$13 Billion BSV Class Action Hearing Starts Today

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  • A three-judge panel will hear the merits of a £9.9 billion ($13 billion) class action lawsuit against four cryptocurrency exchanges today
  • The lawsuit, filed in 2022, alleges that Kraken, Binance, Shapeshift, and Bittylicious damaged the value of BSV when they colluded to delist it in 2019
  • The case has been funded by Softwhale Holdings, with financial backing from Calvin Ayre

Today sees the start of a £9.9 billion ($13 billion) class action lawsuit against a clutch of cryptocurrency exchanges accused of colluding to delist BSV in 2019. The lawsuit, filed in 2022, alleges that Kraken, Binance, Shapeshift, and Bittylicious worked together to delist BSV following Craig Wright’s libel lawsuit spree five years ago, damaging holders of the token. The case, which is being heard by the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, is being funded by Antiguan company Softwhale Holdings with funding coming from Craig Wright’s sugar daddy, Calvin Ayre.

Exchanges “Caused the Price of BSV to Fall” 

BSV Claims’ story is that, when Craig Wright began firing libel lawsuits out like confetti in early 2019, “there were a series of tweets between 12 April 2019 to 19 April 2019 in which various cryptocurrency exchanges disclosed their intention to de-list BSV and called on other cryptocurrency exchanges to also de-list.”

This behavior, BSV Claims argues, “caused the price of BSV to fall in the immediate aftermath,” leading to “immediate and persistent long-term effects for BSV holders (including the ‘forgone growth effect’ meaning the lost opportunity of BSV developing into a ‘top tier’ cryptocurrency and the expropriation of coins from users of the Binance or Kraken cryptocurrency exchange) thereby caused loss and damage.”

BSV Claims wants the four exchanges punished for engaging in “an anticompetitive agreement and/or concerted practice which had as its object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within the internal market,” with the class action suit alleging that some 240,000 BSV holders in the UK alone were harmed by their actions.

Three-day Hearing Will Decide Merits

The three-day hearing is the first major hurdle that the lawsuit faces, with a three-judge panel hearing arguments from all sides before making a decision as to whether or not the case has merit.

If it does, it will go to the trial stage, with the judges also deciding if an ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’ process best fits the case; opt-in means that those who believe they were affected would have to apply to BSV Claims to be added to the list of claimants, whereas opt-out means they would be automatically included and would have to opt out of the case.

The case is being funded by Softwhale Holdings, which will “receive a fee in exchange for taking on the risk of funding the claim,” with the fee calculated depending on the stage the case reaches and how much it has spent. A spokesman for Ayre told Bloomberg last year that the Ayre Group is “pleased to support a claim by U.K. investors in BSV affected by conduct that constitutes anti-competitive practices in violation of competition law.”

If this case turns out as well as the lawsuit spree that started it, Ayre should be worried: Wright pulled his suits against Vitalik Buterin and Adam Back, lost against Hodlonaut, and won £1 against Peter McCormack after the judge ruled that he put forward a “deliberately false case”. Aside from some areas of the McCormack pre-trial case, Wright was forced to pay costs for all parties in all cases, with Ayre footing the bill.