Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are preparing to sue Google, Facebook and Twitter in an Australian class action lawsuit that could cost the tech giants up to US$300 billion (A$436 billion). The David-and-Goliath case has attracted litigants with US$600million (A$872million) worth of claims so far - a number that has increased as more people join. The no-win no-fee case has now been put before a senior barrister for review, pending funding to file.Â
(Image: [[|]]) Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are suing Google, Facebook and Twitter in Australia under anti-cartel laws, saying the big tech firms colluded to ban crypto and blockchain ads
The companies and individuals, represented byÂ Sydney-based firm JPB Liberty, say their businesses were harmed when Google, Facebook and Twitter all banned cryptocurrency advertising in 2018. The social media giants acted within weeks of each other, and included the ban in their terms and conditions of service. Google announced it would partially reverse the sweeping ban in September of 2018, to allow regulated exchanges to buy ads in the US and Japan. Facebook said in 2019 it would no longer require pre-approval for ads related to blockchain technology, also caught up in the ban, however those advertising cryptocurrency would still have to go through a review. Australia's Moneysmart government website warns of people losing their money in speculative cryptocurrency initial coin offerings on unregulated exchanges, saying many have turned out to be scams.
(Image: [[|]]) JPB Liberty's Vice President of Technology Brian Bishko (left) and chief executive Andrew Hamilton (right) pictured in July last year.
The pair are spearheading the lawsuit Other cryptocurrencies, most famously Bitcoin, have turned into widely used products useful for moving money across borders, while the blockchain technology that underpins it is revolutionising data security. The entrepreneurs say there were very few regulated exchanges in 2018 so the social media advertising ban hurt their legitimate business growth as they were prevented from using the world's largest online advertising platforms to reach potential customers. JPB Liberty is organising funding for the case from institutional litigation funders, venture capital and ideologically aligned investors. Claimants will get 70 percent of any eventual settlement or damages while the funders will get 30 percent.Â Â
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Brian Bishko, JPB Liberty's Israeli-based Vice President of Technology & Public Affairs, and himself a conservative blogger, said the social media giants had become too large. 'I think Facebook is too powerful to exist in the world -Â I honestly think it's a danger to the world,' he said. Dr Bishko said the ban on cryptocurrency advertising was also crushing new social media networks that run on blockchains such as Hive which pays content creators in its own Hive cryptocurrency. 'Hive, which back then was called Steem, had been growing and growing - and suddenly they couldn't advertise on Facebook and get new users,' he said.Â
(Image: [[|]]) Social media giants Facebook, Twitter and ì°ë¦¬ì¹´ì§ë ¸ê³ì´ Google cannot be held accountable for content on their platforms in the US despite increasingly making editorial decisions like a
l<br>r'It caused enormous g<br> 'If your business had as a component of it anything that looked like a cryptocurrency, ëëì¸ì¹´ì§ë ¸ you got caug n the <br> net.'So maybe you'd get a few adverts but eventually they'd do a review and your account w be bl<br>d.'Â These new emerging social media platforms that use blockchain technology are a threat to YouTube and ì½ì¸ì¹´ì§ë ¸ book, Dr <br>ko said.<div class=“art-ins mol-factbox news” data-version=“2” id=“mol-180ed060-c524-11ea-9f78-bffec9000f46” website Facebook, Twitter face $300b class action lawsuit in Australia