Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About the Claim

Who is the claim against?

The claim is a proposed collective action against: (1) Binance Europe Services Limited (the company behind the exchange known as Binance); (2) Bittylicious Limited; (the company behind the exchange known as Bittylicious); (3) Payward Inc and (4) Payward Ltd (the companies behind the exchange known as Kraken); and (5) Shapeshift Global Limited (In Member’s Voluntary Liquidation) and (6) Shapeshift AG (the companies behind the exchange known as ShapeShift), collectively the“Defendant Exchanges”.

What unlawful conduct did the Defendant Exchanges allegedly engage in?

The Defendant Exchanges took action to delist the cryptocurrency Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (“BSV”) from their platforms in or around April 2019. This claim alleges that the conduct constituted an anti-competitive practice in violation of competition law.

The claims are brought under Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) and/or pursuant to the Chapter I prohibition in section 2 Competition Act 1998 (the “Chapter I prohibition”).

Article 101 TFEU and the Chapter I prohibition both prohibit agreements, decisions and concerted practices between or among undertakings or associations of undertakings which have as their object or effect the restriction, distortion or prevention of competition in the UK. The collusive delisting of BSV by the Defendant Exchanges is said to have restricted, distorted and/or prevented competition in the UK.

In which court is the claim being brought?

The claim is being brought in the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (the “CAT”).

What is the Competition Appeal Tribunal?

The Competition Appeal Tribunal is a specialist judicial body created by Section 12 and Schedule 2 to the Enterprise Act 2002 which came into force on 1 April 2003. It specialises in resolving competition law disputes and has a purpose-built framework for collective actions. The Competition Appeal Tribunal maintains its own FAQs page which can be viewed here.

What is a collective action?

A collective action is a procedure which allows a single person, known as a “Class Representative” to advance proceedings on behalf of a set of individual claimants who qualify as a “class”.

In the UK, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 introduced a collective action regime which makes it possible for collective actions to be brought in respect of breaches of competition law. Under the Act, a Class Representative can pursue a collective action for an infringement of competition law, bringing together individual claims that raise the same, similar, or related issues of fact or law (“common issues”).

The first step in bringing a collective action is to apply for authorisation from the Competition Appeal Tribunal to bring collective proceedings. This is achieved by filing an application for a collective proceedings order (“CPO”). This Order of the Tribunal authorises the Class Representative to act on behalf of the class, and certifies the individual claims for inclusion in the collective action.

Collective proceedings are categorised as “opt-in” or “opt-out”, according to the way in which claimants are admitted to the class(es). Opt-in collective proceedings require Class Members to sign up to participate in the claim, while opt-out proceedings include everyone who falls within the class definition approved by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the claim, allowing individuals who prefer not to be included in the proceedings to opt out.

This claim is brought on an opt-out basis.

What is an opt-in claim?

In an opt-in regime, the claim is brought on behalf of those (and only those) claimants who are identified in the proceedings and authorise the claim to be brought on their behalf. Claimants are not included unless they specifically opt-in to the proceedings.

What is an opt-out claim?

In an opt-out regime, the claim is brought on behalf of all those who fall within a defined class of claimants unless they take positive steps to opt out. There is no need for the individual Class Members to be identified or to authorise the claim to be brought on their behalf. In many cases, there may be Class Members who are unaware of the proceedings and only become involved at the stage of coming forward to claim their share of any damages (if at all).

What is the Role of the Class Representative?

The role of the Class Representative is to represent the class in proceedings before the CAT, bringing proceedings on their behalf. This means that the Class Representative must be able to represent the class properly. The Class Representative is also tasked with managing the proceedings. This management role is to be fulfilled with fair and adequate consideration of the interests of the Class Members (CAT Rules, Rule 78(2)), and involves notifying the represented class of the progress of proceedings and ensuring that plans and contingencies are in place to facilitate the smooth running of the case. This extends to ensuring that provision is made for any order that the Defendant Exchanges have their legal costs paid should the claim be unsuccessful.

Who is the Class Representative in this case?

The proposed Class Representative is BSV Claims Limited. BSV Claims Limited is a company limited guarantee incorporated in England (company number 14135245). The company has been established especially for the purpose of bringing these proceedings. BSV Claims Limited has no business outside of pursuing the collective action.

The director of BSV Claims Limited is Lord Currie of Marylebone.

