trial focuses on minted coins

As the Problem Solvers previewed last week, Shin is accused of taking advantage of a software update that allowed users to mint their own ICON coins or tokens.

Prosecutors argued during closing arguments that Shin knew exactly how ICON worked and that he did repeated thieving.

Shin’s defense team followed, arguing that what unfolded on Aug. 22, 2020, is something unique that never happened before. They said this is not theft or cybercrime. They said Shin didn’t wake up with intentions to hack the network or find a bug.

The defense also said Shin wasn’t the only person who realized there was an issue with the bug and that others used the code as well.

On the other end, prosecutors compared Shin’s actions to the U.S. Mint leaving the door unlocked and anyone walking in and out over 500 times to load up their car.

Shin’s trial will resume Thursday at 9 a.m.