Compass Mining sued for losing Bitcoin mining machines bought by customers

Customers are suing Compass Mining for over $2 million, alleging fraud, after the corporate reduce ties with Russian internet hosting firm Bit River and did not return customers’ Bitcoin machines, citing a non-applicable United States sanction as the explanation.

According to a court docket doc filed on Jan. 17, Compass Mining issued a discover in April 2022 that it has terminated its “relationships and dealings with Bit River” as a result of sanctions imposed by Executive Order 14024.

It is alleged that Compass “didn’t provide” to return and even retrieve the property that its customers entrusted the corporate with to host at Bit River’s amenities in Russia.

However, it was acknowledged that it’s “false” that the return of the mining machines can be in violation of Executive Order 14024, which prohibits dealings with sanctioned entities.

The court docket doc famous that Compass has “each the suitable and obligation to impact the return of its customers’ miners.”

Compass representatives met customers’ issues with hostility, saying that it’s “unable to conduct and even facilitate” any business dealings with Bit River.

When its customers had no possibility however to contact Bit River, the Russian agency allegedly pointed them again to Compass. Bit River representatives responded to those who reached out:

“From a authorized perspective, Bit River’s contract is with Compass, and all gear is owned by Compass. Thus you should tackle all questions straight with Compass.”

The court docket doc famous that Compass ought to have disclosed to Bit River they’re “merely the intermediary” and the machines had been truly paid for and owned by the plaintiffs themselves.

The partnership with Bit River was initially supposed to allow Compass’ customers to host their machines at Bit River’s amenities to reap the benefits of “enterprise-grade, low-cost and low-carbon cryptocurrency mining amenities in Russia.”

Related: Only for foreign trade: Bank of Russia stands against free crypto investment

The court docket doc additional acknowledged that Compass’ promise of its machines’ “uptime of 95%” was inaccurate, stating that it was truly “nearer to 50-60%.” In some situations, miners weren’t on-line in any respect for weeks or months at a time.

In July 2022, Compass was the primary mining agency to announce job cuts amid the continued crypto winter. The agency laid off 15% of its staff whereas prime executives and employees took main pay cuts.