NanoLabs sues Coinbase over Nano trademark infringement

NanoLabs, the company behind digital currency Nano, has filed a legal complaint against Coinbase, a leading crypto exchange, for alleged trademark infringement. According to the complaint filed on February 24, 2023, in the California Northern District Court, NanoLabs has accused Coinbase’s Nano Bitcoin futures contract and Nano Ether futures contract products of infringing on its trademark rights.

NanoLabs claims that Coinbase’s offerings are “derivative products” based on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), which are “identical or highly similar” to Nano. It also alleges that Coinbase targets the same type of consumers as NanoLabs, and the trademarks for Coinbase’s products are “identical, and confusingly similar,” to NanoLabs. Additionally, NanoLabs claims that Coinbase had full knowledge of the Nano digital currency before launching its products, as evidenced by correspondence between the two companies in 2018.

NanoLabs argues that Coinbase should have known that offering Nano Bitcoin on the Coinbase Derivates Exchange would further consumer confusion, especially since the Nano Digital Currency is not listed on the Coinbase Exchange, and Coinbase provides no disclaimer, distinction, or education to consumers to this point.

The complaint states that Coinbase’s infringement has caused NanoLabs economic detriment and weakened its brand identity, resulting in “actual damage and irreparable harm.” NanoLabs is seeking at least $5 million in damages, corrective advertising from Coinbase, destruction of all materials infringing on the Nano trademark, and forfeiture of all profits Coinbase made using Nano trademarks. NanoLabs has requested a jury trial.

Colin LeMahieu founded the Nano digital currency in 2014 under the name RaiBlocks, and it was later rebranded to Nano on Jan. 31, 2018. Coinbase launched its Nano-branded offerings years later, introducing the Nano Bitcoin futures contract in June and the Nano Ether futures contract in August.

This lawsuit could have significant implications for Coinbase and the broader cryptocurrency industry, as it raises questions about the use of similar or identical trademarks for different digital currencies. It also highlights the importance of intellectual property rights in the rapidly evolving and highly competitive crypto industry.


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Nano seeks $700K in costs from plaintiff who dropped class action with ‘absurd’ claims

An ongoing lawsuit involving crypto project Nano has taken another turn this week when the developers sought a sanction after the plaintiff dropped the case.

The Nano team is after $701,000 in attorney fees and costs as a sanction after a token buyer dropped his proposed class action. On July 27, its legal team told a California federal court that some of the claims against them had been “legally baseless”, according to Law360.

Token buyer Alec Otto had accused the Nano developers of fraud, violating securities laws and other offenses, in connection with the loss of millions of tokens following the BitGrail exchange hack in 2018.

The developers stated that Otto’s class action claims were filed too late, at least one filing contained allegations unsupported by evidence and that he advanced a series of “absurd and/or clearly legally meritless arguments,” adding:

“Mr. Otto’s deposition testimony revealed that he has no idea how many XRB he purchased, when he purchased them, or how many were left on BitGrail when it closed.”

There have been a number of lawsuits targeting Nano going back three years when it was known as RaiBlocks. On February 8, 2018, 15 million XRB — the former native currency of the Nano network — were stolen from the Italian cryptocurrency exchange BitGrail.

Shortly after the $150 million hack, BitGrail’s owner and operator, Francesco Firano, asked Nano to alter its blockchain to cover the losses.

The Nano core development team then accused BitGrail of being insolvent and negligent in managing funds which had resulted in the incursion.

The plot thickened when Firano pointed the finger at Nano, blaming an issue with its protocol and timestamp technology.

Related: Strange Twists And Turns Of Nano And BitGrail Since The $150 Mln Hack

Neither party took full responsibility, consequently, a number of individual token holders, including Alex Brola, have tried to sue Nano for their losses since. Brola’s case was dismissed by a New York District Judge in October 2018.

Otto first tried to certify his suit as a class action in August 2020, then again in December, before deciding to withdraw it last month. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers approved the voluntary dismissal but requested a briefing on whether Otto and his counsel should face sanctions.

Nano developers have asked that Otto, and all three law firms representing him, be held jointly responsible for their hefty $700K legal costs. Otto and his counsel had yet to file a response at the time of writing.


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Summer shorts: NANO price spike gives traders a chance to bet against the rally

When Elon Musk’s ‘Bitcoin is bad for the environment’ tweet caused a flash crash of BTC and the majority of altcoins’ prices earlier this week, a handful of digital assets headed in the opposite direction, making huge gains amid the sea of red. 

Those were the tokens that market themselves as environmentally friendly capitalizing on investors’ immediate instinct that Tesla might be switching to some alternative, eco-friendly cryptocurrency soon.

NANO’s moment of unsustainability

Among the biggest winners of the day was NANO, a decentralized cryptocurrency that relies on a consensus algorithm similar to proof of stake and that emphasizes its status as a highly sustainable form of money. Boosted by the news of Musk’s quest for greener pastures, the coin almost doubled its price, soaring from $8.44 to $16.32 in a matter of just 12 hours.

