Startup Ryval Aims to Revolutionize Access to Justice Suing People Using Crypto

Startup Ryval Aims to Revolutionize Access to Justice Suing People Using Crypto

Ryval, tech startup, wants Americans to participate in suing people using crypto. Learn about their platform, the concept of ILOs, and the potential returns for investors in this in-depth article.

Imagine a scenario where you can fund someone else’s civil lawsuit using crypto tokens. And if they win, you get a share of the settlement. That’s exactly what Ryval wants to enable – a chance at suing people using crypto.

In essence, this tech startup seeks to gamify the American court system while presenting a potential win-win eventuality. The litigant gets financing in form of cryptocurrency tokens, whereas investors get returns from the settlement amount.

But don’t get too excited just yet. There’s a lot to Ryval, not least the potential crypto class action lawsuits that it will inevitably bring about. Here’s a lowdown of what you need to know about Ryval and suing people using crypto.

What is Ryval and Why Does It Want to Make Access to Justice More Affordable?

Ryval is a tech firm that allows individuals to invest cryptocurrency tokens in court cases. Co-founded by New York lawyer Kyle Roche, the company aims to “make the federal court system more accessible for all”.

To achieve this, Ryval will provide a platform on which everyday Americans can invest and trade crypto tokens that are associated with court cases. In essence, you will be able to bet your tokens on a civil case in the hope that it wins a settlement. And if it does, you get a share of the settlement.

To the litigant, Ryval presents an opportunity to fundraise from the general public. This may be necessary in a case where the plaintiff(s) or attorney in a civil lawsuit doesn’t have enough funds to litigate a case. It is, therefore, litigation finance that is purely based on cryptocurrency.

What Exactly Does Ryval Do?

For one, it provides a platform for tokenizing court cases and trading them. