The recent legal turmoil involving Cristiano Ronaldo and his promotion of Binance’s non-fungible tokens (NFTs) offers a compelling case study of the intersection between sports, technology, and law. Ronaldo, a renowned football star, has been embroiled in a class-action lawsuit seeking at least $1 billion in damages. This case arises from his role in promoting NFTs for Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. The plaintiffs accuse Ronaldo and Binance of engaging in deceptive practices by promoting investments in what they allege to be unregistered securities.
In 2022, Ronaldo entered into a multiyear partnership with Binance, launching his inaugural NFT collection named “CR7”. This collection, which included animated statues depicting iconic moments from Ronaldo’s career, was released ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The NFTs varied in price, some reaching as high as $10,000. According to the lawsuit, the promotional campaign for this collection was highly effective, evidenced by a 500% increase in online searches for “Binance” following the announcement of Ronaldo’s NFTs. The premium-level NFTs were reported to have sold out within the first week.
Despite the lawsuit, Ronaldo has continued to engage with his fan base through these NFTs. In a recent event sponsored by Binance, Ronaldo played football with several fans who are holders of his NFTs, joined by other prominent figures like Khaby Lame and Croatian footballer Maria Marković. Ronaldo has expressed that bringing unique experiences and access to fans through NFTs is something he values highly.
The lawsuit against Ronaldo is part of a larger trend where celebrities face legal challenges for their involvement in promoting cryptocurrencies and related products. The past year has seen several high-profile individuals and companies being held accountable for their roles in endorsing crypto platforms and products. The suit against Ronaldo comes in the wake of other class-action lawsuits involving celebrities and crypto exchanges like FTX, signaling a growing scrutiny of celebrity endorsements in the volatile crypto market.
The legal proceedings have encountered some complexities, particularly regarding the service of notice to Ronaldo, who currently resides in Saudi Arabia. The plaintiffs have sought alternative methods such as email and social media to serve the lawsuit, aligning with international legal standards.
This case underscores the legal and ethical implications of celebrity endorsements in emerging technologies like NFTs and cryptocurrencies. It raises critical questions about the responsibilities of public figures in promoting financial products, the nature of NFTs as securities, and the role of regulation in the rapidly evolving digital asset space.
As for Ronaldo, his continued engagement with his NFT collection amidst these legal challenges reflects both the potential and the pitfalls of celebrities navigating the uncharted waters of digital assets.
This is a DAO submission authored by James
This article is an individual contribution from a member of the Secret3 DAO and has been approved through our community voting process. The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily mirror the views and policies of the Secret3 platform or the wider DAO community. Secret3 and its DAO community disclaim any responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or validity of the information contained in this article. Readers are encouraged to exercise discernment and to consider the content as the author’s personal insights and opinions.