Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is now facing a $1 billion class action lawsuit in the United States related to his endorsement of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo’s promotion of Binance led investors to make loss-making investments, seeking damages exceeding $1 billion. This comes after Binance, in partnership with Ronaldo, launched its “CR7” collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in November 2022. Despite the initial token prices, the value significantly dropped a year later.
The claimants argue that Ronaldo’s endorsement resulted in a “500% increase in searches” for Binance, leading people to invest in what they consider “unregistered securities,” such as Binance’s BNB cryptocurrency. According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), these assets can be deemed securities, and celebrities endorsing them must comply with US law, including disclosure of payment details.
Ronaldo, who finished third in the election, claimed that the judiciary is no longer independent but a department of the APC. In a social media video announcing the partnership, Ronaldo assured potential investors that they would “change the NFT game and take football to the next level.” The lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo should have disclosed the amount he was paid for endorsing Binance, which he failed to do.
Nigel Green, the head of consultancy firm DeVere Group, emphasized that the complexities of the case go beyond blaming Ronaldo alone, highlighting the need for global regulators to establish clear guidelines for this evolving financial landscape. Despite the lawsuit, Ronaldo and Binance have hinted at future collaborations, with a recent social media post from Ronaldo stating that they are “cooking something up.” Both Ronaldo’s management company and Binance have not responded to the BBC’s requests for comment.