Block.one, the company that launched a record-setting US$4.1 billion initial coin offering from the Cayman Islands in 2018, has paid $27.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit.
The suit was filed by the Crypto Assets Opportunity Fund which claimed that Block.one had misled investors during the sale of its EOS token.
The company, which is registered in Cayman but has operations in Hong Kong, the US, Gibraltar and Singapore, said at the time it would use the proceeds from its 2018 coin offering to build and promote the software behind the EOS blockchain and for general expenses.
The plaintiffs asserted that the proceeds were classified as revenue and then channelled to Block.one’s cryptocurrency trading arm in Hong Kong, where it was invested in cryptocurrencies and traditional securities. They argued that token investors did not receive any of the profits from these investments, which instead went to Block.one’s executives and equity owners.
In addition, the plaintiffs claimed that investors suffered losses because Block.one had represented that its token was not a security and company had not registered its token sale as a security offering in the United States.
In 2019, Block.one paid a civil penalty of US$24 million to settle charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its token sale was not registered as a US securities offering.
Block.one announced the court-approved settlement on Friday, stating that the company believes the “lawsuit was without merit and filled with numerous inaccuracies”.
“However, accepting this settlement allows us to focus more time and energy on running our business and delivering new products,” the statement added.