Crypto Lending Giant Sues Bulgaria for $3 Billion Over Disputed Investigation

News | January 24, 2024 By:

Nexo AG, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency lending companies, has filed a $3 billion lawsuit against Bulgaria at the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The suit stems from a disputed criminal investigation launched by Bulgarian authorities against Nexo and its executives in January 2023.

The Bulgarian investigation targeted Nexo founders Antoni Trenchev and others, alleging serious financial crimes such as money laundering, tax fraud and criminal conspiracy. However, the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence and unclear regulations around crypto assets in Bulgaria.

Despite the dismissal, Nexo claims the investigation severely damaged its reputation and derailed expansion plans. It estimates losses of millions of dollars in earnings and share value declines due to the probe. Through the ICSID case, Nexo seeks to recoup financial losses and clear its name of the unjustified allegations.

Nexo argues the investigation was politically motivated without proper legal basis, calling it an example of interference in the justice system. Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s Ministry of Finance is defending the case but has not acknowledged Nexo’s complaints yet. The prosecution is also keeping quiet as the complex legal battle unfolds.

The lawsuit highlights tensions in regulating cryptocurrencies, where rules still grapple with innovation. It remains uncertain if Nexo can prove the damages it suffered or if Bulgaria will compensate such a massive $3 billion claim. Both sides are staying resolute as the high-stakes proceedings play out under ICSID arbitration.