The world’s top crypto exchange, Binance, has filed a lawsuit against Forbes and two of its journalists for publishing an article on October 29 that it deems defamatory.
Details Of The Legal Battle Between Binance And Forbes
Per the complaint filed by Binance in the US District Court in the District of New Jersey, the article titled “Leaked ‘Tai Chi’ Document Reveals Binance’s Elaborate Scheme To Evade Bitcoin Regulators” is riddled with multiple false, misleading, and defamatory statements about the exchange.
The article was penned by Michael del Castillo and Jason Brett, both of whom have been named in the lawsuit alongside Forbes Media. The Forbes article purportedly uses information from a document believed to have been produced by the co-founder of OTC trading platform Koi Trading, Harry Zhou.
The so-called “Tai Chi document” was allegedly a slideshow detailing a plan to establish a U.S. entity in order to deceive regulators and then move revenue back to the parent company, Binance, in the form of license and service fees. According to Binance, however, Harry Zhou has never worked for the firm.
The two journalists further alleged that Binance was intentionally participating in money laundering, citing speculation that the exchange was possibly being investigated by the FBI and IRS.
The lawsuit indicates that the “defendants’ false public statements, misrepresentations and innuendo that Binance does not comply with applicable law, seeks to evade regulators, and is engaged in activity ‘characteristics of money laundering’ are highly damaging to Binance.”
Binance Is Seeking Both Compensatory And Punitive Damages
The complaint notes that Binance requested that the defendants take down the article and offer an apology but did not receive either from Forbes. The exchange claims to have incurred “millions of dollars” in damages as a result of the published article, hence the lawsuit.
Binance is demanding both compensatory and punitive payment as compensation for the defamation as well as an injunction to remove the article.
Unfortunately for Binance, defamation lawsuits against media publications and reporters are hard to win as the system is designed to shield the press against excessive censorship.
With this libel suit, Binance will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Forbes and its reporters acted with “reckless disregard for the truth” or that they published the article knowing that the information was false.
Last year, Binance Chief Changpeng Zhao threatened to serve cryptocurrency news publication The Block with a defamation lawsuit.