Lord Currie has full control of the decisions and conduct of BSV Claims Limited.

Who are the other individuals assisting with the claim?

An Advisory Board has been put together which is a committee of experienced experts which the Class Representative can consult with on difficult issues it encounters in proceedings. The Advisory Board Members are Heather Clayton, Lord (Andrew) Tyrie, Sir Robert Buckland, David Wingfield and Kurt Wuckert.

The Members of the Advisory Board do not have any decision making power and are not directors of the Class Representative.

What is the timeline for the proceedings?

The timeline is different in every case brought before the CAT, depending on factors such as the size of the claim, the amount of evidence and the nature of the legal claims and defences. In broad strokes, the proceedings will involve the following:

1. The application for a Collective Proceedings Order (CPO) is the first step in proceedings. The CAT will consider whether the claim is suited to proceeding as a collective action.

2. Once a CPO is granted there is usually further exchanges of written evidence.

3. The proceedings will then proceed to trial.

4. If the collective action is successful, the Tribunal will make an award of “aggregate damages”. This monetary sum will then be distributed among members of the class.

If the case proceeds to trial it is likely to take at least 2 to 3 years before any decision is made on damages.

Who is paying for the claim and how much funding does the Class Representative have?

The Class Representative’s budget is being funded in full by Softwhale Holdings Limited, a third party company. This is common where Class Representatives are not able to fund a claim of this size and public importance on their own.

The Class Representative has also obtained what is known as After the Event Insurance in the event of a costs order in favour of the Defendant Exchanges.

How does Softwhale benefit from the claim?

As is common in all cases funded by third-party funders, Softwhale will receive a fee in exchange for taking on the risk of funding the claim. The fee is calculated depending on the stage the case reaches and how much the Class Representative has spent. If the claim is not successful, Softwhale will not receive anything.

In accordance with the CAT rules, Softwhale will only be able to collect its fee if there are unclaimed damages and this is approved by order of the CAT. No Class Member will have their damages reduced to pay Softwhale’s fee. Softwhale therefore also takes the risk that there may not be any money left to pay its fee in full at the end of the case.

Is Softwhale Holdings regulated?

Softwhale Holdings has agreed to voluntarily abide by the Association of Litigation Funders’ Code of Conduct in relation to capital adequacy for the duration of the claim.

The Competition Appeal Tribunal will make the final decision on what Softwhale Holdings receives from this case. As mentioned in previous answers, any payment to Softwhale Holdings will come only from damages not claimed by Class Members.

Questions About Class Eligibility

Who is included in the Class?

There is one class broken into three sub-classes, as follows:

All those that held Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (“BSV”) coins on 11 April 2019, who were resident in the UK between 11 April 2019 and 29 July 2022, together with the personal authorised representatives of the estate of any individual who met the aforementioned description, but subsequently died.

(a) Proposed “Sub-Class A” consists of holders of BSV on 11 April 2019 who sold at least some of their BSV coins thereafter, but before midnight (BST) on 29 July 2022;

(b) Proposed “Sub-Class B” consists of those who held BSV coins on 11 April 2019 and continued to hold their BSV coins as at midnight (BST) on 29 July 2022; and

(c) Proposed “Sub-Class C” consists of users of Binance or Kraken who held BSV coins in their accounts on 11 April 2019 and lost access to their BSV coins as a result of the de-listing by Binance or Kraken.

Do I have to have traded with the Defendant Exchanges?

For the purposes of Proposed Sub-Classes A and B, there is no requirement to have traded with any particular cryptocurrency exchange, or with a particular wallet provider. The essential requirement is that you bought BSV no later than 11 April 2019.

If you are unsure whether you qualify as a member of the class and would like to discuss your circumstances, please get in touch here: or here.

Am I a member of the class if I bought BSV from an overseas bank account?

Proposed Class members must have been resident in the United Kingdom between 11 April 2019 and 29 July 2022. There is no residence requirement before that date.

If you are unsure whether you qualify as a member of the class and would like to discuss your circumstances, please get in touch here: or here.

Questions About Being a Class Member

How much could I receive if the claim is successful?

The Class Representative’s experts (Oxera) currently estimate that around two-thirds of Class Members will receive around £133 each, on average. The final figure will be decided either by agreed settlement or by the Competition Appeal Tribunal making a decision on the evidence.

