A hacking victim has submitted court papers as NFTs and won the case. The ruling took place last week, where the plaintiff, who goes by the name Rangan Bandyopadhyay, lost almost $1 million in USDT in a hacking scheme back in December 2021. The perpetrators of the crime remain anonymous; however, according to the plaintiff’s attorney, they are confident they will recover the lost funds.
Bandyopadhyay claims to have been tricked by fraudsters into linking his Coinbase wallet to a fake liquidity mining pool. The hackers proceeded to drain $971,291 in USDT from the wallet and move it around before eventually sending it to a Binance exchange pool.
Given that the identity and residence of the hackers are unknown, Judge Beth Bloom of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida allowed the plaintiff to serve the perpetrators with court documents using NFTs. This happened using the same on-chain addresses the hackers used to drain funds from Bandyopadhyay’s wallet.
Additionally, the judge ordered the hackers to pay an equivalent amount back to the plaintiff plus any interest accrued over time.
The First Instance Of NFTs Serving As A Form Of Legal Notification In US
Hackers take advantage of blockchain’s anonymity features to steal from unsuspecting individuals. However, the technology boosts transparency and traceability when it comes to transactions. And this is what made it possible for the plaintiff to serve the court papers to the fraudsters using NFTs through the same address they used to steal his funds.
Also, it’s the reason Fernando Bobadilla, the plaintiff’s attorney, is confident of getting at least a portion of the funds back. Speaking to the press, he notes, “These fraudsters are usually outfits outside of the United States, and everything that they tell the victim is a lie about their own identity. But what they can’t hide is the transfer of the funds via the blockchain. The ledger is there, and they can’t hide.”
Now it remains to be seen if Bandyopadhyay will get his funds back. By filing the court papers as NFTs, it’s the first incident of its kind where a federal court judge in the US has acknowledged non-fungible tokens as a form of legal notification.