A recent web ‘blog post‘ from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law notes attainable repercussions for lost and stolen crypto claims following a case during a Canadian trial court earlier this year.
In the post, SAFE Frankfurt main investigator ‘Grygoriy Pustovit’ notes the ‘case‘ of Copytrack Pte Ltd v Wall. The superior trial court of British Columbia ruled that Ethereum [ETH] tokens, that were mistakenly sent by the plaintiff, Singapore blockchain startup Copytrack, to the ‘litigator‘, Brian Wall, should be returned back to Copytrack.
The litigator mistakenly received 530 Ethereum [ETH] coins from Copytrack rather than 530 Copytrack [CPY] tokens that he was suppose to receive when collaborating in Copytrack’s ICO [initial coin offering]. The Ethereum amounted to around $370,482 USD, while the worth of CPY tokens he supposed to buy was $583 USD at the time.
“This precedent might have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims relating to lost or stolen cryptocurrency,” Pustovit claims, as the ruling permits the plaintiff to trace and recover tokens “in any hands those Ether Tokens might presently be held.”
As advanced services for tracing digital assets develop, the rightful owners of certain assets might trace them on a public ledger and seemingly recover tokens once they appear back in an exchange’s wallet. Pustovit states that blockchains aren’t solely ruled by their code, however by the laws of involved jurisdictions moreover.
While noting that cross-border enforcement of varied national laws and rules might prove tough, the blog says that crypto businesses can doubtless comply with the judgements in jurisdictions whereby if they have strategic interests.
Pustovit conjointly states that the Canadian court “missed the opportunity” to outline the ‘legal character‘ of cryptocurrencies as it “could not be handled through judgement.” Since the litigator was deceased, “there would be no sensible utility in transferring this case on trial.” The court so ruled the Ethereum tokens to simply be the property of the plaintiff and that they ought to be returned back. Claims in conversion and detinue were left unsettled.
While the position of cryptocurrencies just in this case, remains hazy, “there is an increasing no. of selections recognizing that several intangible assets, e.g. funds, shares and mineral interests, may also subject to claims in conversion and detinue.”
Canada is reportedly one among the foremost crypto-friendly countries, with its favorable regulation of the trade, and low energy prices for crypto ‘mining‘. Within this summer in 2018, the Canadian government issued a legal draft regulation for crypto exchanges and payment operators.