Case Update: B2C2 Ltd v Quoine Pte Ltd [2019] SGHC(I) 3 – SICC decides on cryptocurrency trade dispute

SICC decision in B2C2 v Quoine is groundbreaking. A few comments:

1. Cryptocurrency is deemed akin to property which can be held on trust. Significance: crypto assets will be ringfenced if trustee becomes insolvent.

2. Cryptocurrency exchange platform (or any other type of digital exchange) must expressly contract for the right to reverse trades in certain scenarios.

3. In determining the application of the legal doctrine of unilateral and common mistake, the court considered the knowledge and intent of the programmer of the trading algorithm—whether the algo was intended to be opportunistic of mistakes. Strangely, it’s possible that if a human was the one who executed the same trades, the doctrine may apply to deny the plaintiff’s claim.

4. Significance: legal doctrine is being bent by algorithm and technology. This decision may pave the approach for application of doctrine to scenarios of automated technology replacing human actors.

5. Remedy in this case was not return of the cryptocurrency because of the substantial value increase since the events. Instead damages were to be assessed. This may matter if the defendant is cash light.

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Case Update: Winsta Holding Pte Ltd and another v Sim Poh Ping and others [2018] SGHC 239 – Singapore High Court rules on but for causation for equitable compensation

Significance: Singapore High Court (Coram: Chua Lee Ming J) held that AIB Group (UK) plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors [2014] 3 WLR 1367 (“AIB”) should be followed in that but-for causation should be established by the claimant to obtain equitable compensation where there has been a breach of trust.

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Case Update: HSBC Trustee (Singapore) Limited v Carolyn Fong Wai Lyn [2016] SGHC 31

Case Update: HSBC Trustee (Singapore) Limited v Carolyn Fong Wai Lyn [2016] SGHC 31

Significance: Singapore High Court interprets will holistically (as opposed to a clause-specific construction), orders estate’s properties to be mortgaged to raise funds for professional trustees’ fees and costs, and refuses to order that trustees be discharged as Court found it was not in the interests of beneficiaries given the ongoing litigation in relation to the estate.