Last month, investors filed a class action suit against blockchain software firm Block.one, alleging that the company defrauded investors through the sale of unregulated assets. Over the course of about a year, Block.one allegedly sold 900 million EOS cryptocurrency tokens during its initial coin offering, which netted over $4 billion for the company, but left investors with an effectively worthless unregulated product. The complaint alleges that Block.one has deceived investors in “the biggest of all crypto frauds.”
The class action complaint alleges that Block.one, along with some of its leaders, promoted, offered, and sold an unregistered security called “EOS” throughout the United States, in violation of federal securities laws. Specifically, the plaintiffs assert claims related to the sale of an unregistered security, material misrepresentations and/or omissions in the sale of the security, use of manipulative and deceptive practices, insider trading, and control person liability. The complaint further alleges that Block.one willfully evaded SEC regulations to keep investors in the dark on Block.one’s financial history, operations and budget, executive compensation, material trends, risk factors, and other disclosures required by law.
Promoted as the elite blockchain competitor in comparison to others such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, Block.one is alleged to have sold EOS cryptocurrency tokens by aggressively marketing to investors in the United States and other countries.
This is the second legal challenge over Block.one’s ICO. Last September, the SEC found that Block.one had violated the Securities Act by failing to file a registration statement with the SEC and selling EOS to the public. The company was required to pay a $24 million fine for the unregistered ICO.
The Frankowski Firm is looking to represent investors who want to opt out of this potential class.
In a class action, the plaintiff(s) file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group of people who have suffered a similar injury or financial harm. Block.one investors have the right to opt out of class actions and pursue individual claims against the company. Opting out is well-suited for some claimants but may be ill-advised for others. For example, claimants with sufficient losses often achieve a more favorable result by filing an individual claim rather than participating in the class.
Should YOU opt out of the class action?
If you or a loved one invested in Block.one and have received a class action notice, here are a few tips to help you decide your plan of action:
Pros of Opting Out
- By filing your own lawsuit, you may be able to obtain compensation for related damages that are not included in the class action.
- More claimant control: filing your own lawsuit provides a more individualized and claimant-involved strategy with your attorney.
- Because class action damages are divided into many parts after legal fees, the class award amount may not be enough to cover an individual’s actual loss.
- Class action lawsuits can take a longer time to settle than an individual lawsuit.
- Settlements in class actions are often known to result in penny-on-the-dollar award amounts.
You may want to opt out of a class action and file your own lawsuit if you suspect you suffered substantially more than the typical class member.
Cons of Opting Out
- A class action lowers each claimant’s cost of litigation—claimants share attorney’s fees and court costs with other class members.
- Greater chance of an individual claimant being left empty-handed (if the class action is successful).
- If you did not suffer large damages as a result of your investment in Block.one, you may make a full recovery via the class.
- If you choose to opt-out of a class action, you will not be able to claim part of any final judgment or settlement funds that result from the case.
Seek advice from an attorney. Attorneys can help you make a more informed decision and provide individualized pros and cons about opting out of a class action.
If you are a Block.one investor and have received a class action notice and wish to opt out to pursue an individual claim, please call the Frankowski Firm at 888.741.7503 or fill out this contact form.