Cryptocurrency

International legal challenge to crypto ad ban gathers pace

legal challenge to crypto ad ban
iStock.com/JakeOlimb

A legal challenge against the internet companies such as Google and Facebook that have severely restricted advertising related to crypto products and services is due to be filed in New York in May.

The challenge is a joint effort from a number of international associations and businesses. The initial groups behind the lawsuit were the Eurasian Blockchain Association, the Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association, the Korea Venture Business Association and the Chinese Association of Cryptocurrency Investors.

This group has now been joined by Swiss firm InnMind, the Armenian Blockchain Association and the Kazakhstan Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association. The associations will be represented by a new fund registered in Luxembourg and will be looking to cover legal costs through donations. Interestingly, lawyers will be paid with funds collected in a cryptocurrency wallet registered in Estonia.

Criminal coordination?

President of the Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association, Yuri Pripachkin, said that the legal challenge was a response to the “revival of censorhip”. He told Finversia:

“A business player decides to introduce special requirements in regards to the freedom of information, taking advantage of a monopolized resource. Next time we’ll face racial, religious and other discrimination.”

The challenge is based around the central argument that the simultaneous restrictions on crypto advertising by leading internet companies including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and Facebook is evidence of collusion and the abuse of market monopoly power. Russian media reports also suggest that Yandex, the largest Russian language search engine, has also introduced restrictions.

The lawsuit will allege that coordinated action to limit crypto advertising had serious, manipulative effects on the market, leading to significant and sustained drops in value over the last few months.

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