Bitcoin Association notes landmark Competition Case against major cryptocurrency exchanges

By Ryan Brothwell Published: August 3, 2022
Landmark Competion Case and Bitcoin Association

Bitcoin Association notes the landmark competition case being brought before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) by BSV Claims Ltd on behalf of an estimated 240,000 BSV investors.

BSV Claims Ltd, which is being represented by Velitor Law, is seeking damages of up to £9.9 billion as part of its claim on behalf of an estimated 240,000 BSV investors against four major cryptocurrency exchanges.

The action is formally brought by BSV Claims Limited, an entity formed solely to bring the CPO, the director of that company (and the practical class representative) is Lord David Currie of Marylebone, who was the inaugural Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority, the UK’s competition regulator

The claim is notable as it represents a legal first in competition law within the digital assets sector, with BSV Claims Ltd seeking an opt-out collective proceedings order (CPO) on behalf of the investors.

BSV Claims Ltd alleges that investors using Binance, Bittylicious, Kraken, and Shapeshift suffered significant losses after the exchanges all began delisting BSV at the same time. Kraken and Binance are also alleged to have caused further losses to investors by forcibly converting BSV to other cryptocurrencies without investors’ consent.

BSV Claims Ltd alleges that the four exchanges acted in such a way as to breach the Competition Act 1998 by reducing, preventing, or distorting competition in the United Kingdom. This includes an allegation that the exchanges colluded to damage the prospects for BSV by delisting it – subsequently reducing competition between BSV and other digital assets.

The application also alleges that the exchanges caused investors to lose money and gave them no meaningful opportunity to withdraw their BSV.

While Bitcoin Association is expressly not involved with the legal matter, it recognises the importance of the claim within the current regulatory sphere and given the large size of the four exchanges involved.

Bitcoin Association has always been pro-regulation and is looking forward to both the outcome of this case as well as expected regulatory developments aimed at providing more protection to digital assets investors and preventing market abuse.

Bitcoin Association also recognises the importance of the case and its potential impact on BSV holders who were affected by the delistings. The position claim is an ‘opt-out’ claim, which means that anybody who falls within the class definition is automatically included in the class. It is one of only a small number of opt-out class actions that have ever been filed in the UK and the first-ever Bitcoin-related UK anti-trust claim.