The actual amount any Class Member will receive will depend on how many BSV coins they owned and whether they sold immediately, whether they held on to their coins, or whether they saw their BSV converted into other cryptoassets without their consent.

Will this claim benefit me if I buy BSV today?

No, the claim is only for the benefit of people who held BSV on 11 April 2019.

Do Class Members have to pay anything to participate in the claim?

No. There are no costs to being a Class Member. All costs are met by the Class Representative.

Prior to the certification of the collective action, the Competition Appeal Tribunal requires evidence that the Class Representative is able to fund the claim throughout and to pay the defendants’ adverse costs if ordered to do so.

As is common in competition law claims of this size, BSV Claims Limited is working with a third-party litigation funder, Softwhale Holdings Limited, to finance the legal and other costs of the claim. The Class Representative has also obtained After the Event insurance to cover any costs order that may be made in favour of the defendants’ adverse costs, if ordered to do so.

What are the advantages of being a Class Member?

If you qualify as a Class Member, you will be entitled to your share of the damages if the claim is successful at trial or the Competition Appeal Tribunal approves a settlement between the Class Representative and the Defendant Exchanges.

The Class Representative will manage the claim on your behalf until such time as the proceeds of any settlement or judgment can be distributed.

While the Class Representative runs the claim on your behalf, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the case as a Class Member. At certain points during the proceedings, Class Members can make submissions to the Competition Appeal Tribunal, and the Class Representative may engage in consultations with Class Members as the claim progresses.

The claim will be brought at no cost to you, and you will not be liable in relation to any adverse costs either before, during or after the collective action.

What is the expected amount of damages and when should I expect to receive any damages?

Though BSV Claims Limited does not guarantee the recovery of money by this claim, it is possible to receive a monetary compensation for the suffered damages.

BSV Claims Limited have engaged experts to calculate the aggregate damage incurred based on the estimated number of individuals qualifying as Class Members.

It is not possible to predict with certainty when Class Members should expect an award of damages (if any). This will depend on a number of factors including whether the claim reaches a settlement before trial or whether the claim is successful.

Are there any risks in being a Class Member?

Unlike in an individual legal action, in a collective action, there is no cost to Class Members. This also means that Class Members will not be asked to pay any costs to the Defendant Exchanges in case the claim is unsuccessful.

In addition, your identity will not be published and there will be no reputational risks for you in that individual Class Members are not ordinarily named or identified publicly in the proceedings, without their express consent.

If I am a Class Member, can I discuss this claim with friends and family or on social media?

You are free to discuss this case with your friends and family, or publicly on social media.

Questions Regarding Next Steps

Do I need to do anything as part of my participation in this claim?

Since this is an opt-out claim, Class Members are not required to do anything for the time being. If the claim results in a distribution to Class Members, it will be necessary for Class Members to identify themselves to Angeion and register their claim to a share of damages.

You may register your interest on our website here electing to receive regular updates regarding the progress of this claim.

How may I track progress of this claim?

You may register your interest on our website here and elect to receive regular updates regarding the progress of this claim.

You may also keep track of this case at the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s website where key official documents are regularly published regarding the proceedings and the decisions in this case.

What is the level of confidentiality on this website for people registering their interest in this claim? Does it comply with the GDPR (data protection) rules?

BSV Claims Limited strictly abides by GDPR rules in keeping the identity of its registered individuals confidential.

How long does it take to reach the stage to launch the CPO?

A certification hearing is listed for 5 to 7 June 2024. After that hearing, the CAT will decide whether to grant a CPO. If the CPO is granted, a trial of the underlying issues will then be held at a future date decided by the CAT.

Could the collective claim settle without a trial?

A settlement between BSV Claims Limited and the Defendant Exchanges is possible subject to it being in the best interests of the Class as a whole and being approved by the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

How may I contact you if I have any further questions?

You may contact us using our website’s contact webpage or via email. If the claim is successful and results in compensation for BSV holders being granted live telephone operators will be available during that phase of proceedings to answer any queries on distribution to Class Members.

Can I attend and/or watch the hearings before the CAT?

Hearings and case management conferences are usually held in public and any judgment or ruling made by the Tribunal during or following those events is published on the Tribunal website. Hearings and case management conferences are also often livestreamed on the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s website.

Transcripts of hearings and case management conferences are also published on the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s website. On occasion, the Tribunal may decide to sit in private for part of a hearing if it considers that this is appropriate in order to preserve the confidentiality of information.