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Former watchdog chairman sues Binance, Kraken for £10bn in UK’s first crypto competition lawsuit

The former head of the Competition and Markets Authority has sued four crypto firms, including Binance, for nearly £10 billion over alleged collusion to delist a major cryptocurrency from their exchanges.

Lord David Currie, who served as chairman of the CMA from 2014 to 2018, has filed a lawsuit against the crypto giant, as well as exchanges Kraken, Bittylicious and Shapeshift, over the delisting of the BSV token.

The lawsuit, filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal on July 29, is the first crypto competition lawsuit in the UK and comes on behalf of an estimated quarter of a million investors in BSV.

Lord Currie said investors suffered £9.9 billion in losses in 2019 amid alleged “anti-competitive behaviour” by exchanges.

In a statement, he described the case as “an opportunity to show that competition law applies to crypto assets the same way it applies to other economic activities.”

Lord Currie has formed a new firm, BSV Claims, to take the case.

financial news has reached out to Binance, Kraken, Bittylicious, Shapeshift, BSV Claims and Lord Currie for comment.

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The lawsuit is the latest example of UK lawyers trying to apply broader financial services laws to the digital asset industry.

In July, a High Court judge ruled that exchanges should be responsible for preventing criminals from moving assets off their platforms to avoid scrutiny, in a decision that experts said treated crypto the same way becomes like traditional finance.

What is BSV and why is it controversial?

Also known as Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, BSV was created to improve upon Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency. Binance delisted the token in April 2019 after CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and the token’s creator, Craig Wright, had a dispute on Twitter.

CZ tweeted that Wright was “poisoning” the Bitcoin community by threatening to sue people who called him a scammer for claiming he was Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. He added: “Craig Wright is not Satoshi. More of this shit, we delist!”

The Binance boss then urged others to follow suit, which Kraken, Bittylicious, and Shapeshift did within 24 hours.

Shapeshift CEO Erik Voorhees referenced CZ in his episode Notice: “We stand behind the opinion of @binance and CZ. We have decided to delist Bitcoin SV #BSV from @ShapeShift_io within 48 hours.”

READ Crypto Firms Sue Each Other As Regulatory Clouds Gather

Wright, an Australian computer scientist living in Surrey, continues to claim that he is Nakamoto, which has been neither proven nor disproved.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal decides whether the case goes to court. The law firm Velitor acts for BSV Claims.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or updates, email Alex Daniel

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