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Cristiano Ronaldo faces $1 billion lawsuit over Binance promotion and alleged securities violations

Soccer sensation Cristiano Ronaldo is entangled in a significant legal battle as he confronts a $1 billion class action lawsuit related to his collaboration with Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Football Cristiano Ronaldo faces $1 billion lawsuit over Binance promotion and alleged securities violations osf
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First Published Dec 1, 2023, 1:09 PM IST

Renowned footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is confronting a formidable $1 billion class action lawsuit linked to his collaboration with Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Filed in a Florida court, the lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo actively participated in the sale of unregistered securities, particularly non-fungible tokens (NFTs) portraying significant moments from his career. This alleged involvement has purportedly led to substantial financial losses for investors.

In November 2022, Ronaldo joined forces with Binance for the promotion and sale of unique NFTs, transforming digital art into verifiable assets on the blockchain. The legal complaint asserts that Ronaldo made deceptive statements and lent his name and image to Binance's allegedly misleading promotions, resulting in the sale of unregistered crypto securities vulnerable to market fluctuations.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs argue that Ronaldo failed to disclose the nature or extent of his compensation from Binance, a violation of US law. Emphasising the significance of such disclosures, the lawsuit references Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler, who stressed the importance of celebrities revealing their financial arrangements when endorsing securities. Notably, last year, the SEC fined Kim Kardashian over $1 million for a comparable matter.

Seeking damages exceeding $1 billion, the class action lawsuit persists despite legal scrutiny. Ronaldo continues to endorse Binance, sharing an advertisement with his 110 million followers on X account as recently as November 28.

This legal challenge against Ronaldo mirrors similar actions targeting celebrities endorsing cryptocurrency platforms, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Kim Kardashian, and Floyd Mayweather, Jr. These lawsuits underscore the imperative for public figures to transparently disclose their affiliations with digital financial institutions, emphasising the distinctive implications of endorsing cryptocurrencies compared to traditional products like sports beverages or athletic apparel.

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