As the market for crypto-currency attracts more and more investors, fraudsters are also flocking to the technology in the hopes of exploiting newcomers. In response, a consortium of Asset Reality, Outer Temple Chambers, Rahman Ravelli, Sandton Capital and Grant Thornton’s UK wing have collaborated to help victims of crypto-related fraud overcome access to justice hurdles.
The ICO market has drawn enthusiasm and stark warnings in equal measures since its rise to prominence. The potential for speculative investments on crypto-currency can provide opportunities for huge returns. At the same time, fear of missing out on these returns – which are no sure thing to begin with – is seeing inexperienced investors flood the market.
These investors are well known for making for impulsive collective investments on the basis of marketing hype, smoke and mirrors, leaving them easily manipulated by cyber-criminals. Crypto-related fraud reached an all-time high in 2021, with illicit addresses receiving US$14bn over the course of the year, up 79% on the previous year. And while it is bad to be caught out by a conman in the traditional economy, it is even worse in the amorphous ‘decentralised’ sprawl of crypto-currency. It can be an expensive and time-consuming process to bring such a case to justice, meaning that few crypto-fraud cases ever end up in court.
In order to help fund and push forth worthy crypto-fraud victims, a new collaboration is looking to offer a triage system for the initial assessment of claims, with investigatory and corporate intelligence expertise then deployed to contextualise claims for legal assessment. This process will be caried out by Asset Reality, Grant Thornton UK, Outer Temple Chambers, and Rahman Ravelli. Crypto-fraud investigation, tracing, litigation and recovery is an evolving area of contentious disputes. As such, the alliance assembles a world class panels of crypto-focused investigators, solicitors, barristers and asset tracing professionals to support claimants in all aspects.
Carmel King, Director at Grant Thornton UK, Insolvency and Asset Recovery, commented, “Our team has used (and provided) litigation funding for years, and we know it can facilitate access to justice for impecunious estates and their creditors. I am delighted that this collaboration widens the range of options available to victims of fraud in the investigation, litigation and recovery of their crypto-assets.”
Meanwhile, meritorious claims will be assessed and financed on a portfolio basis by Sandton Capital which has dedicated £50 million for crypto-related litigation. The firm will offer portfolio facilities allowing for greater flexibility to finance multiple claims that otherwise would likely not have met funders’ investment thresholds.