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Judge Rejects Cristiano Ronaldo’s Motion to Dismiss NFT Lawsuit

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Soccer superstar Christiano Ronaldo’s request to dismiss a 1 billion USD class-action lawsuit was rejected on May 4. The lawsuit concerns its promotion of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Binance.

According to Newsweek, Judge Roy Altman issued the decision saying, “We deny defendant’s motion to dismiss without prejudice.”

Judge Rejects Cristiano Ronaldo's Motion to Dismiss NFT Lawsuit

Ronaldo remains stuck with a 1 billion USD lawsuit

“Accordingly, we direct the clerk to close and stay this case until we determine the pending motions to compel arbitration in the related action,” the judge added.

Arbitration is a private form of dispute resolution in which the final decision of the case is left to a neutral, mutually acceptable third party, rather than going to court.

The investors sued Ronaldo in November 2023, a year after the athlete launched an NFT collection called “CR7” in collaboration with Binance.

The name of the collection represents Ronaldo’s initials and shirt number, which he often uses as a trademark for his products. It features digital collectibles of himself and moments from his sports career and, according to Binance’s website, represents “innovation, artistry and the unparalleled thrill of fan engagement.”

However, prosecutors accused him last year that his promotion of these NFTs was “misleading and unlawful” and led them to make costly and unsafe investment decisions. Since the beginning of 2022, Ethereum-based NFT coins and trading volumes have fallen along with ground prices.

Ronaldo’s advertisement for Binance

Some of Ronaldo’s promotional activities have included posts on his Instagram account, including one in March in which he played foosball with another exchange-sponsored athlete.

“I had an amazing time with @binance and created the next level of fan experience,” he wrote in January. “Thanks to my ForeverCR7 NFT collection, I was able to meet and train with the owners of my rarest NFTs.”

In the November lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Binance reached the height of its “fraud” only thanks to the sale of unregistered securities, which was enabled and supported by numerous celebrities such as Ronaldo. Binance is currently battling in court with US regulators over whether the NFTs and tokens on its platform constitute investment contracts under US securities law.

The plaintiffs argued that Ronaldo’s promotional efforts caused a 500% increase in Google searches for the keyword “Binance” when he announced his partnership with the exchange. Its premium NFTs sold out within a week of launch.

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All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.