NFTs have been going for a lot of money, but their meteoric rise in value and popularity has been matched by their increasing vulnerability to theft and fraud. However, if they are to be used to transfer valuable assets then it makes absolute sense that normal rights of property attach to them - including the idea that stealing them is wrong and illegal. The UK High Court just recognised this but will its counterparts in other jurisdictions?
Of course, this is only half the battle. Making NFTs less easy to steal is also a challenge in terms of IT security and customer awareness.
The UK’s High Court has recognised NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as “property” in a case which is likely to have far-reaching implications for disputes involving digital art.
The action was brought in March this year by Lavinia Osbourne, the founder of Women in Blockchain Talks, who claimed that two digital works from the Boss Beauties collection, an NFT-based initiative designed to “create opportunities” and raise funds for females, had been stolen from her online wallet.
In a judgement, due to be published later this week, the judge held that the assets were “property” and thus able to have access to legal protections—in this instance, an injunction ...