Lavinia D. Osbourne, a prominent blockchain diversity leader who is also the founder of Women in Blockchain Talks, has won a considerable early victory in the High Court of England and Wales. That victory is the first of its kind which has recognized NFTs as a legal property that is capable of being frozen until a case that they are involved in is resolved.
While the same courts have in the past recognized cryptos as legal assets that can be subjected to court injunctions, it is the first time that NFTs have had the same treatment and categorization. NFTs are increasingly popular unique blockchain-based digital assets.
The case involves two “Boss Beauties” NFTs, which represent unique digital artworks that were removed from Osbourne’s digital wallet without her knowledge or consent in January 2022. By description, Boss Beauties is a women-led initiative. The profits it gets from its NFTs are used to create various opportunities for women via scholarships and mentorship programs.
Osbourne managed to locate the nonfungible tokens in two different wallets with the help of security and intelligence firm Mitmark. She then appealed to the High Court to acquire an urgent injunction to freeze these assets, and it was granted on March 10. The injunction was eventually extended until the end of proceedings at a hearing that took place on March 31.
Thefts and hacks are majorly becoming a common issue for NFT holders. Since the space is still considered a ‘Wild West’ when it comes to regulation or legal recourse, it can mean that those people who have their nonfungible tokens stolen are not assured to have them returned.
The legal rulings recognize for the first time that NFTs, just like crypto, are property, which gives the NFT holders legal recourse to push for the recovery and return of stolen assets.
Osbourne’s Barrister, Racheal Muldoon, who works for the London-based chambers, The 36 Group, stated:
“This case sets an important precedent in recognizing that NFTs are property under the law of England and Wales, capable of being the subject of interim injunctions. It is a further example of the High Court leading the way internationally by assisting crypto-asset holders to secure the return of their digital assets”.
“As this case, and the increasing number of hacks and scams in the NFT space shows, digital wallets and smart contracts aren’t infallible, and can even affect experienced users in the space like me. Now that NFTs are legally recognized as property, NFT holders will finally be able to regain some control when things go wrong.”
The case will expectantly become instrumental in making the blockchain sector a safer one, encouraging more people to interact with exciting and meaningful assets like nonfungible tokens.