Crypto Lender Nexo Submits $3 Billion Damages Claim Against Bulgaria

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The cryptocurrency lending platform Nexo has submitted a $3 billion arbitration claim against the Republic of Bulgaria, following a raid on its office in 2023 and a subsequent probe by the Bulgarian Prosecutor General’s Office. Nexo alleges that these actions harmed its business prospects.

‘Politically Motivated’ Allegations

The Switzerland-based crypto lending platform Nexo AG has filed a $3 billion arbitration claim against the Bulgarian government for damages and lost opportunities after the latter dropped its money laundering and Russian sanctions violations allegations. Nexo said the “politically motivated” allegations against it by the Prosecutor General’s Office in January 2023 harmed its brand and reputation.

In a statement released on Jan. 24, the digital asset platform revealed that the U.S. law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman submitted the claim to the Secretariat of the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). As reported by News, the Bulgarian Prosecutor General’s Office dropped charges against the crypto lender after an investigation found no evidence of criminal activity.

However, Nexo insists that the raid on its offices in January 2023 and the subsequent investigations derailed many of its planned activities, including a capital-raising initiative. The actions of the Bulgarian Prosecutor General’s Office also led to the collapse of a lucrative sponsorship deal with an unnamed major European football club.

Reputational and Financial Damages

Explaining why the crypto lender has chosen to take on Bulgaria, Antoni Trenchev, a co-founder at Nexo, said:

“Our growth path has been slowed down and opportunities lost or significantly delayed. I personally promised 10 months ago that we would explore all legal means available to secure financial compensation for Nexo. Now that the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office itself has finally exonerated us, the time is right for us to file our claim and receive reparations for the enormous reputational and financial damage suffered.”

Trenchev said the claim will also serve as a warning and deterrent to power-abusing individuals or regulators elsewhere. The co-founder added that Nexo’s expected vindication at ICSID will be a positive outcome for “all good actors” in the blockchain space.

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