Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are becoming an increasingly popular solution to serving defendants in blockchain-based crimes that would otherwise be unreachable, according to crypto lawyers.
The last year has seen an increase in litigation delivered over NFTs in cases where those accused of blockchain crime wereuncontactable through traditional methods of communication.
In November 2022, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted a United States law firm The Crypto Lawyers its request for its client to serve a defendant via NFT.
While the defendant’s identity was unknown, the plaintiff accused the defendant of stealing cryptocurrency to the approximate value of $958,648.41.
After the plaintiff presented a declaration from a crypto investigator to the court confirming the stolen cryptocurrency transactions, the judge accepted the request to serve this defendant via NFT as it was deemed to be a “reasonably calculated” way to give notice.
Agustin Barbara, managing partner of The Crypto Lawyers told Cointelegraph that serving a defendant via NFT is a powerful tool for blockchain crime, where it is “virtually impossible to identify bad actors.”
Barbara explained that summoning an unknown identity through NFT is done through the transfer of the NFT into the defendant’s blockchain wallet address where the stolen assets are held.
He noted that this method is a way of reaching the accused when other traditional methods such as email or post are not viable due to the identity being unknown.
Barbara explained that the content of an NFT court notice would usually contain the notice of the legal action with summons language, a hyperlink to a designated website containing the notice and copies of the summons, complaint, and all filings and orders in action.
Michael Bacina, digital asset lawyer at Australian law firm Piper Alderman, stated that while the “wallet may not be used by the defendant,” and therefore the summons notification may not come to the defendant’s attention, it can drastically limit activity on the wallet and other…