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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

Stolen Crypto Funds and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA): A Comprehensive Insight

Cryptocurrency's rapid growth has brought about incredible opportunities but also unique challenges, including the disturbing trend of theft and unauthorized transfers. As victims search for recourse, one question echoes loudly: Could the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) be applied to crypto exchanges? Let’s delve into this complex issue with the insight and consumer advocacy that Tariq Law, a leading law firm in midtown Manhattan, is known for.


A comprehensive Insight to recovering crypto funds stolen
Stolen Crypto Funds and the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA): A Comprehensive Insight

Understanding the EFTA:

Enacted in 1978, the EFTA's primary aim was to provide consumer protection in electronic fund transfer systems. The Act places certain responsibilities on financial institutions and grants specific rights to consumers. But does it cover cryptocurrencies? Let's explore.


Cryptocurrency as a Financial Asset:

The classification of cryptocurrencies as financial assets remains a subject of debate. They differ from traditional fiat currency in various ways, yet many argue that crypto exchanges perform functions similar to traditional financial institutions. This opens up the possibility that the EFTA might apply to crypto exchanges.


How the EFTA Could Cover Stolen Crypto Funds:

  1. Definition of Financial Institutions: If crypto exchanges are deemed 'financial institutions' under the EFTA, they would be obliged to follow its regulations, including those concerning unauthorized transactions.

  2. Consumer Protections: Under the EFTA, if a consumer promptly reports an unauthorized transaction, their liability might be limited or even eradicated. This principle could extend to stolen crypto funds if the Act applies to them.

  3. Investigation Requirements: The EFTA mandates a detailed investigation into any reported unauthorized transfers within specific timelines. If applied to cryptocurrencies, exchanges would have to comply, ensuring a thorough and transparent investigation process.

  4. Potential Reimbursement: If a consumer's claim of unauthorized transfer is substantiated, the EFTA requires financial institutions to provide reimbursement. This could mean the recovery of stolen crypto funds for victims.

Tariq Law’s Advocacy in Uncharted Waters:

At Tariq Law, we are dedicated to exploring the intersections of existing laws like the EFTA with emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies. The inclusion of Subhan Tariq in the Super Lawyers 2023 Rising Stars list demonstrates our commitment to trailblazing legal solutions for consumers.


The applicability of the EFTA to stolen crypto funds is a complex and evolving issue. Though not explicitly designed for the crypto world, the EFTA's principles may offer a path to justice for victims of crypto theft. At Tariq Law, we stand ready to navigate these uncharted waters, guided by our expertise in both traditional and modern legal landscapes.


If you've been affected by crypto theft, remember, you don’t have to face it alone. Trust in Tariq Law – where traditional legal acumen meets modern financial innovation. Email our office at info@tariqlaw.com or call us at (212) 804-9095

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