Amidst the whirlwind of legal turbulence surrounding the crypto exchange Binance, Cristiano Ronaldo, the iconic soccer star currently playing at Saudi Arabian football club Al Nassr, finds himself entangled in a proposed class-action lawsuit.
Plaintiffs allege losses due to Ronaldo’s involvement in promoting Binance, which has faced legal scrutiny.
The filing, dated November 27th and submitted to a United States district court in Florida, accuses Ronaldo of playing a role in promoting and facilitating the sale of unregistered securities in collaboration with Binance.
Ronaldo’s association with Binance traces back to a multiyear partnership initiated in mid-2022, aimed at endorsing his own series of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), at least three of which were linked to Binance.
The lawsuit contends that individuals who engaged with Ronaldo’s NFTs were more inclined to utilize Binance for various purposes, including investing in what the plaintiffs claim are unregistered securities, such as Binance’s BNB tokens and its crypto yield programs, according to Cointelegraph.
Highlighting Ronaldo’s massive influence, the complaint underlines his pivotal role in augmenting Binance’s popularity, citing his staggering social media following of 850 million across platforms. It asserts that Ronaldo’s NFT sales significantly bolstered the exchange’s visibility, allegedly resulting in a 500% surge in searches for Binance in the week following the initial sale.
The lawsuit implies that Ronaldo, given his investment experience and substantial resources, should have been aware of Binance’s alleged sale of unregistered crypto securities. It references U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidance that cautions celebrities about disclosing payments received for promoting cryptocurrencies, a step the complaint alleges Ronaldo failed to take.
The plaintiffs driving this class-action lawsuit seek damages and coverage for legal expenses stemming from their claimed losses.
Meanwhile, Binance and its founder, CZ, grapple with their own legal entanglements. Following a guilty plea and a $4.3 billion settlement for breaching Anti-Money Laundering laws and operating an unregistered money-transmitting business, Zhao has stepped down as CEO.
Additionally, Binance faces up to five years of compliance monitoring by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury.
Update to the Binance Community
On another note, Binance.US provided clarity to its community after last week’s events.
The management clarified that Binance.US operates independently, serving United States customers while adhering strictly to U.S. rules and regulations. Despite sharing a brand and top-tier technology with Binance.com, Binance.US is not involved in the settlements announced or any outstanding enforcement matters with U.S. regulatory bodies such as the DOJ, FinCEN, OFAC, or CFTC. The platform remains fully operational and committed to delivering consistent products and services to its customers.
The management also explained that with CZ’s transition away from Binance, he has resigned from his position as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Binance.US and transferred his voting rights. This shift signifies CZ’s reduced involvement in governance, maintaining an economic interest in the company without direct governance responsibilities.
Acknowledging CZ’s instrumental guidance, Binance.US expresses gratitude for his support in establishing the platform as a preferred choice for U.S. customers seeking a premier crypto trading experience.
Moving forward, Binance.US continues under the leadership of Norman Reed and the existing experienced management team. The platform affirms its strong financial standing, poised to advance its platform with renewed clarity and momentum while upholding a steadfast commitment to customer satisfaction.
The note concluded that the team remains enthusiastic about the business prospects and the mission to revolutionize and make accessible the financial system for all.
The crypto exchange has also shared that it will cease support for BUSD products starting December 15, 2023. Users may trade or convert their BUSD balances for $FDUSD at zero trading fees.