Martin Marsich, a Serbian and Italian national, is currently awaiting trial for allegedly hacking the computer network of San Francisco-based video game company, Electronic Arts. Surprisingly, Marsich has been ordered to post bail using cryptocurrency, according to an official statement by the US Attorney's Office.
Marsich was arrested at the San Francisco International Airport on August 8 and made his first appearance in federal court on August 9. He is charged with "illegal intrusion" into the Electronic Arts internal computer network, which gave him access to 25,000 customer accounts. Marsich is also charged with using illegally obtained information to secure in-game currency for himself, as well as selling access to an online game on black market websites.
Upon discovering the hack, Electronic Arts reportedly closed the affected accounts, but not before it cost the prominent video game developer approximately $324,000, according to the US Attorney's Office statement.
In what seems to be a modern technological twist, Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley is allowing Marsich to await his trial in a halfway house, provided he post $750,000 worth of cryptocurrency as bail. Judge Corley presumably made her eccentric bail ruling due to the defendant's apparent facility with cryptocurrency.
Despite the novelty of the ruling, cryptocurrency has been used to help defendants make bail before. Bail Bloc, for instance, is a mining service that uses a downloadable app to redirect small portions of processing power from the computers of participating clients to mine Monero tokens. These tokens are then converted to US dollars and donated to a project called The Bronx Freedom Fund, a charity that helps residents of the South Bronx post bail when they cannot afford it.