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Video Article: Crypto-Assets and Litigation

Author: Syedur Rahman  25 June 2020

Legal Director Syedur Rahman considers the issues that need to be resolved in crypto-asset-related litigation.

Video Transcript (00:02:25)

(00:00:10) - Since the invention of Bitcoin in 2008, the shape of fraud in the digital age has changed. In this video, I'll give you a quick summary of the legal developments in the UK so far.

(00:00:23) - To start with, in November 2019, the UK jurisdiction Task Force published its legal statement, identifying key questions that needed to be answered about the approach to crypto-assets and smart contracts. Now it's not legal precedent, but it does aim to create a degree of legal certainty.

(00:00:44) - In December 2019, the landmark case of AA versus Persons Unknown, the court accepted the UK jurisdiction task forces analysis. Now here I actually acted for one of the defendants in this case. And in this particular matter, the court recognised Bitcoin as legal property, and as such a property injunction was granted over them.

(00:01:07) - Finally, in January 2020, so, the new regulatory powers, introduced by the FCA supervising crypto-assets. Now, we all know with the rapid expansion of cryptocurrency markets; it has also attracted fraudulent activity. We know with the case of AA versus Persons Unknown that Bitcoin could constitute as legal property. So what does this say about the future?

(00:01:36) - Well, there are still a number of issues that arise when dealing with cryptocurrency investigations. For example, tracing assets and tracing crypto-assets, where there is no intermediary such as a bank. When applying for a freezing injunction or legal arguments relating to jurisdiction or the governing law or more importantly, to what extent are courts expected to grant innovative legal arguments to secure crypto-assets.

(00:02:06) - Now with the right expertise, these hurdles can actually be overcome, and legal practitioners such as myself, are continually tailoring frameworks to actually recover losses for clients and find suitable remedies for victims.

If you have any questions or you need advice on this subject, please feel free to get in touch with Syedur, he will be happy to help.

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Syedur Rahman is known for his in-depth experience of serious fraud, white-collar crime and serious crime cases, as well as his expertise in worldwide asset tracing and recovery, civil recovery, cryptocurrency and high-stakes commercial disputes.

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