A group of lawyers is preparing a class action lawsuit against most of the cryptocurrency exchange companies in Japan for retaining users' bifurcated cryptocurrencies.
A group of trial lawyers has been formed which seeks to represent all users throughout the country to obtain their bifurcated cryptocurrencies from the exchanges, which they now retain. The intention is to recover the virtual currencies (forked coins) that most exchanges do not grant to the original owners.
According to the conventional practices of the industry, the virtual currency that is deposited in an exchange should not belong to the platform, but to the user. The lawyers invite all the traders involved to join the demand, emphasizing that the exchanges currently judge for themselves to retain these bifurcated cryptocurrencies and not give them to the clients.
As in most countries, there is no legal basis for manipulating hard forks. So the group of legal experts declared that it is not “healthy” how exchanges currently judge whether to grant customers their hard fork cryptocurrencies, and they claim that:
“If you deposit a virtual currency at an exchange, your contract with the exchange will be similar to a bank deposit. Therefore, [when] the deposited virtual currency is hard forked, the forked coins generated by the division are considered to belong to you, not to the exchange. In other words, it is a natural interpretation that exchanges have an obligation to grant this”
In the set of lawyers involved Masaki Yoshida, Miki Fukuda, Kenzo Nakamura, Taiji Jonnouchi and Koizumi Makoto. At the same time, they are inviting other legal professionals to collaborate with them from anywhere in the world. In case of winning the demand, the lawyers’ commission for their work will be 20% of the bifurcated coins if there is a winning sentence or an agreement.
Yoshida told during a press conference this week that they ‘formed this group of lawyers to look for changes in business practices related to virtual currency trading. Since this is not the first legal case in Japan with respect to cryptocurrencies.’
His statements were related to the previous lawsuit against Coincheck in the Tokyo district court after it was hacked at the beginning of January.