The founder of Bitcoin.com Roger Ver, and other high profile crypto figures including Kraken CEO Jesse Powell, have won a motion to dismiss an antitrust suit filed against them alleging market manipulation.
The amended complaint was filed by crypto company United American Corp in March 2020 against Ver, Powell, Bitmain Technologies and its CEO Jihan Wu, along with Bitcoin Cash developers Shammah Chancellor and Jason Cox.
The case has now been dismissed with prejudice due to a lack of evidence. The emphatic decision came after the district court threw out the initial complaint without prejudice in February 2020.
UAC’s initial complaint from December 2018 accused Ver, Wu, and Bitmain of colluding to manipulate the outcome of a Bitcoin Cash network upgrade scheduled for Nov. 15, 2018, when Bitcoin SV forked away from Bitcoin Cash.
The original complaint was thrown out due to a lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim, with the court advising UAC even before amending its claim, that this would be the last opportunity to state its case.
The amended lawsuit claimed the parties hired “mercenary” mining power to increase Bitcoin.com’s hashing power by more than 4,000% and dilute votes submitted by other entities participating in the network. It alleged they schemed to temporarily take over and effectively centralize the market in violation of accepted standards and protocols.
The U.S. Magistrate Judge of the Southern District of Florida, Chris McAliley granted the defendant’s request to dismiss the amended complaint, noting that it failed to show evidence of a conspiracy:
“The Court considers first whether the Complaint satisfies the pleading requirements of the first element, conspiracy. It does not. As noted, the Complaint must state facts — not conclusions — that plausibly suggest a conspiracy.”
Judge McAliley asserted that the plaintiff relied on circumstantial evidence and failed to expressly allege an agreement between the defendants to manipulate the Bitcoin Cash market in violation of the Sherman antitrust Act.
“After a painstaking review of the complaint, the court concludes that it lacks facts that create a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of illegal agreement.”