Claim has significant implications for other users and the way Bitcoin operates
London 12 May 2021: Litigation law firm ONTIER LLP has today commenced the process of serving legal proceedings on 16 Bitcoin developers on behalf of Tulip Trading Limited (TTL), a Seychelles company whose primary beneficial owner is Dr Craig Wright. ONTIER was granted permission to serve the developers out of the jurisdiction by the Business and Property Courts of the High Court in London, following a 145-page application submission detailing the claim.
Dr Wright is the inventor of Bitcoin who set out his vision for the digital currency in his famous White Paper under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
The Defendants in this unprecedented action are the developers of BTC, BCH, BCH ABC and BSV, all of whom appear to reside outside the UK. The case will, for the first time, examine the nature and extent of legal duties conferred upon and owed by developers resulting from the control they exercise over their respective blockchains.
As detailed in the Particulars of Claim, TTL is requesting that the individual developers enable TTL to regain access to and control of its Bitcoin on the grounds that they, the developers, owe Bitcoin owners both tortious and fiduciary duties under English law as a result of the high level of power and control they hold over their respective blockchains.
The value of the claim as at today’s market rates will be in excess of £4bn. Paul Ferguson, Partner at ONTIER LLP comments:
“Our client has always maintained that he created Bitcoin to operate within existing laws and that in the event of loss or theft, where legitimate ownership can be proven, the developers have a duty to ensure recovery. However, despite requests, the developers have failed to apply themselves to addressing the issue. We assert in these proceedings that there are broadly identifiable legal obligations attributable to those who develop and control Bitcoin to which the operators have a duty to adhere.
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