Can law enforcement agencies seize the assets of a DAO?

Select jurisdiction

  • Germany
  • Italy


In principle, this is possible in certain constellations, yes. The legal basis for seizing crypto assets in particular is found directly in the Criminal Code (StGB). In the past, crypto assets have already been successfully seized and used in preliminary proceedings. However, whether the assets of a DAO can actually be seized by the investigating authorities must be examined on a case-to-case basis.

Phil Hamacher

Insolvency, Tax, Crypto, DAO


As of today, there are no laws or regulations regarding
the legal status of DAOs nor Legislative Decree no.
231/2001 (the “Decree”), establishing criminal liability
over the entities with legal personality and regulating
seizure of their assets, expressly includes DAOs within its
scope; therefore, the relevant regulations concerning the
criminal seizure of company’s assets are not currently
applicable. Nevertheless, should it be possible to
incorporate a DAO as one of the entity types to which the
Decree applies, then the judge will be entitled to order
the seizure of the assets of the legal entity. Other forms
of seizure are provided by other laws which may be
applicable depending on the qualification of a DAO and
on the sector it operates in.

Lydia Mendola

IP lawyer

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