Dmytro Buryak: NFT as a method of judicial notification in the USA


The victim of the hack filed in court as an NFT and won the case. The ruling came last week after the plaintiff, identified as Rangan Bandyopadhyay, lost nearly $1 million in a hacking scheme back in December 2021. The perpetrators of the crime remain anonymous; however, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, they are confident that they will recover the lost funds.

Bandyopadhyay claims that the scammers tricked him into linking his Coinbase wallet to a fake liquidity mining pool. Hackers withdrew $971,291 in USDT from the wallet and moved it before sending it to the Binance exchange pool.

Given that the identity and whereabouts 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 court documents on the attackers using NFT. This happened using the same network addresses that the hackers used to withdraw funds from Bandyopadhyay’s wallet.

In addition, the judge ordered the hackers to return an equivalent amount to the plaintiff, plus any interest accrued over time.

The first instance of NFT being used as a form of legal notice in the US

Hackers use blockchain anonymity functions , to steal funds from unsuspecting individuals. However, this technology increases the transparency and traceability of transactions. And this is what allowed the plaintiff to serve court documents on the fraudsters using NFTs through the same address they used to steal his funds.

In addition, this is the reason why Fernando Bobadilla, the plaintiff’s lawyer, is confident that he will get at least some of the money back. In a conversation with the press, he notes: “These scammers usually operate outside of the United States, and everything they tell the victim is a lie about their identity. But they cannot hide the transfer of funds through the blockchain. The book is there, and they cannot hide.’

Now it remains to be seen whether Bandyopadhyay will recover his funds. Filing in court documents as an NFT, this is the first instance of its kind where a US federal court judge has recognized non-fungible tokens as a form of legal notice .

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