The fighting gloves have been put on as cryptocurrency and blockchain associations in Russia, China, and South Korea announce they are planning to launch a joint lawsuit in May against Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yandex for refusing to list cryptocurrency advertisements.
According to a report from news outlet TASS, the organizations – the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB), the Korea Venture Business Associations, and LCBT, a Chinese association of crypto investors – created the Eurasian Association of Blockchain to fund and file the lawsuit.
Yury Pripachkin, president of the RACIB, said at the Blockchain-RF 2018 conference held in Moscow this week, that the companies concerned had entered into, what amounted to, cartel collusion.
Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Yandex banned the advertising of crypto-currencies in their networks. We believe that this is the use of the monopoly position of the four companies that entered into a cartel with each other to manipulate the market. The ban on these four organizations led to a significant drop in the market in recent months.
Pripachkin went on to say that:
We believe that if it turns out that the shareholders or managers of these companies own cryptocurrencies, which they use for personal gain, using the capabilities of their companies, they are subject to prosecution.
In February, Facebook took the step of announcing that it was banning adverts related to the cryptocurrency market, in particular initial coin offerings (ICOs) to prevent ‘misleading or deceptive’ advertisements. At the time, Rob Leathern, a Facebook product management director, announced the ban via a company blog post, stating that:
We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception. That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.
This was followed up by an announcement from Google that is was following suit with a change to its financial services policy from June. This, in turn, eventually saw Twitter stating that it would also be prohibiting advertisements related to digital currencies. It’s ban became effective on Tuesday.
Since the bans have been announced market prices for cryptocurrencies have fallen, which has also been down to other factors. Earlier today, it was reported that the combined digital currency market had dipped below $300 billion. At the time of publishing, the market has recovered slightly and is trading at $300.4 billion; however, bitcoin has dropped under $8,000 again, at $7,957, according to CoinMarketCap.