Football Superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo is confronted with a collective legal action in the United States over his promotion of Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
The plaintiffs contend that Ronaldo’s endorsement prompted them to engage in investments resulting in financial losses. Their lawsuit seeks damages surpassing $1 billion (£790 million).
Binance introduced its inaugural “CR7” series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in partnership with Ronaldo in November 2022.
The footballer said these tokens were to thank his fans for supporting him adding that the partnership’s intention was to revolutionize the NFT realm and elevate football to new heights.
NFTs are virtual assets that can be bought and sold, but which have no real-world form of their own – in other words they only exist digitally. Generally, they are used to mark ownership of something, such as a picture or video online.
When initially released in November 2022, the cheapest NFT from the collection fetched $77, yet a year later, its value plummeted to approximately $1.
The claimants allege that Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance led to a “500% increase in searches” for the crypto exchange, which is registered in the Cayman Islands.
They also say it led people to use the firm to invest in what they call “unregistered securities” – such as Binance’s BNB cryptocurrency.