To Catch Crypto Thieves, Attys Learn to Think Like Them
Litigation attorney Andrew Balthazor was quoted in a Law360 article about cryptocurrency theft and how can defendants be brought to court when their whereabouts and identities are unknown. The answer may lie in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), unique data files that cannot be replicated and contain information about valuable digital assets. Over the past year courts in the U.S. and the United Kingdom have used NFTs as a method of service when plaintiffs cannot locate a defendant but have traced stolen funds to a suspect's crypto wallet address. Mr. Balthazor commented on a case Holland & Knight handled last year that involved securing a judge's approval to provide notice via an NFT. He explained that he and his colleagues knew the judge would not order a freeze unless they could show they first alerted whoever controlled the wallet so they could contest their ownership rights.
"I suggested we use an NFT; rather than as a simple piece of artwork, let's use it to represent notice," Mr. Balthazor said, adding that in-person service still remains the preferred method.READ: To Catch Crypto Thieves, Attys Learn to Think Like Them