Business 19 October 2018Erik Gibbs
Multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Augur settled out of court
What could possibly be one of the largest private cryptocurrency lawsuits to ever hit the courts has been settled. The former CEO and one of the founders of Augur, Matthew Liston, sued the other founders this past April for $152 million over allegations that the founders had colluded with an investor to kick him out of the company. The details of the settlement were not disclosed and Liston indicates that the parties are still finalizing the details.
As reported by Forbes magazine, Liston sued for fraud, claiming that the other founders—Jeremy Gardner, Joseph Charles Krug and Jack Peterson—colluded with investor Joseph Ball Costello to force Liston out. He sought restitution for monetary loss, mental agony and damage to his reputation.
For reasons that haven’t been made clear, Liston had his lawyer, O. Shane Balloun, petition the San Francisco, California-based court to dismiss the suit. A check of court records shows that the case has been moved “off calendar,” meaning that it is no longer on the docket. Other court documents indicated last month indicated that negotiations are in progress, saying, “…the parties have reached a settlement in principle and are working diligently to finalize a written settlement agreement.”
Augur was created to allow individuals to place bets on the outcomes of real-world events, such as market crashes, natural disasters and even weather-related events. It was officially introduced this past July and was built on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform has received significant attention, driven, in part, by having Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin and Lighting Labs co-founder Elizabeth Stark as its advisers.
Forbes asked Liston about the dismissal, but was only told that the case had been settled. Augur didn’t respond to requests for comment by the news outlet.
Since being pushed out of Augur, Liston hasn’t sat idle waiting for a payout. He is currently involved in other blockchain activities, such as the first religion based on the blockchain, Zero Ex Omega. The church received inspiration from decentralized ideologies and, like Augur, uses the Ethereum blockchain. He is also said to be working on an alternative competing site to Augur called Gnosis.
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