Tron, a blockchain platform, and its founder Justin Sun are threatening to sue CoinGeek, a crypto news outlet, for reporting on Tron’s alleged links to terrorist financing. CoinGeek published an article on April 4, 2023, claiming that Tron and its associated tokens, TRX and BTT, are being used by terrorist groups and organizations to fund their activities. The article cited a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), which exposed how Tron and other crypto platforms are facilitating money laundering, tax evasion, and terror financing.
According to CoinGeek, the ICIJ report revealed that Tron and its tokens are among the most popular crypto assets used by terrorist groups, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. The report also claimed that Tron’s decentralized applications (dApps) are hosting and distributing extremist content, such as propaganda videos, bomb-making manuals, and recruitment materials. CoinGeek alleged that Tron and Justin Sun are aware of these activities, but have done nothing to stop them or to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) regulations.
CoinGeek also accused Tron and Justin Sun of being involved in various illegal and unethical practices, such as:
- Selling and airdropping unregistered securities, fraud, and market manipulation, which led to a lawsuit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March 2023.
- Harassing and firing former employees who tried to expose Tron’s violations and misconduct, which resulted in another lawsuit by two ex-TRON Foundation workers in January 2023.
- Paying celebrities to promote Tron and its tokens without disclosing the payments, which led to illegal touting charges by the SEC against Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Soulja Boy, Lil Yachty, Ne-Yo, Akon, and Michele Mason.
- Acquiring BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file-sharing platform, and using it to distribute pirated and illegal content, such as child pornography.
- Lying about his health condition and canceling a charity lunch with Warren Buffett, a billionaire investor and a crypto skeptic, in July 2022.
- Calling Tron a “shitcoin” and insulting its supporters in a tweet in December 2022.
Tron and Justin Sun’s Response to CoinGeek’s Report
Tron and Justin Sun have denied all the allegations made by CoinGeek and the ICIJ report, and have threatened to sue CoinGeek for defamation and libel. They have also demanded that CoinGeek retract the article and issue a public apology. Tron and Justin Sun have claimed that CoinGeek’s report is based on false and misleading information, and that it is part of a smear campaign orchestrated by their competitors and enemies in the crypto industry.
Tron and Justin Sun have asserted that they are committed to complying with all the relevant laws and regulations, and that they have taken measures to prevent and combat any illicit activities on their platform. They have also stated that they are cooperating with the authorities and regulators, and that they are willing to provide any evidence and information to prove their innocence and integrity. Tron and Justin Sun have also accused CoinGeek of being biased and unprofessional, and of spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) among the crypto community.
The Impact of CoinGeek’s Report on Tron and Its Tokens
CoinGeek’s report has had a negative impact on Tron and its tokens, TRX and BTT, which have seen a significant drop in their prices and market capitalization. According to CoinMarketCap, TRX fell by 15% and BTT fell by 12% on April 4, 2023, the day CoinGeek published its article. As of April 6, 2023, TRX is trading at $0.03 and BTT is trading at $0.0004, with a market cap of $2.1 billion and $270 million, respectively. Tron and its tokens have also faced a backlash from the crypto community, which has expressed its disappointment and distrust in Tron and Justin Sun. Some crypto exchanges and platforms have also announced that they are delisting or suspending Tron and its tokens, citing the legal and regulatory risks associated with them.
CoinGeek’s report has also raised questions and concerns about the security and transparency of Tron and other crypto platforms, and the need for more regulation and oversight in the crypto industry. The report has highlighted the potential dangers and challenges that crypto assets pose to the global financial system and the international security, and the importance of implementing and enforcing AML and CTF policies and standards in the crypto space.