On Sept. 10, legal news site Law360 reported that Coinbase U.K. had reached an undisclosed settlement with Liam Robertson to exit a London-launched litigation after hackers stole 80 BTC (worth close to $815,744) in the attack.
The United Kingdom arm of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase settled a two-month legal battle with a man who lost 80 Bitcoins (BTC) in an email phishing attack.
Stolen Bitcoin diverted to Coinbase
Robertson lost his Bitcoin in a spear phishing attack, when the email account of a firm in which he was investing was hacked. 60 of the stolen Bitcoins were then diverted to a digital wallet that was held by Coinbase. Another 20 were sent to local exchanges. Roberston then received a Bankers Trust order to reveal the identity of the wallet holder and to see whether it was the same person who made the transfer.
Status of cryptocurrency in Britain
Attorneys for Roberston said that the case could help victims of fraud reclaim stolen cryptocurrency by classifying it as a specific asset or sum of money. In July, a court ordered Coinbase to not dissipate or transfer stolen cryptocurrencies, which could open the door for courts in England and Wales to treat Bitcoin as property, according to Law360.
In May, the U.K. government-led Jurisdiction Taskforce launched a public consultation to determine the status of crypto assets under English private law. The taskforce said that the uncertain legal status of cryptocurrency in Britain is a major deterrent for potential investors. Per Law360, the courts are still waiting for a determination by the task force.
Cyber criminals netted $4.3 billion in 2019
According to blockchain security company CipherTrace, outright thefts, scams and other kinds of misappropriation of funds from digital currency holders and trading platforms resulted in around $4.3 billion in losses throughout 2019.
Bitwise Taps BNY Mellon as Transfer Agent for Proposed Bitcoin ETF
Bitwise has tapped Bank of New York Mellon to serve as the administrator and transfer agent for its proposed bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
The company filed an amendment to its Bitwise Bitcoin ETF S-1 form on Wednesday, listing BNY Mellon as the administrator and ETF custodian, Foreside Fund Services as the marketing agent and Cohen Co. as an auditor. The company has not yet named a bitcoin custodian for the trust its ETF would be built on.
Bitwise chief operating officer Teddy Fusaro told CoinDesk that “an ETF’s service providers play a critical behind the scenes role in supporting any fund”, adding:
“We’re pleased to disclose experienced and professional service providers from the traditional ETF ecosystem we intend to work with to support the proposed product.”
BNY Mellon has taken an active role in the cryptocurrency space, particularly in recent months. The bank has partnered with Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) subsidiary warehousing ICE’s bitcoin futures contracts, to provide “geographically-distributed” private key storage, and was more recently tapped to act as the administrator and transfer agent for shares of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust being sold to institutions.
Bitwise also filed an opinion on Wednesday which says the ETF should be taxed like a Grantor Trust (similarly to the SPY and gold ETFs). In other words, the trust would be taxed similarly to the underlying asset – bitcoin – and therefore be taxed as property.
This opinion was supported by Vedder Price P.C., a New York law firm.
Bitwise filed for the ETF with NYSE Arca in January 2019, hoping to provide the first such fund to U.S. customers. However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees such products in the country, has long been hesitant to approve ETFs based around cryptocurrencies.
A decision on Bitwise’s proposal has been postponed a number of times, with a final decision expected by Oct. 13.
Earlier this week, SEC chairman Jay Clayton expressed reservations about approving a bitcoin ETF, telling CNBC that questions around custody and market manipulation have yet to be resolved.
“We continue to work towards answering all of the significant questions that the SEC needs answered before they are ready to approve a bitcoin ETF”, Fusaro said.