Bringing a Civil Claim Against a Cryptocurrency Thief
Experienced Fraud Attorney in Alexandria, VA
Since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, and more specifically, since the rise of the speculative cryptocurrency market in 2015, cryptocurrency investments have become increasingly popular among the tech-savvy public, casual investors, and market speculators. Though the jury is still out on whether cryptocurrency is a strong long-term investment, one underreported concern is the security of such funds.
Hackers and the Risks of Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency does not have to be held online. Most cryptocurrency can be moved into in an offline “wallet” that requires a physical key. This is the most secure way of holding cryptocurrency.
Still, despite the fact that an offline wallet protects one’s cryptocurrency investments, many investors do not utilize offline wallets. In fact, many investors trade actively and keep their funds stored in online accounts with the cryptocurrency exchange websites they use to trade on a regular basis. This compromises safety significantly. Just this year, the CEO of Quadriga CX (a cryptocurrency exchange) died suddenly while traveling in India — as he was the only individual at the company who knew the passwords for accessing funds of those on the exchange, all $250 million in funds are now lost.
Other security issues include hacking attacks. Hackers use a variety of strategies to gain access to investor accounts so that they can steal cryptocurrency. Millions are routinely stolen from individual investor accounts through hacking.
Fortunately, litigation may be possible.
The primary challenge in bringing a lawsuit against a cryptocurrency thief is in identifying the thief so that they can be served. The identify of a thief may be shrouded by various mechanisms they use to shield themselves from authorities, but in some cases, it can be done (with the cooperation of the ISP).
Once the thief has been identified, there are additional challenges: 1) if the defendant is based internationally, there may be complex jurisdictional issues that you will have to overcome, and 2) you will have to prove that the thief engaged in intentional criminal conduct. The latter can be quite difficult if the hacker has taken steps to hide their online activities.
Contact Harvey & Binnall, PLLC for Assistance
Here at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC, our attorneys have decades of experience advocating on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of commercial disputes, including those that involve financial fraud.
We are committed to the provision of cutting-edge representation, and as such, have stayed fully apprised of financial industry innovation in recent years, particularly with respect to cryptocurrency developments. Though cryptocurrency is still somewhat in its infancy, there are billions of dollars’ worth of investment monies involved, and theft is a genuine concern among investors.
We’re here to help.
If you have had your cryptocurrency funds stolen, we encourage you to contact us so that we can evaluate your case and begin the process of pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Call 703-888-1943 or send us a message through our online form to schedule a consultation with an experienced Alexandria fraud attorney at our firm.