UK Launches First Crypto Competition Class Action Claim

SV Claims began a landmark competition case against major cryptocurrency exchanges seeking damages of up to £9.9 billion.

The claim is brought in the Competition Appeal Tribunal on behalf of an estimated 240,000 UK investors in Bitcoin Satoshi Vision.  The claim, a legal first in competition law applying to the digital assets sector, seeks an opt-out collective proceedings order (“CPO”) on behalf of the estimated 240,000 investors. 

The investors are being represented by BSV Claims Limited, whose director, Lord Currie of Marylebone, was inaugural Chair of both Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).  Lord Currie is a former professor of economics and former Dean of the Bayes Business School.

Last June, the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K. said Binance was “not capable of being effectively supervised,” warning that its “complex and high-risk financial products” posed “a significant risk to consumers.”

The claim alleges that beginning in April 2019 UK BSV holders suffered losses estimated up to £9.9 billion as a result of the delisting of BSV by exchanges Binance, Bittylicious, Kraken and Shapeshift.

Kraken and Binance are also alleged to have caused further losses to investors by forcibly converting BSV to other cryptocurrencies without investors’ consent. The application states that the four exchanges combined in such a way as to breach the Competition Act 1998 by reducing, preventing, or distorting competition in the United Kingdom.

Read More: UK Parliament Launches Inquiry Into Crypto

The application claims that, among other matters, the four exchanges colluded to damage the prospects for BSV by delisting, which prevented trading.  It is alleged the exchanges did this deliberately, harming BSV and reducing competition in the UK between BSV and other digital assets.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.