Skip to content

Do Bitcoin developers owe fiduciary duties to assist owners that have lost their private keys?

In a landmark case, Tulip Trading (which said it had lost access to over £3bn worth of cryptocurrency following a hack) sued developers of the relevant networks claiming that they owed it fiduciary (and tortious) duties to assist it in regaining access. 
In February 2023, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales decided that the claim should proceed to trial as there is a serious issue to be tried (Tulip Trading Limited v Van Der Laan and ors [2023] EWCA Civ 83). 
 
In this article, first published by the Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, associate Mohamed Sacranie challenges the Court of Appeal’s decision and argues that Bitcoin developers are not fiduciaries. 
 
To read the article, please download the PDF below. 
The article is reproduced as published in the Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. The views contained are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Allen & Overy.

Related expertise

Recommended content