QUARTERLY / 2023
Digital Asset Legal Review
The legal landscape surrounding digital assets is constantly evolving, making it increasingly difficult to keep up with the latest developments. Ontier's latest resource offers a solution: a comprehensive resource that tracks and summarises the most important quarterly judgments in the world of digital assets. Our aim is to provide fellow professionals with the tools and insights needed to stay ahead of the game, and confidently navigate this exciting area of law.
Two significant judgments delivered during this quarter may pave the way to stronger remedies for owners of digital assets. The Court of Appeal in Tulip Trading Limited v van der Laan and others  EWCA Civ 83 held the question of whether software developers of a given Bitcoin network could be subject to fiduciary and tortious duties to users of the network should proceed to trial. The High Court in Osbourne v Persons Unknown  EWHC 340 (KB) held that there was a “realistically arguable case” that NFTs could be classed as 'property' as a matter of English law, potentially widening the scope of proprietary injunctions to include a new class of digital assets. A notable feature that these judgments share is that they were both delivered in the context of digital asset recovery claims issued in the High Court.