Coinbase Wins Appeal in Bitcoin Gold Case

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  • Coinbase has survived an appeal against a verdict awarded to it in the case of a Bitcoin Gold claim from 2017
  • Darrell Archer had sued the company after they refused to honor the Bitcoin Gold hard fork in 2017, meaning he didn’t get the coins he was due
  • Coinbase was found not to be in breach of contract and not acted improperly

Coinbase exchange has emerged victorious in a case against a customer who sued them for not handing out Bitcoin Gold tokens when Bitcoin forked to create the offshoot in 2017. The plaintiff, Darrell Archer, sued Coinbase in 2018 following their decision not to hand over the generated BTG tokens at the time of the fork, which were due to all Bitcoin holders, after the creators refused to make their code open source. It won the initial case and have also won Archer’s appeal, marking an end to the case.

Coinbase Refused to Honor Bitcoin Gold Fork

Archer’s case against Coinbase accused the exchange of “breach of contract, negligence, and conversion” after they refused to allow him to claim the 350 BTG tokens that he was technically due when Bitcoin forked to Bitcoin Gold in November 2017. Under the guidelines governing the fork, all Bitcoin holders were due to get a corresponding number of forked, as is common with Bitcoin forks.

However, Coinbase declared that they would not be supporting the fork, claiming that “developers have not made the code available to the public to review” which they viewed as “a major security risk.” A disgruntled Archer took Coinbase to court, claiming that the tokens were his and that Coinbase had effectively stolen them.

Archer’s Appeal Fails

Coinbase won the battle on all three fronts, with the judge in the case ruling that there was no contract between Coinbase and Archer that extended to circumstances surrounding forked currencies and that he failed to prove that the exchange had in any way deprived him of his BTG tokens. It was therefore awarded summary judgement.

Not satisfied, Archer appealed this decision, but earlier this week his appeal was rejected, with Judge Ethan P. Schulman of the California First Appellate Court (Division One) agreeing with the original summary judgement and reaffirming that it did not fail in its duty of care towards him. BTG hit its all-time high of $465 shortly after its fork in November 2017, since when it has plummeted to a current value of $10.57.