First Law Firm Uses NFT to Serve an Anonymous Defendant a Restraining Order

Holland & Knight, an international law firm, has managed to become the first company to serve a temporary restraining order to a defendant through an NFT. The NFT, at its core, was airdropped by the law firm’s Asset Recovery team in a professional and legal manner. 

Previously, many law firms have tried to work with NFTs for legal proceedings but haven’t had luck. But the service-based NFT initiative is ideal to serve different types of defendants anonymously.

Hacking of Hot Wallets

In this case, the NFT was served to a defendant on the charges of theft of around $8 million from a FinTech company in Liechtenstein. The defendant in question is a hacker involved in the heist of hot wallets. In fact, direct exploitation on the LCX-based platform led to serious losses in USD Coin, Ether, and other types of cryptocurrencies. 

The Wonder of Algorithmic Forensic Analysis 

As per the LCX team, the algorithmic forensic analysis helped track the laundered funds from Tornado Cash, which is a crypto mixer. In the end, the firm was able to find the hot wallets connected with the hacker. According to the records of LCX, over 60% of the laundered and stolen funds are frozen at the moment. As of now, the investigations are still underway in Ireland, Spain, the United States, and Liechtenstein.

With the legal court order from NY Supreme Court, Centre Consortium has managed to freeze $1.3 million in the valuation of USDC. What’s ironic is that Centre Consortium was put in place by crypto exchange Coinbase and USDC Circle.

Mechanics of the Court Order 

Once the process of preliminary findings was complete, Holland & Knight along with Bluestone decided to represent the LCX and serve the defendant a legit temporary restraining order via NFT. The on-chain NFT-based restraining order is first of its kind legal initiative that complies with court orders. In fact, the method to serve the defendant via NFT had the approval and support of the NY Supreme Court.

This hints at the future use cases of NFTs in legal proceedings. Legal experts suggest more innovative ways to use NFTs to improve the transparency and legitimacy of the legal process. On the flip side, some believe that the practical approach to using NFTs is ungovernable in the current legal landscape

Technically, the restraining order comes with a service hyperlink to a specific site developed by Holland and Knight. The next course of action for Plaintiff’s attorney is to publish this NFT-based restraining order and take care of relevant paperwork. 

Interestingly, the service hyperlink has a tracking mechanism that comes into effect when an individual clicks on it. This type of service can become more purposeful in the foreseeable future. It is serviced in good faith as per the legal jurisdiction of NY law. In the long run, this style of legal NFT notices can work as an effective tool for legal experts and firms to serve anonymous defendants.


  • Linda

    Skilled Web3 analyst with a focus on the functional and ethical dimensions of decentralized networks.

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