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Expert Finds Precedent For Cryptocurrency Theft Cases

12:42 13/12/2018

A legal precedent that may help in further trials of lost or stolen cryptocurrencies has appeared in Canada. Grygoriy Pustovit, a researcher at SAFE Frankfurt wrote about the case in an Oxford University law blog.


The expert cited the case of Copytrack against Brian Wall as an example. The Singapore crypto firm sent 530 ethers ($370,482 at that moment) to investor by mistake, instead of 530 Copytrack tokens (CPY), which Wall acquired for $583 during the ICO.

When a startup found its mistake and asked the investor to return the ethers, he refused and sent the funds to a crypto exchange. Later, Wall still agreed to give the tokens back and transferred them from the exchange to his account, after which he claimed that his wallet was hacked and the ethers were stolen. Nevertheless, the superior court of British Columbia in Canada judged in favor of the startup, ruling the investor to return the mistakenly received ethers.


Grygoriy Pustovit writes that although transactions on a blockchain technically are immutable and irreversible, regulators and the law still have the power to change the outcomes. The court allowed the crypto company to track and return the ethers — and in future, with advanced professional services for tracing transactions, the rightful owners will be able to return their funds as soon as they appear on a particular platform. And the exchange will have to follow the court’s decision, Pustovit states, since blockchain networks are governed not only by code, but also by the laws of a certain jurisdiction.

At the same time, the Canadian court hasn’t defined the status of cryptocurrencies — they were considered a property owned by Copytrack.


As previously reported, the UK may recognize cryptocurrencies as a legal means of payment for taxes.

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