Binance quietly drops ‘multi-million’ Forbes defamation lawsuit

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The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has dropped its defamation lawsuit against news publication Forbes and two of its journalists, according to official court documents.

Binance Holdings filed a lawsuit against Forbes, along with journalists Michael Del Castillo and Jason Brett in November, following an article that alleged Binance sought to purposely distract and dodge United States financial regulators.

A notice of voluntary dismissal was filed in a U.S. district court in New Jersey on Feb. 4, ending the pending legal action against Forbes. The filing contains no explanation for the withdrawal of lawsuit, stating simply that Binance, “Hereby gives notice of its voluntarily (sic) dismissal without prejudice of the above-captioned action against Defendants Forbes Media LLC, Michael del Castillo and Jason Brett.”

Forbes’ investigative deep-dive was based on a document allegedly leaked from one of Binance’s former employees, which reportedly detailed the firm’s strategy to subvert the efforts of U.S. regulators while continuing to serve U.S-based customers.

The document claimed to reveal Binance’s plans to engage with various regulatory bodies “with no expectation of success.” Other supposed strategies detailed in the document included pre-emptively joining self-regulatory organizations, and allegedly using virtual private networks (VPNs) to evade regulatory scrutiny.

Dubbed the “Tai Chi document,” Binance Holdings originally claimed the Forbes article had cost them millions of dollars in material damages, noting at the time, “The story contains numerous false, misleading and defamatory statements about Binance.”

A Binance spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the dismissal was “without prejudice,” meaning that the firm’s position on the claims in the article remains unchanged. They stated:

“Binance continues to firmly believe that the Forbes article dated October 29, 2020 is false and misleading. As the Company stated in its complaint against Forbes, Binance is committed to complying with all applicable laws and regulations and the allegations by Forbes to the contrary have no merit. However, in the interest of providing the best possible service to its users, especially in this time of unprecedented growth, the Company is not pursuing the litigation at this time.”