In 2014, a US couple bought 3,000 Ethers. However, he should never have received the wallet key associated with it. Now the two want to file a lawsuit against the Ethereum Foundation.
• The couple owns 3,000 Ethers, but no access to the wallet
• A lawsuit against the Ethereum Foundation
• Launching a crowdfunding campaign to cover legal fees
Couple buys 3000 Ether in advance
In 2014, the Ethereum Foundation began a presale process to raise urgently needed funds for the development of the cryptocurrency and the platform. A US couple, Yuki and Art Williams, took advantage of the opportunity and bought 3,000 Ether for 1.5 bitcoin, which at the time was about $932, according to ABC7 News. Obviously, something went wrong with the purchase, as the couple have not been able to get their money back since. The two can see the 3,000 Ethers in their wallet, but they can’t access it and they can’t open it.
Lost wallet password
Everyone involved in the presale of Ether about seven years ago had to download a JSON file containing the private keys for the wallet. However, Williams stated that they never received that file. As Art Williams recently explained to ABC7-News, there should have been a note at the time not to turn off the computer for a certain period while the file was being downloaded: “The instructions were to leave the computer running for an hour and a half, and when the progress bar indicated that it was full, The JSON file will appear. Unfortunately, it has not shown “. However, this reference, which Art Williams talks about, cannot be found in various archival versions of the site, as the online magazine Mashable found out. In addition, a JSON file is a small text file that takes only a few seconds to download, even with a poor internet connection. Tutorial about Youtube, which explains the purchase at the time, also repeatedly stresses that the JSON file must be downloaded in any case before Bitcoin can be sent to the organization. Only in the next step is the address to which the coins will be sent for payment. Williams’ story doesn’t seem entirely conclusive.
Williams is still fighting for 3000 Ethers. In the wake of the failed purchase, Art Williams sent the Switzerland-based Ethereum Foundation a proof of purchase and screenshots to prove that something went wrong. Since the organization didn’t send a backup JSON file after all, the couple rented a law firm in Switzerland. In a 2018 email received by ABC7-News, Williams’ legal team announced that they were able to speak to the foundation’s attorneys and were attempting to recover the corresponding JSON file. Two weeks later, the lawyer reiterated that the foundation was doing its best to recover the file, but that it would take some time. A subsequent comparison offer by the Swiss arbitral tribunal came with 2,750 ether tokens to be nil, ABC7-News reports. After some time, the legal team of the Ethereum Foundation stated: “We continue to believe that Ethereum bears no responsibility for lost wallets, passwords, and private keys.”
Now Williams wants to raise $250,000 through crowdfunding so that they can then bring the Ethereum Foundation to an international court, according to ABC7-News. However, given the facts, the lawsuit is unlikely to succeed. In addition, it is possible that the Ethereum institution will not have the corresponding JSON file with the password, because then it will have access to all wallets. 3,000 Williams Ethers, which will now be worth about $8 million, should be lost.
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