Corporate giants Google, Twitter and Facebook could soon face the wrath of cryptocurrency business owners in a class-action lawsuit relating to the banning of cryptocurrency-related advertising in 2018.
- According to a Sunday report from Daily Mail Australia, Australian crypto business owners, represented by Sydney-based law firm JPB Liberty, allege they were harmed by the banning of their advertisements and are seeking damages amounting to A$872 million (US$600 million).
- That amount could rise to A$300 billion in total as more litigants join the class action, according to the report.
- The ad bans were aimed to minimize harm to potential investors in initial coin offering (ICO) scams, but allegedly also had a sweeping effect on legitimate crypto businesses also.
- Facebook, Twitter and Google all took action throughout 2018, including the bans in their terms of service.
- A "no-win no-fee" case has been put before a senior barrister who will review the circumstances surrounding the case before it will move forward.
- JPB Liberty is seeking to raise funding for the case from venture capitalists, litigation funders and investors, with claimants to receive 70% of any settlement and funders a 30% cut.
- In May 2019, Facebook softened its crypto ban by allowing ads involving blockchain, industry news, educational content or events related to cryptocurrency to no longer require prior written approval.
- Google came around a little sooner, reversing parts of its ban in October 2018 and allowing regulated exchanges to purchase advertising from the tech giant in the U.S. and Japan.
- Twitter has yet to lift its ban relating to the advertising of ICOs, token sales, exchanges and wallet services.