Coinbase to Face Negligence Lawsuit Over BCH Launch Despite Not Committing Fraud

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by Verolian Opiyo · 3 min read
Coinbase to Face Negligence Lawsuit Over BCH Launch Despite Not Committing Fraud
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A bittersweet moment as Coinbase is cleared of fraud by a San Francisco Judge but slammed exchange’s ‘incompetence’ over its controversial launch of Bitcoin Cash in 2017.

Coinbase, a long-standing crypto exchange, will be tried in a court of law for negligence lawsuits from users who purchased Bitcoin Cash (BCH) accompanying its allegedly mismanaged listing on the platform during the bull market boom in 2017, a judge has ruled.

California’s Northern District judge Vince Chhabria disregard accusation by Jeffery Berk, the plaintiff’s unfair competition and fraud issues against Coinbase, as well as the negligence issue caused by the individuals who traded BCH. The U.S district judge further declined the motions by Coinbase to transfer the case to arbitration and to rule out the consumers’ negligence case, insisting its “plausible” that the firm “breached its duty to maintain a functional market.”

On Tuesday’s ruling, Judge Vince Chhabria wrote:

“For starters, the fact that Coinbase halted trading within three minutes of the launch is indicative of dysfunction,”

The case was registered early last year by Jeffrey Berk, an ex Coinbase customer, who claimed that the exchange authorized insider trading on its GDAX trading system from 19-21 Dec 2017, since BCH prices boomed just before Coinbase made public the available trading options on December 20th. Jeffrey, a resident of Arizona, recorded the case on behalf of other customers. The first two versions of his complaint were abandoned.

In abandoning the insider trading theory, the judge focused on the absence of “causation” confirmed by the plaintiff’s price volatility claims. In 2018, Coinbase recruited two law companies to investigate allegations on its insider trading, who reportedly found the exchange clean.

The Level of Care

Despite the ruling, the exchange will need to demonstrate it adhered to a standard of stipulated care to hinder foreseeable danger to customers.

The platform contested that it had a mandate to strategize against market fluctuation, indicating lack of regulation to avoid the economic loss of other users. The judge’s order answered:

“The interpretation that the California Supreme Court would be most likely to adopt is that Coinbase indeed had a duty to maintain a functional marketplace.”

Since Coinbase convinced traders to join the market by fostering the launch of BCH and maintained a standard of trust when processing customers transactions.

And because the traders’ motion was declined with preconception, it challenging to be amended. However, the detection process will continue, and the Californias judge left an opportunity for the traders to reregister the case should provide additional evidence to defend their position a rise.

Granted Motion to Decline the Fraud Claims

Now, Plaintiffs will have to proceed based on a negligence case. According to Chhabria, the BCH launch was done in a hurry, breeding problems from the beginning. He continued to say:

“The motion to dismiss the fraud claims is granted. The plaintiffs have not particularly pleaded their reliance on Coinbase’s allegedly fraudulent statements.”

The report also discharged Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, and David Farmer, head of product from a scam:

“Moreover, while the factual allegations paint a compelling picture of an incompetent launch by Coinbase, the complaint does not outline a coherent account of fraud by Coinbase, Armstrong, and Farmer.”

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Verolian Opiyo

An avid reader and enthusiastic writer, Verolian recently chose to dedicate his time doing freelance writing. He holds a degree in English Literature and is experienced in the future of finance, creativity, literature, and innovation tucked under his belt. Verolian crafts engaging and compelling content for Blockchain and Crypto audience.

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