Home Knowledge Air Drop – UK Court Allows Service of Proceedings Through NFT

Air Drop - UK Court Allows Service of Proceedings Through NFT

D’Aloia v Persons Unknown & Others [2022] EWHC 1723 involved an application from Mr Fabrizio D’Aloia for interim injunctive relief in the UK, following an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation of cryptocurrency by persons unknown.

Mr D’Aloia claimed that the persons unknown misrepresented itself as being connected with a legitimate US-regulated business called TD Ameritrade. He deposited cryptocurrency “stablecoins” (so-called digital dollars, which are ‘pegged’ to the value of the USD) totalling 2.1 million USDT and 230,000 USD Coin into two digital wallets, but his trading account was blocked after he submitted a withdrawal request. By the end of May 2022, Mr D’Aloia realised that he was the victim of fraud and issued proceedings in the UK against the people behind the fraudulent website – persons unknown – and six other defendants said to be operators or controllers of the exchanges.


The UK High Court (Court) was satisfied that there was sufficient justification to allow service of proceedings outside the jurisdiction. The Court found that the claim fell within the jurisdictional “gateways” under the UK court rules, and so the UK courts had jurisdiction to hear the claim.

Mr D’Aloia sought permission to serve the proceedings through Non-Fungible Token (NFT). He claimed that airdropping the documents by this means would embed the service in the blockchain.

In a novel decision, the Court held that service by way of NFT was “likely to lead to a greater prospect” of those behind the fraudulent website being put on notice of the making of the order, and the commencement of the proceedings. Mr D’Aloia was therefore granted leave to serve the proceedings through NFT (and by e-mail).


While personal service is still the standard in Ireland, the High Court has, in the past, allowed proceedings to be served via Facebook and LinkedIn. Given the rise of blockchain technology in the Irish market, it is likely only a matter of time before an application for service by NFT comes before the Irish courts.

Contributed by Alexandra Drummy & Kate Abell