In an earlier post, we reported that a judge had authorized service of process on a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) through a Help Chat Box on the DAO’s website, with contemporaneous notice through an Online Forum linked through its website.  Four amici — venture capital firms Paradigm and Andreessen Horowitz, crypto legal consortium LeXpunK, and the DeFi Education Fund — sought reconsideration of that decision.

On December 12, 2023, Judge William Orrick issued an order on that motion.  He noted that, at the hearing, the CFTC asserted it knew that some of Ooki DAO’s Token Holders reside and conduct business in the United States.  He said that this was new information to him and that, in all of its prior submissions, the CFTC had failed to discuss why they had not served the two known Token Holders.  As to the CFTC’s position that they were not required to make such service, the judge said:

I will address in detail the substance of the CFTC’s arguments, as well at the amici’s counterarguments, in my upcoming order on the motions for reconsideration. As will be detailed in that order, it seems clear in this case that Ooki DAO has actual notice of the litigation. But to provide the best practicable notice, the CFTC should serve at least one identifiable Token Holder if that is possible. I will delay entering that order until the CFTC has made that attempt….If the CFTC is unable to do so, it is ordered to show cause why service is impossible.


David Zaslowsky has a degree in computer science and, before going to Yale Law School, was a computer programmer. His practice focuses on international litigation and arbitration. He has been involved in cases in trial and appellate courts across the United States and before arbitral institutions around the world. Many of David’s cases, including some patent cases, have related to technology. David has been included in Chambers for his expertise in international arbitration. He is the editor of the firm's blockchain blog.