The BitConnect class action lawsuit just got a new defendant – YouTube. According to a court document that was shared by Coindesk, the lawsuit has been recently updated to include YouTube as well as its parent company, Google, as defendants. But can Youtube be held liable for the actions of an unrelated crypto ponzi scheme?
The BitConnect Lawsuit
For those unaware, last year saw one of the most widespread and virulent cryptocurrency scams. It’s difficult to calculate exactly how much money was lost to BitConnect, but it’s safe to say that the number was well into the tens of millions. Following the collapse of the scam in January 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against BitConnect as an attempt to recoup some of the losses that investors (or victims) suffered.
Read also: Bitconnect – Is It a Ponzi Scheme?
In addition to the various BitConnect corporate entities such as “BitConnect Trading LTD.”, the lawsuit also specifically targets a number of YouTube personalities that recruited for the scheme and likely earned themselves a small fortune in affiliate referral fees for doing so.
A few of those included in the lawsuit are “James” of Mytle Beach, SC, “Hildreth” of Laguna Nigel, CA, “Grant” of Miami, FL, and of course, “CryptoNick” aka Nicholas Trovato.
According to the suit, these defendants are US-based individuals who “served as affiliates/recruiters for BITCONNECT, soliciting hundreds if not thousands of BITCONNECT investors in the United States and abroad through social media sites such as YOUTUBE and Facebook.”
Following this, the filing then lists Youtube and it’s parent company Google as defendants in the case.
Is YouTube liable for damages?
Since adding YouTube to the lawsuit, many have been wondering to what degree YouTube could actually be held liable, if at all. Coin Telegraph reached out to the law firm behind the class action suit, Silver Miller, and received a quote, which said in part that “…liability is predicated on YouTube’s failure to act after learning from content directly published on YouTube of the readily foreseeable harm posed by its advertising partners… ”
In other words, since they ran ads for BitConnect, and failed to act on them or on those doing the recruiting, the law firm asserts that they are liable.
One of several ads BitConnect ran on YouTube
The Return of the Ponzi Scheme
The type of scam BitConnect was trying to pull is in no way new or innovative. It is indeed a tried and tested scam that is been pulled off many times, in many different shapes.
BitConnect is also not the only Ponzi scheme that uses cryptocurrency. Indeed, a number of scams like this are running at any given time.
Read Also: Crypto Ponzi Watch – Westland Storage
These scams can be found through banner advertisements on all sorts of cryptocurrency websites. Just look for promises of guaranteed returns and unlimited daily profits, and you’ll probably be well on the way to discovering a new scheme yourself.
But all these scams are generally fairly small-scale. BitConnect was such a major scandal that it even made it onto a popular late-night talkshow, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
As for whether or not YouTube is liable for damages, the outcome of the trial will undoubtedly set precedent for many years to come and could once again cause a number of social media sites to shy away from dealing with cryptocurrency whatsoever, for fear that they too could get caught in a lawsuit like this one.