Cristiano Ronaldo, renowned for his football prowess, finds himself embroiled in a staggering $1 billion class-action lawsuit tied to his association with the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, according to The Economic Times.
These digital tokens, released in November 2022, sported Ronaldo’s initials and shirt number. Initially priced at $77 (£60.76), their value has plummeted to a mere $1 (£0.79) within a year. The claimants attribute the colossal losses to Ronaldo’s involvement, asserting that it prompted loss-making investments, amassing damages exceeding $1 billion.
The lawsuit contends that Ronaldo not only promoted but actively participated in offering and selling unregistered securities in tandem with Binance. It further claims a dramatic surge, up to “500 percent increase in searches,” for the crypto exchange following the token release, allegedly attributed to Ronaldo’s endorsement.
Gary Gensler, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), previously emphasized the necessity for public disclosure by celebrities endorsing investment opportunities, particularly in crypto-asset securities. He urged investors to conduct thorough research before investing, emphasizing the importance of understanding the motives behind such endorsements.
Ronaldo’s statement about the NFT range, shared via social media, aimed to revolutionize the NFT game and elevate football to unprecedented levels. However, claimants assert that Ronaldo failed to disclose the extent of his financial gains from this collaboration, a crucial detail that should have been made public.
Nigel Green, CEO of DeVere Group, widened the scope of responsibility, highlighting the need for regulatory guidelines in this evolving financial landscape. He stressed that while Ronaldo stands accused, the broader issue encompasses the sluggishness of global regulators in establishing clear directives for such financial ventures.
Despite the legal entanglement, Ronaldo hinted at an ongoing association with Binance, hinting at something in the works via a recent social media post.
This legal debacle arises following Ronaldo’s departure from Manchester United to the Saudi Pro League’s Al-Nassr, where he became the first high-profile footballer to make the move. His transition sparked a trend, drawing other prominent figures from the Premier League to the Middle East, including players like Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard.