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BitClout Receives Cease-and-Desist Letter after Firm Raised Undisclosed Amount from 11 Investors

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by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
BitClout Receives Cease-and-Desist Letter after Firm Raised Undisclosed Amount from 11 Investors
Photo: Unsplash

A law firm slammed BitClout with a Cease-and-Desist letter for using Brandon Curtis’s identity without consent.

Controversial social network BitClout has received a cease-and-desist letter after the company conducted its financial round and added new investors. The legal warning addresses the alleged head of the social network Nadar Al-Naji for using the likeness of Brandon Curtis, the product lead at decentralized token exchange Rader Relay.

BitClout Receives Cease-and-Desist Letter

The law firm representing Curtis, Anderson Kill P.C. issued the cease-and-desist letter. The law firm said that Al-Naji breached California’s Civil Code Section 3344. The code serves all cities across US, and it protects individuals’ right to gain from the commercial value of their identity. In the letter, the law firm also said that the code violators are liable to pay a fine of $750. Such violator also has the option of paying for actual damages incurred for the unauthorized use of Curtis’s identity.

Brandon Curtis recently uploaded the cease-and-desist letter on Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR). The letter stated that Curtis noticed the illegal use of his name and other details on his Twitter profile on the BitClout website. Noting that Curtis noticed the use of his identity on BitClout Site on the 19th of March, the letter stated further:

“This was done without Mr. Curtis’s consent, as appears to be the case with almost all of the profiles on the Site. Indeed, BitClout uses the name, reputation, and likeness of over 15,000 well-known individuals to offer consumers the opportunity to purchase tokens tied to these individuals’ identities by direct payment of bitcoin to you.”

Notably, the founders of BitClout have gone by pseudonyms. Therefore, Anderson Kill carefully noted in the letter that BitClout is “a project that we understand was launched by you and is under your control.”

CoinDesk said that James Prestwich, the founder of DeFi startup Summa also named Al-Naji as the creator of BitClout. According to Prestwich, his claim is based on personal knowledge.

BitClout Raises Undisclosed Amount from 11 Investors

According to information provided by Crunchbase, BitClout has raised an undisclosed sum in a funding round on the 23rd of March. Crunchbase revealed that BitClout has a total of 11 investors. North Island Ventures and Coinbase Ventures are the company’s most recent investors. The other investors include Alexis Ohanian, TQ Ventures, Social Capital. Also, Sequoia Capital, Winklevoss Capital, Polychain, Digital Currency Group, and a16z crypto are some BitClout’s investors.

CoinDesk revealed that Curtis’s identity is not the first to appear on the BitClout website. Previously, BitClout used the identity of one of the lawyers that signed the letter, Preston Byrne. In reaction, Byrne asked BitClout to remove his profile from the platform. The lawyer said:

“…you do not have any permission to use my name and likeness to sell shitcoins. I demand that you remove this misleading and deceptive page from your site immediately.”

About 24 hours later, Byrne confirmed that BitClout had removed his name and identity as requested.

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Ibukun Ogundare

Ibukun is a crypto/finance writer interested in passing relevant information, using non-complex words to reach all kinds of audience. Apart from writing, she likes to see movies, cook, and explore restaurants in the city of Lagos, where she resides.

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