Renowned legal firm JPB Liberty has filed a class-action lawsuit within the court of New South Wales earlier today, targeting Facebook and Google for anti-competitive behavior for banning crypto advertising earlier in 2018.
JPB argues the ban, that was loosened earlier in last year, killed the initial coin offering [ICO] market and caused severe financial damage to the broader cryptocurrency industry.
JPB Liberty CEO Andrew Hamilton said the tech giants had acted as a cartel in launching the cryptocurrency ad ban, so as to crush competition from the blockchain sector.
The suit has garnered over $600 Mln worth of claims from across the crypto community, with claimant sign-ups set to stay open until 21st August. Hamilton added that the entire value of claims could grow to as much as $300 Bln.
The case has been funded by friends and family of Hamilton, additionally to institutional litigation funders. If the suit is successful, claimants will receive 70% of any future settlement, while the case’s funeral will reap the remaining 30%.
As the suit has been filed in Australia, the losing party within the case are going to be susceptible to pay all legal expenses incurred throughout the proceedings.
While explaining further, Hamilton slammed the firms’ pretext of protecting users against scams in justifying the crypto ad ban.
“There are impersonation scams of crypto everywhere on YouTube – impersonating the Ripple CEO, the Binance CEO etc..”
“Youtube has did not ban actual impersonation scams while banning the real company,” said Hamilton, noting legal action taken by Binance against YouTube.
“CZ, the CEO of Binance, has said: ‘we, Binance, can’t advertise on YouTube […] but you’re letting scammers using my image and advertise, to not just post on YouTube, but advertise on Google AdWords.’”
Hamilton said research has shown the bulk of scams related to the cryptocurrencies are impersonations during which fraudsters claim to be related to the blockchain industry — noting a recent proliferation in crypto impersonation scams using YouTube to seek out victims.
“It’s the foremost appalling and egregious thing I’ve ever heard of,” Hamilton added.