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 link 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 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 Serve a Notification in the US
According to recent court filings, Bandyopadhyay issued a formal notice of legal action using non-fungible tokens. This was after Judge Bloom deemed it right to serve these anonymous individuals using NFTs as their identity and residence remain unknown. Therefore, the court documents were served using the same on-chain addresses they used to drain funds from the plaintiff’s wallet.
Court filings show that once the funds had been taken from Bandyopadhyay’s Coinbase wallet, they were moved around before finally ending up in a Binance exchange pool. What remains unclear is how the funds will be recovered now that a verdict has been reached.
However, according to Fernando Bobadilla, Bandyopadhyay’s attorney, they are confident they will recover at least a portion of the funds. The key lies in the transparency and traceability offered by the blockchain. Therefore, despite the ability to be anonymous, it’s possible to see how the funds are moved around and where they end up.
Speaking to the press, Bobadilla 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 the plaintiff will be successful 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 outlets around the globe.