Google, Facebook and Twitter all banned cryptocurrency advertising on their platforms recently, and Yandex of Russia is rumoured to be following suit. In response, cryptocurrency associations from Russia, China, and South Korea are joining forces to form a new organisation with the purpose of suing them.
The bans are a major blow to the cryptocurrency industry because it is so dependent on the internet. The three internet giants claim that they are clamping down on illegal activity, but some believe that they are in fact the ones breaking the law.
The champions galloping to the industry’s rescue are:
The Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RABIC)
Founded in August 2017 and announced to the public by the chief internet advisor to Vladimir Putin, this organisation was created to legitimise cryptocurrency and “integrate blockchain technology into government and commercial structures“. The group is split into three arms focusing on blockchain technology, initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrency mining.
Participants in the association receive preferential treatment from mining equipment manufacturers and are allowed to present their products at state events. Its activities have included a study examining which region in Russia is best for mining cryptocurrency.
The Korea Venture Business Association
Founded in July 2014, this organisation’s purpose is to “revitalize the startup industry by sharing knowledge and management information through exchanges among startups”, according to its website. It is affiliated with a number of other organisations, including the International Network of Korean Entrepreneurs. This latter hosts trade shows and has chapters in 47 countries.
Chinese Association of Cryptocurrency Investors
I could not find any information about this organisation on the internet.
Eurasian Association of Blockchain
These three organisations have joined to form the Eurasian Association of Blockchain. This should not be confused with the Blockchain Association of Eurasia, which is an Istanbul-based non-profit blockchain advocacy group which has five employees in total.
The new group was announced at a Moscow event called Blockchain-RF 2018. Yuri Pripachkin, head of RABIC, will lead the new group. Pripachkin claims that Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yandex are colluding to control the industry. As reported by Russian news outlet Tass, he said: “We believe that this is the use of the monopoly position of the four companies that entered into a cartel with each other to manipulate the market.The ban on these four organizations led to a significant drop in the market in recent months.”
The lawsuit will target both the companies and their shareholders. “We believe that if it turns out that the shareholders or managers of these companies own cryptotices, which they use for personal gain, using the capabilities of their companies, they are subject to prosecution,” said Pripachkin.
The new association will collect cryptocurrency to fund the lawsuit, which will be filed in the US at an as yet undecided location. “You know, every state has different laws. Some states, like Wyoming for example, have been fair towards cryptocurrencies,” said Pripachkin, according to RIA Novosti.
Wyoming was the first US state to define what a utility token is, and is generally considered to be the most cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdiction in that country. The organisation’s lawyers will make the final decision as to the exact location.