- Crypto lending firm Nexo is suing Bulgaria for $3 billion after being cleared of wrongdoing in an investigation that Nexo says was politically motivated and damaged its business.
- Nexo claims Bulgaria’s year-long probe, raids, and seizures cost it major funding and IPO plans, a sponsorship deal, and other opportunities.
- Nexo seeks justice and aims to prevent similar damage to other companies, while Bulgaria admitted crypto is unregulated there and the probe led to calls for clear laws.
Crypto lending firm Nexo is fighting back against what it calls an “unjustified” and “politically motivated” investigation by filing a massive lawsuit against Bulgaria. After being cleared of wrongdoing, Nexo aims to hold the country accountable for reputational and financial damages.
The Year-Long Investigation
The Bulgarian prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into Nexo in January 2022. High-profile raids were conducted on Nexo’s offices at the time. After months of monitoring, seizures, interviews, and audits, Bulgaria admitted it found no evidence of money laundering or other crimes.
Nexo’s Claims of Lost Opportunities
In its $3 billion claim, Nexo says Bulgaria’s actions cost it hugely profitable business deals. The company was nearing a major funding round with U.S. banks and prepping for a U.S. IPO. Nexo also lost a sponsorship deal with a top European football club for a Nexo-branded crypto card.
Seeking Justice, Not Revenge
Nexo says the lawsuit intends to show “those in power that actions have consequences.” It aims to prevent similar damage to other companies, not solely punish Bulgaria. Nexo’s co-founder says “This isn’t a case against Bulgaria” but about justice for all.
Allegations of Political Motivations
Last year, Nexo’s co-founder argued Bulgaria politically targeted the firm to harm a rival political party. Several Nexo employees had donated to the rival party. The investigation’s timing and methods seemed intended to damage the firm and party’s reputations.
The Aftermath for Crypto in Bulgaria
While exonerating Nexo, Bulgaria admitted virtual assets are unregulated there. Crypto is not recognized as legal money or deposits in Bulgaria or the EU. The probe led to calls for Bulgaria to introduce clear crypto laws and protections.