Bird & Bird successfully advises on Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin Association for BSV and others judgment

Bird & Bird has successfully advised on today’s Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin Association for Bitcoin SV (BSV) and others judgment.

The judgment in Tulip Trading Ltd v Bitcoin Association for BSV and others published this morning is of significant importance for the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. The result of the judgment is fundamental to how the underlying technology works within the law. The Bird & Bird team led by partner Sophie Eyre and supported by associate Priyan Meewella, acted for 12 of the successful defendants. James Ramsden QC was counsel.

The claimant, a Seychelles company, alleged that it had suffered a hack. It claimed $4.5bn from 16 developers alleging that they owed fiduciary and common law duties under English Law and they should be required to write and apply a “patch” to the blockchain network with the effect of transferring it to a new Bitcoin address that the claimant claimed had been lost due to an alleged hack. However, the Court determined that open source Bitcoin software developers, whose code is widely adopted and used to trade or store cryptocurrencies, do not owe fiduciary duties or a common law duty of care to those who use that code to store or trade their crypto assets.

Sophie Eyre, partner and co-head of the International Disputes Resolution practice at Bird & Bird says: “This decision is highly important to the emerging area of law in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space and reflects the English Court’s approach to the development of the law in this area. This is a great result for the developers, and the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry as a whole.

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