Facebook Execs Attempt to Kill UK Financial Guru’s Crypto Ads Lawsuit out of Court

  • Facebook executives attended a meeting in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the hopes of averting an embarrassing lawsuit from millionaire Martin Lewis.
  • Mr Lewis is hoping to sue the social media leviathan on the grounds of defamation after scammers used his image in ads for fake bitcoin schemes.

On Wednesday, two Facebook executives joined an early morning meeting to discuss an on-going lawsuit from British millionaire Martin Lewis, who has accused the company of defaming his image following a number of advertisements for bitcoin scams.

Calling in from Facebook’s San Francisco offices at 4:30 am local time, they joined a conference in which Steve Hatch, the vice president of Facebook Northern Europe, was already present. The unnamed executives remained throughout the entirety of the two-hour long consultation, during which attempts were made to reach an out-of-court settlement with the British consumer rights champion.

Mr Lewis’ defamation claim centers around a number of fake ads for bitcoin schemes, which used his image to erroneously lend legitimacy. The social media giant has notably banned cryptocurrency-related ads from its platform, but scammers often circumvent the ban through clever marketing tricks.

The millionaire financial expert has stated that he intends to take his legal battle to the High Court following a lackluster response from Facebook to his takedown requests. He is said to represent a formidable foe for the social media giant, having the trust of the British public, a huge following, and the services of renowned media lawyer Mark Lewis behind him.

Mr Lewis, who has a total net worth of £125 million (roughly $168 million), has made it clear that he does not wish to profit from the case, stating that any damages will be donated to anti-scam charities.

Despite his fierce stance, however, it seems that the issue may yet be settled out of court, with Mr Lewis having described the meeting on Wednesday as “constructive.”

“They get the problem. They get they’ve been doing far too many scam ads. They get that they’re out of control.”

Martin Lewis

Explaining that his first and foremost ambition was to put a stop to such ads and “put right what has gone wrong”, he continued:

“I am hopeful. My biggest question is not their attitude – it’s whether they can actually deliver, whether they can actually stop the scams happening.”

Martin Lewis

Facebook certainly seems to be taking the issue seriously, with its chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer, telling British lawmakers only last month that it was hoping to implement facial recognition and other developing technologies to weed out fake ads.

As covered, the social media titan is reportedly looking into launching its own cryptocurrency. Reports suggest the company is "very serious" about it, with former PayPal president and early bitcoin investor David Marcus leading a team exploring the issue.

Switzerland's Largest Online Retailer is Now Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments

Digitec-Galaxus, Switzerland’s largest online retail company, has reportedly decided to start accepting bitcoin (BTC) payments.

Digitec and Galaxus customers can now pay for goods and services with bitcoin and a few other major cryptocurrencies. In addition to BTC, users can make payments in XRP, ETH, Litecoin (LTC), Tron (TRX), OmiseGo (OMG), and NEO.

Digitec and Galaxus’ online retail outlets will also be taking payments in Bitcoin “Satoshi Vision” SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Binance Coin (BNB). Commenting on the Swiss retailer’s decision to start accepting cryptos, Oliver Herren, the co-founder and CEO of Digitec, remarked: 

Cryptocurrencies are fascinating and could become a relevant means of payment in e-commerce. We would like to support this development. We wanted to do that for a long time.

Coinify Will Help Convert Crypto Transfers To Swiss Francs

Herren added that Digitec decided to take cryptocurrencies as payment because people may have invested in them and they may want to use them. “Or because you cannot turn them into real money [since] your bank does not accept it. Or maybe just because you ...  like to try new things,” Herren said.

According to Switzerland’s e-commerce giant, it wants to encourage millennials, who may be heavily invested in the blockchain space, to start using cryptocurrencies for practical purposes such as paying for everyday goods and services. Price volatility of cryptocurrencies may not be an issue as Digitec and Galaxus will immediately convert crypto payments to Swiss francs using Coinify’s services, a third-party payment processor.

At present, crypto payments are only available for Switzerland-based users, however the company has said that it might allow customers in other areas to pay with crypto if their initial effort is successful.

Danish Food Takeaway Outlet Accepts Bitcoin Payments For Its 1500 Restaurants

In December 2018, Hungry.dk, one of the largest online food portals in Denmark, started accepting Bitcoin again. The food takeaway company handles orders from more than 1,500 restaurants in Denmark and had been accepting BTC payments since 2014. However, it had decided to stop taking crypto payments in late 2017 due to very long transaction processing times.

A representative from Hungry.dk noted (last year): 

We have accepted Bitcoins as a payment method for quite some time. We decided to remove the feature temporarily last year though because the average transaction time took too long, and the experience wasn’t the best.