A legal effort to sue bitcoin mining firm KnCMiner over product refunds has been dealt a blow in Sweden, court documents reveal.
The suit traces back to public furor related to the Titan, a mining product developed and released by KnCMiner in 2014 that was designed to confirm transactions for non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies like litecoin, a process known as mining.
Anger among the firm’s customer base over delayed shipments and hardware problems sparked controversy and the rumblings of legal action. The situation led to accusations of fraud and misrepresentation, allegations of which formed the heart of the suit filed in Sweden.
This particular case, one of as many as three publicly known legal efforts begun against KnCMiner, was tried on behalf of 11 individuals, including three based in Sweden.
Documents provided to CoinDesk show that the recent suit against KnCMiner ran into problems related to what rights as consumers those customers had. The court ruled on 29th April that the plaintiffs involved should be considered businesses, not consumers – a key determination that effectively cut them off from seeking redress from the consumer perspective.
Joakim Stringert, who represents the plaintiffs, explained to CoinDesk:
The court further ordered the plaintiffs to pay KnC’s legal costs, amounting to 772,000 krona, or approximately $93,000.
While Stringert said he is appealing the decision on the legal costs, he said there was no immediate plan to appeal the broader court judgment on the grounds that the risk of losing – and bearing even more legal costs – is too high, given the decision pertaining to the customers being businesses.
Path forward uncertain
KnCMiner's Sam Cole told CoinDesk that his firm “won on all counts”, and was awaiting word on the outcome of the legal cost appeal. He also drew contention with the case put forward by the plaintiffs, going as far as to accuse them of presenting false evidence.
"The one thing I will say is the other side had a lot of nonsense and fake evidence they tried to put in front of the court," he said in an email.
In interview, Stringert highlighted a separate class action lawsuit that, according to local reports, is also moving forward. However, he struck a pessimistic tone when asked about the future direction of the lawsuit he represented.
"I can see a few openings here, but it’s nothing I would bet on. And I can’t risk my client’s money, because if we appeal the judgment itself and we lose again, the legal costs will be even higher," he said, adding:
The full (Swedish language) court decision can be found below:
Image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.