Roger Ver, aka “Bitcoin Jesus” filed a lawsuit in the Seychelles last August against a branch of Matrixport, a company associated with billionaire Jihan Wu. The decision was prompted by Ver’s inability to access $8 million from Matrixport’s derivatives-focused subsidiary, bit.com, during the crypto market’s drawdown in 2022.
The legal action had not been previously disclosed.
Roger Ver’s Lawsuit Against Matrixport CEO
According to Ver, the lawsuit against Smart Vega Holding Limited, a subsidiary of Matrixport, seeks to recover the $8 million he claimed to be owed. He alleges that Jihan Wu, who also happens to be the co-founder of Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain, intentionally prevented him from withdrawing these funds from bit.com in June 2022.
Ver believes that Wu’s actions were a response to the CoinFLEX drama.
For the uninitiated, CoinFLEX’s collapse was blamed on an individual customer who couldn’t meet a margin call. The exchange’s management later identified this customer as Ver, to recover the position’s $84 million value through arbitration.
Ver, on the other hand, claims in his lawsuit in Seychelles that this narrative only surfaced due to breaches of confidentiality in the arbitration proceedings between himself and CoinFLEX. In an email to CoinDesk, Ver clarified that he had initiated the arbitration against CoinFLEX instead of the other way around.
“I started the arbitration against CoinFLEX in June 2022, seeking $200,000,000 in damages. I was the plaintiff, not CoinFLEX. CoinFLEX was the defendant and only later filed a counterclaim for $84,000,000.”
In his arbitration case against CoinFLEX, the BCH proponent alleged that he possessed evidence that certain third parties were provided with knowledge of his substantial positions on the crypto exchange and traded against them to his “detriment.”
Matrixport, on the other hand, had a different interpretation and instead viewed Ver as a Bit.com customer. The digital assets platform also cited concerns related to Ver’s margin trading irregularities. An investigation allegedly revealed Ver’s breach of contractual obligations. Even as the investor faced penalty fees for margin call defaults, he reportedly had the option to withdraw his funds but opted to dispute the imposed penalties.
CoinFLEX in Restructuring
CoinFLEX filed for restructuring in a last-ditch attempt to save the company which granted creditors a majority stake and control of the board.
However, in January 2023, CEO Mark Lamb launched OPNX, seemingly unrelated but supported by CoinFLEX’s resources.
Subsequently, allegations surfaced about Lamb misleading regulators, using CoinFLEX’s technology, funds, staff, and FLEX tokens for personal gain. Users were encouraged to migrate to OPNX which allegedly violated the restructuring terms. CoinFLEX stakeholders were also claimed to have been kept in the dark about funds and spending.
Allegations of token price manipulation and freezing withdrawals for high-balance users arose. Founders supposedly used creditor assets to inflate token prices they sold over-the-counter. These actions hindered creditors’ ability to take action and raised concerns about unethical practices within CoinFLEX and OPNX.
In an October filing, CoinFLEX creditors resorted to suing Lamb and argued that the exec acted independently and took control of the company’s intellectual property, technology, customer base, and staff to establish the claims exchange.