Home » First United States antitrust action involving the cryptocurrency industry
Miami-based United American Corp (“UnitedCorp”) (OTC: UAMA) announced today that their legal counsel Akerman LLP has filed a Consolidated Opposition to Defendant’s Motions to Dismiss Complaint in its suit against Bitmain Group, Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Kraken, Jesse Powell, Amaury Sechet, Shammah Chancellor and Jason Cox (the “Defendants”). The opposition was filed after the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the UnitedCorp action on February 1st 2019. The suit is the first antitrust action brought in the United States involving the cryptocurrency industry.
It alleges that the Defendants collectively engaged in unfair methods of competition, and through a series of deceptive and unfair practices, manipulated the Bitcoin Cash network for their benefit and to the detriment of UnitedCorp and other Bitcoin Cash stakeholders. Their alleged actions resulted in the network losing more than US $4 billion in value as a direct result of the alleged hijacking of the network, in addition to a forced network fork with the implementation of their specific new rules set in the Bitcoin ABC 0.18.5 version under the control of the Defendants. UnitedCorp alleges that these new rules set have irreparably harmed the Bitcoin Cash blockchain network and Bitmain, along with the co-Defendants, should be held liable.
UnitedCorp alleges that the Defendants colluded to effectively hijack the Bitcoin Cash network after the November 15, 2018 scheduled software update with the express intent of centralizing the network. This includes allegations that Roger Ver, along with Kraken and developers of Bitcoin ABC, colluded with Chinese-based and Chinese government-financed mining rig manufacturer Bitmain to unfairly redirect hashing power at the exact moment of the scheduled software update, forcing the implementation of Bitcoin ABC software centric checkpoints and thereby moving the network away from its native Bitcoin-based blockchain design.
UnitedCorp also believes that the attempt to dominate the network in favor of a particular Bitcoin ABC version was enhanced by Bitmain’s use of firmware known as “Overt ASICBoost” which provides significantly increased operational mining efficiency. This firmware was made available in advance of the last Bitcoin Cash update by Bitmain only to Bitcoin ABC-supported pools, which are operated by Bitcoin.com which is owned by Roger Ver. Overt ASICBoost was not usable by other Bitcoin Cash pools in a time frame that would have allowed them to apply the efficiency during the software upgrade. This gave the Bitcoin ABC-Bitmain-Bitcoin.com group-supported pools a significant advantage and allowed them to accomplish the network control centralization plan.
UnitedCorp alleges that these activities are evidence of not only a violation of the accepted standards and protocols associated with Bitcoin since its inception, but a violation of US antitrust laws including parts of the Sherman Act.
In their motion to dismiss, the Defendants have argued that the UnitedCorp action does not meet the standards to proceed.
“While the Defendants are attempting to dismiss the lawsuit by primarily alleging lack of evidence, their own statements and a mass of publicly available data clearly shows otherwise,” stated UnitedCorp President Benoit Lalibert. “This is an important juncture for the public blockchain and cryptocurrency industry as we believe the industry must remain decentralized and beyond the control and manipulation of any individual or group in order to maintain the confidence and integrity of the network. We challenge the Defendants to explain their actions under oath and justify why their actions have not violated US antitrust laws. Should any of the counts in our suit actually be dismissed, the complaint will be amended as appropriate. One way or another we intend to compel Mr. Ver, Mr. Chancellor and other co-Defendants to provide depositions under oath in the US in the near future in order to shed some light on this alleged fraud.”
In its opposition to dismiss, UnitedCorp provided a significant number of details to support the suit including evidence that the Defendants themselves made explicit statements declaring that they coordinated, conspired and agreed with each other. This included a YouTube video from an online forum where Andreas Brekken, a Kraken software engineer, acknowledges that Bitcoin ABC developers and crypto exchanges such as Kraken agreed to the entire scheme in advance. In the video, Brekken further admits that the scheme had been planned for a long time and included a software patch that could be applied by the exchanges at a strategic point during the software update which “prevents all future re-orgs” in other words which allows control of the network.
UnitedCorp’s filing also provides support for the allegation that the Defendants’ collective actions were for unlawful purposes and in an attempt to manipulate the cryptocurrency market for Bitcoin Cash, violated consensus rules regarding voting and precluded any future changes to Bitcoin cash functionality and changes to the consensus rules. The actions are compared to the illegal action of “bid rigging” in that Bitmain “mercenary” miners were temporarily redeployed to the Bitcoin Cash network during the software upgrade for the sole purpose of diluting the traditional voting process exercised by existing Bitcoin Cash nodes to dominate the process for a short period of time. This violated the established ground rules of the network that others had respected and relied on for years.
The Bitcoin white paper clearly states that “Nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone. They vote with their CPU power, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism.” Therefore, the use of CPU power that was never part of the network prior to the network upgrade could not possibly have “rejoined” the network for the voting process. The transient spike in CPU power could only have been achieved at that time through deliberate and coordinated manipulation by the Defendants.
Due to their residency outside the United States, certain of the Defendants have not as yet been served in the suit and UnitedCorp is continuing activities to provide proper service. In the meantime UnitedCorp has filed a motion with the Court to extend the time to serve these Defendants presently located overseas.
UnitedCorp’s Consolidated Opposition to Defendant’s Motions to Dismiss Complaint can be obtained at
Established in 1992, United American Corp is a Florida-based development and management company focusing on telecommunications and information technologies. The company currently holds the rights to manage a portfolio of patents and proprietary technology in telecommunications, social media and Blockchain technology, and owns and operates the BlockchainDomes which are designed to provide heat for agricultural operations using computer equipment in naturally cooled data centers where efficiency and low-cost operations are a priority.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. The Company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of numerous factors that may be beyond the Company’s control. Forward-looking statements are based on the expectations and opinions of the Company’s management on the date the statements are made, and the Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances in management’s expectations or opinions change.