CRYPTOCIES

UK Court Rules That Lawsuits Can Be Served Via NFTs


In what is a legal precedent for the High Court of England and Wales, a plaintiff has been granted permission to file a lawsuit against anonymous defendants by means of an NFT drop.

The move will allow Fabrizio D’Aloia, founder of Italy-based online gaming company Microgame, to serve legal documents on people who are not known by name but connected via two digital wallets:

Joanna Bailey, an associate of Giambrone & Partners LLP who are representing D’Aloia, described the precedent as “significant” in a sector where scams and hacks can often only be tied to wallet addresses and not their actual individual owners:

This is so important because it shows the court’s willingness to adapt to new technologies and embrace the blockchain and actually step in to help consumers where previous legislation and regulators simply could not …

Joanna Bailey, associate, Giambrone & Partners LLP

D’Aloia claimed to have been lured by an online brokerage into depositing about 2.1 million USDT and 230,000 USDC into two wallets that turned out to be fraudulent. The court ruling, said Bailey, allows D’Aloia to sue those responsible for the fraudulent platform by sending court documents via an NFT drop to the two wallets.

Other Legal Firsts Involving NFTs

Such specified usage of an NFT drop follows a world-first international hacking case last month where a defendant was served with a temporary restraining order by means of an NFT.

A month earlier, the UK High Court of Justice ruled to recognise NFTs as private property, hailed as a “landmark” in the ongoing battle against fraud in the crypto space.

However, the catch in that ruling was that the conferred private property status did not extend to the underlying content represented by an NFT.

Civil Procedure Rules in the UK have previously allowed for lawsuits and legal documents to be served using Instagram, Facebook, and a contact form on a website. Until now, the only other means were via personal services, “snail” mail, dropped off at a physical address, or by sending a fax or another type of “electronic communication”.

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