Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency: How to freeze crypto assets

Jenny Leung, attorney specializing in Bitcoin legal issues

An interesting question is whether it is possible for the courts to force crypto custodians/digital vaults/digital wallet service providers (crypto custodians from hereon) to comply with orders to freeze assets, or whether it is possible to draft an order that effectively allows for the freezing of crypto assets.

Unlike a bank or traditional financial custodian, crypto custodians typically hold the private keys (a string of numbers and letters which allows anyone with knowledge of it to control or transfer the crypto assets) and do not ‘hold’ or record legal ownership of crypto assets.

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