A UK High court ruling on a case involving Opensea this week considered NFTs as properties. The result of this ruling is that victims of NFT theft can now have their digital assets frozen through court injunctions.
Repeated NFT theft prompts decision in Opensea case
The court decision comes after months of repeated attacks on NFT projects. Hackers have recently exploited loopholes and poor security literacy to make away with high priced NFTs. This week saw a massive attack on the Bored Ape Yacht Club that led to an estimated loss of $3million. The victims of these attacks so far have been left without much compensation since the market is largely unregulated.
This situation is likely to change in the UK at the moment, following a case Lavinia Deborah Osbourne v (1) Persons Unknown (2) Ozone Networks Inc Trading as Opensea, filed this march.
The High Court Ruling
Osbourne, founder of Women in Blockchain Talks, filed the case when two of her NFTs stolen. The stolen NFTs were part of the Boss Beauties collection. Which consists of 10,000 NFTs depicting illustrated, diverse, successful career women.
The written ruling on the case which is due to be released next week would allow victims to obtain court injunctions against individuals with wallets carrying their stolen NFTs. the injunction will also extend to the platform on which the asset is sold.
Reactions to the injunctions
A lawyer Kate Gee spoke on the matter after a briefing by Osbourne’s lawyer on the result of the case. She said the victim can serve the injunction in just a matter of hours. This is indeed a big win for the NFT community. Although the law is confined to only the UK at the moment.
Furthermore, she added that when presenting the case,
“You have the duty of full of disclosures where you have to present the pros and cons of your case to the court,”
But then it is when the court makes the full audit that the victim can serve the injunction. “so what you need is a really good team of people or an expert that can trace where the asset has moved on the blockchain” Gee said.
The NFT space is divided on whether stolen assets are really stolen. So, this law will face a lot of cricticism. Because some top members of the crypto community stick to the “code is law” ideology. This ideology insists that ownership belongs to whoever proves that they hold the asset. The ideology further stipulates that neither governments or exchanes should interfere with ownership disputes.