The Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, footballer for the Saudi Al-Nassr, will have to face a class action lawsuit for over $1 billion in the US by a group of investors from the company Binance, the largest currency exchange platform. digital images of the world and of which the athlete was the image.
The Madeira-born striker launched a year ago in collaboration with Binance a collection of NFTs (a type of digital asset that can be bought and sold) under the CR7 brand. Ronaldo then stated that this was a way to repay his fans for “all the years of support.” “We are going to change the world of NFTs and take football to the next level,” he said. However, those assets that a year ago had a price of 77 dollars, are now worth just one.
The plaintiffs defend that Ronaldo should have made public the compensation he received from Binance, since celebrities must abide by the laws established by the country to advertise them. For example, they must disclose who and how much they are paid to promote investment in these assets, since they may be considered securities. The Portuguese did not do it, but the plaintiffs point out that this alliance of Binance and Ronaldo led them to delve into the world of cryptocurrencies and with this they lost a lot of money. To this end, they argue that Internet searches for Binance as a result of the agreement skyrocketed by 500%.
“When celebrities advertise investment opportunities, including crypto assets, investors should ensure that the investments are right for them, and they should know why the celebrities are promoting them,” said Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commission on Investment. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the American financial supervisor.
The complaint has been processed in a Florida court and accuses the Portuguese soccer player of having “promoted, assisted and/or participated in the purchase and sale of unregistered securities in coordination with Binance.” Likewise, it is noted that the footballer should have been aware that “Binance was selling crypto-securities”, since he has “investment experience and extensive resources to obtain advisors.”
This lawsuit comes just a week after the US justice system claimed more than $4 billion from Binance for money laundering, after being investigated for its involvement in evading US sanctions against Iran and Russia. They are also trying to determine whether the company allowed transactions that helped finance Hamas. Changpeng Zhao, founder of the company, resigned last week after pleading guilty to violating the US Bank Secrecy Act and accepting the sanction.