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Cristiano Ronaldo Sued for Binance Promotion: Is Exchange Trying to Hide the NFTs?

Last Updated November 29, 2023 11:28 AM
Josh Adams
Last Updated November 29, 2023 11:28 AM
Key Takeaways
  • Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo partnered with Binance in 2022 on a range of NFTs.
  • Now a class action suit accuses Ronaldo of plying unregistered securities.
  • However, Binance looks to be scrubbing its promotions from the internet.

Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo finds himself in legal trouble stemming from his promotion of crypto exchange Binance. A November 27 class action complaint  alleges that Ronaldo’s multi-year non-fungible token (NFT) partnership with Binance amounted to illegal solicitation of investments in unregistered securities.

However, following the news, Binance appears to be redirecting users away from the blog posts on its website, with the pages only visible for seconds before the content disappears.

Cristiano Ronaldo And The Lawsuit

The lawsuit centers around Ronaldo’s promotion of his exclusive NFT collections launched in collaboration with Binance in 2022. As part of a global advertising campaign, Ronaldo appeared in commercials and frequently posted about the NFT drops on social media to his hundreds of millions of followers. 

Participants were required to sign up and fund Binance accounts in order to access the NFTs.

According to the complaint, Ronaldo’s promotions indirectly hyped up Binance’s own native BNB token and BUSD stablecoin, as well as other crypto tokens offered on the platforms. The plaintiffs allege all of these constitute unregistered securities illegally sold by Binance. As a paid spokesperson incentivized by lucrative commissions, Ronaldo allegedly solicited investments in securities without proper SEC disclosures.

The recent complaint follows Binance’s own legal troubles with regulators. Earlier this month, founder Changpeng Zhao stepped down as CEO after Binance pled guilty to criminal charges related to money laundering violations.

The company agreed to pay over $4 billion in penalties. Plaintiffs argue that Ronaldo, with his business savvy and resources, should have known better than to associate himself with a platform under serious allegations.

Binance announced the NFT partnership in 2022.
The original Binance/Ronaldo announcement quickly redirects away from the page. Source: Binance.

Is Binance Trying To Remove Them?

However, it appears as if Binance is trying to scrub evidence of the partnership from the internet. If that is the case, the Portuguese soccer star hasn’t received the message. Ronaldo continues to promote his NFT partnership with Binance, with an X post published as recently as November 28 .

Pages associated with the NFT announcement appear to redirect users after several seconds. This includes the initial announcement  on Binance’s official blog from June 2022, the article first detailing the “CR7” collection , and subsequent articles . The articles are also no longer available via the search bar.

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange looks to be turning over a new leaf after a historic deal with the U.S. Department of Justice, which sees its former CEO and Zhao, Changpeng Zhao, facing potential prison time.

Richard Teng, the new CEO, appears keen to put on a compliant face on the company. This week, the exchange delisted the TORN token associated with the sanctioned crypto mixer, Tornado Cash.

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