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The Singapore High Court prohibits the sale or transfer of a rare NFT


SINGAPORE – In a first, a Singaporean citizen has won a court order preventing him from selling or transferring a non-fungible token (NFT) he previously owned.

The injunction, issued by the Singapore High Court last Friday (13 May), is thought to be the first in Asia – and maybe the world – to protect a non-financial technology in a purely commercial dispute (NFT).

NFTs are decentralized digital ledger tokens based on blockchain technology. They may represent digital or physical underlying components including artwork, movies, and music.

According to documents provided by The Straits Times’ attorney, the High Court’s ruling maintains a unique Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT that a Singaporean man is seeking to regain from an online user described as “chefpierre.”

BAYC is a limited edition of NFTs featuring an ape with distinct face expressions, clothing, and accessories.

Some celebrities are claimed to have them, including American talk show host Jimmy Fallon and Canadian artist Justin Bieber.

Madonna allegedly paid 180 Ether for one of the NFTs last month, a cryptocurrency worth $560,000 ($777,000) at the time.

According to a search of the Singapore Courts website by ST, the man’s name is Janesh Rajkumar. The identity of “chefpierre” is stated as unknown in both court documents and on the website.

Mr. Janesh is trying to reclaim the BAYC No. 2162 NFT that he put up as collateral for a loan from “chefpierre.” He claims, among other things, that he is the rightful owner of the NFT and that it was stolen from him by “chefpierre.”

Mr. Janesh stated in his claim that he bought the NFT with the intention of keeping it for himself.

He claims it is an extremely rare item, even among BAYC NFTs, due to its characteristics, which include the capacity to manufacture a new NFT of another unique series.

Mr. Janesh often utilized BAYC No. 2162 as collateral to borrow cryptocurrencies on the NFTfi community platform because of its rarity and high monetary value.

However, he made it clear in loan agreements with lenders that he was reluctant to relinquish control of the NFT and that he would make full loan repayments to redeem it.

If Mr. Janesh was unable to repay the loan on time, he would tell the lender, and the lender would be obligated to give reasonable extensions.

He also specified in the loan agreements that the lender should never employ the “foreclosure” option, which was available if BAYC No. 2162 was not repaid on time.

Mr. Janesh received and repaid many bitcoin loans using the NFT as collateral, according to court documents.

He took out a loan from “chefpierre” on January 6 and paid it back later.

Mr. Janesh usually only traded with reputable lenders that scored well in NFTfi’s system, but he chose to trade with “chefpierre” since the online persona was willing to provide advantageous loan terms, which seemed to be trustworthy lender, and possessed a large number of tokens and NFTs.

On March 19, he entered into a second loan agreement with “chefpierre,” but afterward asked for an extension of time to repay the debt. Following that, the parties began discussing the terms of a third loan, with “chefpierre” seeking to refinance the March 19 loan and Mr. Janesh agreeing.

However, “chef Pierre” refused to provide Mr. Janesh with the additional money and threatened to seize BAYC No. 2162 if the March 19 loan was not paid in full by 5 a.m. on April 21.

This gave the Singaporean less than seven hours to repay the bill, which he failed to do, resulting in the acquisition of BAYC No. 2162 by “chefpierre.”

Mr. Janesh eventually paid off a part of the debt, but “chefpierre” returned the money and barred him from making any more payments. According to court documents, “chefpierre” has since listed BAYC No. 2162 on the online NFT marketplace OpenSea for sale.

In a press release dated 18 May, the legal firm representing Mr. Janesh, Withers KhattarWong, said that the High Court’s ruling recognized NFTs as an asset. The ruling comes after a landmark judgment by a British court that declared NFTs to be “legal property.”

A court order was issued to freeze two NFTs that were stolen from a woman’s digital wallet in January and later discovered in other digital wallets.

About Humano

He is a freelance writer based in Turkey. He loves NFTs, football, film and technology.

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