A cryptocurrency investment fund has launched a class-action lawsuit in a U.S. court against Block.one and EOS’ high command, arguing the “fraudulent scheme” failed to deliver on its primary promise of decentralization.
The Crypto Assets Opportunity Fund (CAOF), along with individual investor Johnny Hong, has accused Block.one, CEO Brendan Blumer, CTO Dan Larimer, former Chief Strategy Officer Brock Pierce and former partner Ian Grigg, of trying to “capitalize on the investor fervor for cryptocurrencies” in 2017 to host an illegal securities sale.
In a strongly worded filing with the Southern District of New York, plaintiffs argue defendants purposefully misled investors and artificially inflated the eos token price during the yearlong initial coin offering (ICO), which raised a total of $4.1 billion between June 2017 and June 2018.
The filing reads: “This case arises out of a fraudulent scheme, fueled by a global frenzy over cryptocurrencies and unchecked human greed, to raise billions of dollars through sales of a cryptocurrency called EOS – an unregistered security – to investors in violation of the United States federal securities laws.”
Both COAF and Hong are seeking damages, to be agreed on by the federal court, from the defendants.
The suit, filed Monday, has six counts. These include well-worn accusations such as Block.one aggressively marketed its token sale in the U.S. without first registering it with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
But the case’s linchpin is the accusation Block.one and its representatives made “dozens of materially false and misleading statements” about EOS, especially in attempts to promote it as a superior new type of decentralized protocol.
In the filing, plaintiffs say EOS was always publicly described as decentralized, and that this formed a crucial part of the whitepaper and broader ICO pitch.
But, they claim, this turned out to be false as soon as...