But how sustainable was this run? Price action triggered by Musk’s escapades can be dramatic, but it is almost always short-lived. For traders who bought the news and rushed to open a position in NANO in the aftermath of Elon’s tweet, these were a long 12 hours. How high can NANO go? Is this the moon yet? When do I take profits? Is it going to drop soon?

The VORTECS™ Score, an algorithmic analytical tool exclusively available to the members of Cointelegraph Markets Pro, would not be able to answer any of these questions definitively. What it could do, however, is sift through years’ worth of historical data and identify whether the combination of market and social conditions around the coin resembled those that preceded sharp upward or downward price action in the past.

In NANO’s case this week, the VORTECS™ score line had been neutral ahead of the May 13 pump. Naturally, the fundamental market and social conditions did not look historically ripe for a rally that would soon be triggered by an ex-machina kind of event.

Then, in the middle of a tweet-induced price hike, VORTECS™ score began turning red, suggesting that the model sensed a bearish pattern of market activity (first red circle and box in the graph). 

Despite a dip, there was a second spike in price (second red box) which coincided with an even more negative score from VORTECS™ (second red circle). As the yellow star indicates, this second spike was followed by a major drop in price.

The low score of 18 was registered when NANO’s price was still on the way to its second peak of $15.82, shortly before it reversed its course and fell to below $11. While history does not repeat, in this case, it rhymed.

Short positions 101

There are several ways in which crypto traders could put NANO’s recent rally to work. One is byquickly reacting to the news and opening a long position in hopes of taking profits before the trigger’s impact recedes. Another is shorting the asset when it is still flying high — in other words, betting that the coin’s price will drop.

Short positions are often opened using borrowed funds: In a classic scenario, an investor would borrow the asset whose price they expect to go down, immediately trade it at the current market price, then purchase again for cheaper, pocketing the difference. Today, many cryptocurrency exchanges offer derivative contracts that allow users to short crypto assets without actually touching them.

You can revisit this Cointelegraph guide into long and short positions to recap the essentials.

While the VORTECS™ score will not tell investors when to go long or short, it can provide a useful indication of historically bullish or bearish conditions for a particular coin — insights that can potentially be profitably incorporated into a trading strategy.

Cointelegraph Markets Pro is available exclusively to subscribers on a monthly basis at $99 per month, or annually with two free months included. It carries a 14-day money-back policy, to ensure that it fits the crypto trading and investing research needs of subscribers, and members can cancel anytime.

Important Disclaimer

Opinions are those of the author. Cointelegraph is a publisher of financial information, not an investment adviser. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and carry significant risk including the risk of permanent and total loss. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Figures and charts are correct at the time of writing or as otherwise specified. Live-tested strategies are not recommendations. Consult your financial advisor before making financial decisions. Full terms and conditions.


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Green energy tokens capitalize on Tesla’s decision to nix Bitcoin payments

After months of touting the benefits of Bitcoin (BTC) and blockchain technology, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shocked the crypto Twitter on May 12 by announcing that the electric car company would suspend its accepting BTC as a form of payment, citing concerns related to the energy required to mine the top cryptocurrency. 

As Tesla issued its statement, Bitcoin, Ether and a large segment of altcoins sold off sharply but there were a few projects that found clever ways to capitalize off the mayhem by tweeting about the ‘green’ nature of their networks that require only a tiny fraction of the energy required to maintain the Bitcoin network.

HBAR/USDT vs. NANO/USDT vs. EWT/USDT 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Three of the biggest beneficiaries of the focus on energy consumption are Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR), Nano (NANO) and Energy Web Token (EWT). Each experienced double-digit gains on May 13, while a majority of the cryptocurrency market is in the red.


Hedera Hashgraph is a public network that was designed to be a fairer, more efficient system that seeks to overcome some of the limitations of earlier-generation blockchain platforms that struggle with slow performance and instability.

The network received support from an unlikely source on May 13 as Deepak Chopra, a well-known spiritual teacher and meditation advocate, responded directly to Musk’s tweet about discontinuing Bitcoin payments by discussing the low energy nature of the HBAR.

Further exploration of the project’s Twitter feed show a litany of posts from various community members and project developers displaying the low energy cost of the Hedera network. This activity coincides with the May 13 spike in its price from a low of $0.226 to an intraday high of $0.41.


A second protocol that has jumped on the green energy wave initiated is Nano, a lightweight cryptocurrency designed to offer secure, near-instant payments with zero fees.

The project, along with members of its community, was quick to highlight Nano’s status as “one of the leading energy-efficient and eco-friendly cryptocurrencies of 2021” which may have helped propel the tokens price 121% on May 13 from a low of $8.00 to a 3-year high at $17.71.

NANO/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView


Energy Web Token is a more obvious beneficiary of the refocus on environmental concerns as it is the operational token behind Energy Web Chain, a blockchain protocol designed to facilitate application development for the energy sector.

While the project doesn’t focus specifically on payments, the protocol’s virtual machine has the potential to revolutionize the energy sector as it is oriented toward grid operators, software developers and vendors.

The project responded to the recent announcement from Musk with the following tweet touting the protocol’s ability to decarbonize the global energy sector.

EWT rallied 75% from a low of $13 late on May 12 to an intraday high at $22 before profit-taking pushed the price back below $18.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.