Cryptocurrencies, which were once considered fringe, happen to befast traction as animbursement method, and with it comes lawsuit and regulation.According to Business Insider, large corporations such as Xbox, PayPal, Coca-Cola, Sotheby’s, Restaurant Brands International (parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes), and Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Burger Grilland The Habit), to name a few, use to be now accepting cryptocurrency payments.Others, such as Starbucks, are thinking about accepting digital currency as a payment option.
Cryptocurrency is “a digital currency or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography,” according to Investopedia.Cryptocurrencies are “systems that enable secure online payments in the form of virtual ‘tokens,’ which are represented by ledger entries within the system.” Furthermore, many cryptocurrencies are decentralised networks based on blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger enforced by a network of computers.Cryptocurrencieshappen to berenowned by the fact that they happen not to be issued by any fundamental authority, making them hypothetically immune to government intervention or manipulation.” It’s important to note the distinctions between cryptocurrencies and other virtual coins or tokens, as Cointelegraph explains.
Cryptocurrencies, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
There are many different types of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and XRP, to name a few. According to Investopedia, Bitcoin, the first blockchain-based cryptocurrency, was launched in 2009 and is the most popular and valuable.Litecoin, Namecoin, Peercoin, and Ethereum (Dash, zcash) are some of the other alternative cryptocurrencies.Because of the semi-anonymity of these types of transactions, cryptocurrencies have the potential to make it cooler to handover funds between two parties without the need for a third party (e.g., a bank). However, because of the semi-anonymity of these types of transactions, they can be a breeding ground for illegal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion.Furthermore, the value of cryptocurrencies fluctuates a lot.
Because cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin aren’t linked to any entity, it’s difficult to track their legal history. A search for “Bitcoin” in Docket Alarm, for example, returns consequences for seized Bitcoins or Bitcoin holders, but no Bitcoinobject because none exists.Litigation for aqcryptocurrencysimilarto XRP, which use to beinterrelated to a company, can be tracked (Ripple).
XRP Digital Asset and Ripple Labs
Since 2020, Ripple Labs has been hit with a slew of lawsuits, including one from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for supposedly raising in excess of $1.3 billion through unrecorded digital securities offerings through its XRP digital asset security. Ripple Labs was also hit with a slew of lawsuits from XRP investors alleging securities violations.
Ripple Labs has been sued eight times since January 2020, including by the SEC. The Northern District of California, as well as the Southern District of New York and the Middle District of Florida, were among the courts where the majority of the lawsuits were filed. Five of the eight lawsuits involved case tags for securities, commodities, and exchanges, as well as fraud and trademark cases.
Tether (formerly Realcoin) is a cryptocurrency created by Tether Limited, a company controlled by Bitfinex’s owners. In February, the companies also agreed to pay $18.5 million to settle false financial claims with the New York Attorney General.
It is a bitcoin mining company, has been sued three times since 2020, with two cases filed in 2021 January and another in March; all three cases were filed in the Southern District of New York under the securities case type.According to a report by Law Street Media, one of the lawsuits was filed against the company by a securities purchaser on behalf of a putative class of those who purchased Bit Digital securities, alleging that Bit Digital operates a fake cryptocurrency business. Kagen, Caspersen& Bogart PLLC is Bit Digital’s legal counsel.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Stages
According to the Corporate Finance Institute, cryptocurrency exchanges are “platforms that enable the trading of cryptocurrencies for additional assets, comprising digital and fiat currencies,” efficiently acting as a middleman between a buyer and seller.
Coinbase is the largest digital currency exchange marketplace, with a market capitalization of $99.6 billion. Early in 2020, Coinbase was hit with a slew of lawsuits, which continued through the end of the year and into the spring of 2021. Four of the 11 lawsuits were filed in the Northern District of California, two in the District of Delaware, and the rest were filed in different courts.Contract disputes, stockholder suits, property damage, civil rights claims, and patent suits are among the types of lawsuits. Some of the lawsuits involving Coinbase are procedural criminal matters or in rem jurisdiction cases involving Coinbase accounts.
Since January 2020, Kraken, a global cryptocurrency exchange owned by Payward Inc., has faced little litigation. In the Northern District of California, the Middle District of Florida, and the Southern District of New York, three lawsuits were filed. Suits are also divided into three categories: fraud, civil rights (ADA), and statutory actions.In two of the three lawsuits, Payward Inc. is the defendant. Payward filed a lawsuit against a former employee for allegedly gaining unauthorised access to and misappropriating confidential business information and trade secrets.
Since 2020, Binance has been sued six times, the majority of which occurred in the second half of that year. Three of the lawsuits are about property damage, one is about assault, libel, and slander (filed against Forbes Media), and the other is about securities, commodities, and exchanges. The lawsuits were filed in California’s Northern District, New Jersey’s District Court, and New York’s Southern District.Four of the five lawsuits name Binance as a defendant. In April 2020, Binance was part of a wave of lawsuits filed against cryptocurrency exchanges.