A UK judge has granted permission to deliver a court notice using a blockchain ledger by NFT — marking for the first time in the country, legal documentation of court proceeding by NFT.
According to the article published on the website of a UK law firm Giambrone & Partners, a case brought by Fabrizio D’Aloia against Binance Holdings, Poloniex, gate.io, OKX, and Bitkub over allegations that someone misappropriated his cryptocurrency while acting as a fraudulent clone online brokerage has resulted in a legal precedent offering a digital solution to serving someone. On June 24, the judge allowed to deliver the court notice to the parties involved by airdropping NFTs into two wallets originally held by D’Aloia but then stolen by unnamed individuals.
Until now, lawsuits in the UK could be served by personal services, mail, dropped off at a physical address, or by means of a fax, or even direct messages on Facebook and Instagram. However, the electronic means could be only used in cases where parties previously agreed to such a delivery or when the court authorised it for a good reason. Demetri Bezaintes, an associate at Giambrone & Partners, commented on the NFT precedent:
“I am confident that this latest judgment using NFT service has the potential to show the way to digital service over the blockchain, with all the benefits of immutability and authentication, becoming the usual practice in the future on legal matters related to the digital world.” Demetri further remarked, “it is clear that this method of service has a far greater level of success over conventional means of service, such as post, in this sector.”
The court move also resulted in holding crypto exchanges responsible for ensuring the stolen assets were not moved or withdrawn.
A US court made a similar move to authorise service via an NFT in June. This was an $8 million hacking case involving Liechtenstein based cryptocurrency exchange LCX. The NFT subpoena was created and airdropped to the defendant by the law firm’s asset recovery team. Probably, the court notice looks the same for the D’Aloia case. The US precedent was claimed to be the first time in history when someone got a court notice via NFT.
We can’t predict whether or not stricter laws will be put in place to restrict NFT trading to avoid scams, but one thing is for sure: the advent of NFTs as a legal means of serving lawsuits means that they are capable of adapting to misuse and serving a greater good.