Cristiano Ronaldo Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over Binance Promotion

December 1, 2023

By Sharan Kaur Phillora

In a startling development, renowned footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is embroiled in a legal battle following a class-action lawsuit filed against him. The suit, initiated by plaintiffs Michael Sizemore, Mikey Vongdara, and Gordon Lewis, alleges that Ronaldo’s promotion of the crypto exchange Binance led to significant financial losses for investors. This lawsuit, filed on November 27 in a U.S. District Court in Florida, highlights celebrity endorsements in the volatile world of cryptocurrencies.

Here’s what we know:

Ronaldo’s partnership with Binance began in mid-2022, centering around the promotion of his own series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The plaintiffs contend that Ronaldo’s influential role and widespread social media presence, encompassing over 850 million followers, significantly boosted Binance’s profile. 

They argue that the football star’s promotions were a key factor in encouraging investments in what are claimed to be unregistered securities, including Binance’s BNB and various crypto yield programs. The complaint notes a staggering 500% increase in searches for Binance following Ronaldo’s NFT sales, indicating the effectiveness of his endorsement.

Simultaneously, Binance and its founder, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, are confronting their own legal troubles. Binance recently pleaded guilty to violations of Anti-Money Laundering laws and running an unregistered money-transmitting business, resulting in a hefty $4.3 billion settlement with the U.S. government. Zhao has resigned as CEO and faces a possible 18-month prison sentence. 

Additionally, Binance has agreed to up to five years of compliance monitoring under the U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury. The SEC is also pursuing Binance for allegedly selling unregistered securities and is investigating potential misappropriation of customer funds​.

This lawsuit against Cristiano Ronaldo exemplifies the increasing scrutiny over celebrity endorsements in the cryptocurrency sector. It underscores the risks and responsibilities associated with such promotions, especially in an industry that is still navigating regulatory clarity and public trust. 

The outcome of this lawsuit could set a precedent for future celebrity endorsements in the crypto industry, potentially reshaping how these partnerships are viewed and regulated.

About the author

Sharan Kaur Phillora’s thirst for knowledge has led her to study many different subjects, including NFTs and Blockchain technology – two emerging technologies that will change how we interact with each other in the future. When she isn’t exploring a new idea or concept, she enjoys reading literary masterpieces.

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