Hackers Airdropped NFT Court Papers in Landmark US Ruling
In a first for a US federal court, a plaintiff has won a hacking case after serving court papers via an NFT airdrop. The victim, Rangan Bandyopadhyay, was tricked by hackers back in December 2021 to connect his Coinbase wallet to a fake liquidity mining pool before $971,291 was drained from the wallet.
Now Judge Beth Bloom of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has ruled in favor of the plaintiff. Despite the identity of the hackers being unknown, the judge declared that they were responsible for the theft and would have to pay back the equivalent amount plus interest accrued over time.
First incident of using NFTs to deliver a message in the US
According to recent court documents, Bandyopadhyay issued a formal notice of legal action using non-fungible tokens. This was after Judge Bloom deemed it appropriate to serve these anonymous individuals using NFTs as their identities and residences remain unknown. Therefore, the court documents were served using the same chain addresses that they used to siphon money from the plaintiff’s wallet.
Court documents show that once the funds were taken from Bandyopadhyay’s Coinbase wallet, they were moved around before eventually ending up in a Binance exchange pool. What remains unclear is how the funds will be recovered now that a judgment has been handed down.
But according to Fernando Bobadilla, Bandyopadhyay’s lawyer, they are confident that they will get back at least part of the funds. The key lies in the transparency and traceability offered by the blockchain. Therefore, despite the possibility of being anonymous, it is possible to see how the funds are moved around and where they end up.
Speaking to the press, Bobadilla notes, “These scammers are usually outfits outside the US, and everything 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 whether the plaintiff will succeed in recovering his stolen USDT.
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Basil is an avid fan of blockchain technology and all its innovations, and he is passionate about sharing this narrative with his audience. He has spent over five years in the crypto space, specializing in research and creating Web3 content for various media around the world.