A British court has ordered six cryptocurrency exchanges to help a rival track stolen funds.
The six exchanges — each of which own or operate accounts to which the stolen funds were tracked — have been ordered to disclose customers’ names, bank accounts and card details. Some redactions have been allowed, the Financial Times reported Tuesday (Nov. 29).
“This case is a huge step forward for those who are trying to recover assets that have been taken fraudulently and moved across borders,” Syed Rahman, the lawyer who represented the unnamed exchange that is tracking the funds, said, per the report.
The six exchanges include Binance, Kraken, Luno and Coinbase, while the one trying to track stolen funds has not been named to avoid alerting the thieves, according to the report.
This ruling results from one of the first applications of new rules that allow English judges to order foreign companies to hand over documents — in this case, to help victims of cybercrime track their assets overseas, the report said.
Binance, Kraken, Luno and Coinbase did not immediately respond to PYMNTS’ request for comment.
Cryptocurrency fraud rose by 32% in the United Kingdom over the past year, part of a larger fraud “epidemic” that began during the pandemic as people moved their financial activity online, the Financial Times reported Monday (Nov. 28).
Losses involving crypto reported to the British police unit Action Fraud added up to 226 million pounds (about $272 million) for the period from October 2021 to September of this year, up 32% from October 2020 to September 2021. The number of reported frauds rose 16% to 10,030, according to the report.
In addition, as PYMNTS reported Nov. 23, the U.K. is considering a proposed Financial Services and Markets Bill that will require crypto asset service providers to get permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) before they can legally advertise.