With the increasing prevalence of contracts containing an obligation by one party to pay the other party in cryptocurrency, there will undoubtedly be a concomitant increase in obligors who fail to pay. For contracts involving the payment of fiat currency, New York law provides the non-breaching party with the option to bypass traditional litigation procedure and instead make a motion for “summary judgment in lieu of complaint,” pursuant to CPLR 3213, in an effort to potentially attain a speedy resolution. But it remains an open question as to whether CPLR 3213 applies to obligations in cryptocurrency.

Summary judgment in lieu of complaint under CPLR 3213 is a useful method under New York law where, instead of serving a traditional summons and complaint, a plaintiff can serve a defendant with a summons, a notice of motion for summary judgment, and the supporting papers. Accordingly, instead of having to go through the time-consuming and costly discovery process before moving for summary judgment, CPLR 3213 can streamline the litigation process, conserve the parties’ resources, and result in a more expedient judgment for plaintiffs.

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