By Keyanna Harper
- Binance influencers NBA Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, and YouTubers Graham Stephan and Ben Armstrong are being sued for trading in and unlawfully promoting unregistered securities to the tune of $1B
- Celebrities endorsers for Binance are paid kick-backs of up to 50% of share fees to affiliates who solicited new users through their personal referral
The next wave of athletes and celebrities entangled in legal disputes over their involvement in cryptocurrency ventures has caught up with Binance supporters. As the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, its executives, along with three influencers including NBA Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, and YouTubers Graham Stephan and Ben Armstrong are being sued for trading in and unlawfully promoting unregistered securities to the tune of $1 billion. For a company that does $65 billion in daily trade volume, the fallout from celebrity endorsements may still be too high.
Why This Matters: There are three plaintiffs who all claim they lost money while trading digital assets promoted by Binance and the influencers like Butler. Celebrities are paid kick-backs of up to 50% of share fees to affiliates who solicited new users through their personal referral, according to Quartz.
Legal disputes like these are a growing trend involving celebrities in the crypto space. Similarly, Shaquille O’Neal, Steph Curry, and tennis superstar Serena Williams are also involved in cases related to crypto exchange FTX and their involvement with Yuga Labs’ assets. It highlights the risks and rewards of digital currencies, along with their impact on the broader cultural landscape.
Also, the U.S. Commodities Trading and Futures Commission’s (CTFC) recent lawsuit against Binance over regulatory violations, came on the heels of a massive $1.6 billion withdrawal by investors. This further highlights the need for a comprehensive understanding of the industry.
Celebrity involvement can elevate and complicate the industry as cryptocurrencies gain more mainstream adoption. The star power of figures like Butler, O’Neal, Curry, and Williams can draw attention and investment to digital currencies. However, the legal repercussions of their involvement also highlights the need for greater transparency, regulation, and understanding within the crypto space.
What’s Next: As the cryptocurrency landscape evolves, stakeholders, including investors and celebrities, must remain vigilant and informed to navigate the complex terrain of the industry. Separately, the U.S .Department of Justice has also been investigating Binance in relation to anti-money laundering laws and potential tax offenses, and it’s considering potential charges.
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