US Lawsuit Against Jihan, Ver, Others Not Going Away

Efforts to make a lawsuit against Jihan Wu, Roger Ver and others in a US jurisdiction case go away has been thwarted. The defendants – Jihan, Ver, Bitmain Group, Bitcoin.com, Jesse Powell, Kraken, Amaury Sechet, Shammah Chancellor and Jason Cox – filed a motion to dismiss an action by Miami-based UnitedCorp on Feb 1. They argued that the UnitedCorp suit does not meet the standards to proceed.

But the US-based company says it provided details to support the suit including a YouTube video to prove that the defendants made explicit statements that indicate their coordination to conspire. Hence, it has instead filed a Consolidated Opposition to the defendant’s motions to dismiss complaint in the first crypto-related antitrust suit in the US.

Further, due to the residency of certain defendants outside the US, UnitedCorp notes in a statement that it has filed a motion with the Court to extend the time to serve those presently located overseas in the suit.

“We challenge the Defendants to explain their actions under oath and justify why their actions have not violated US antitrust laws. Should any of the counts in our suit actually be dismissed, the complaint will be amended as appropriate,” says UnitedCorp President Benoit Lalibert.

Defendants’ alleged involvement

UnitedCorp had launched a suit for damages and injunctive relief against the defendants last December for various claims. They include that the defendants collectively engaged in unfair methods of competition to manipulate the BitcoinCash network for their benefit. It claimed that these actions caused the network to lose more than $4 bln in value to the detriment of UnitedCorp and other Bitcoin Cash stakeholders.

The US company also alleged that the defendants colluded to hijack the Bitcoin Cash network after the Nov.15, 2018-scheduled software update. It claims Ver, Kraken developers of BitcoinABC and Bitmain acted together to redirect hashing power at the exact moment of the update, forcing the implementation of BitcoinABC software moving away from its native Bitcoin-based blockchain design.

UnitedCorp says the effort was to make the network favor a particular BitcoinABC version which was made possible by Bitmain’s use of “Overt ASICBoost” firmware which it says was made available in advance of the update only to BitcoinABC-supported pools operated by Bitcoin.com of Ver.

Going forward

As an open-source software issue, it is not clear whether the UnitedCorp case would hold water in court or be rejected as users are free to work with any software that meets their needs. Meanwhile, Ver has openly shared his legal bill running into almost $80,000 so far for his defense against what he described as the Bitcoin SV community’s ‘frivolous lawsuit against open source software developers.’

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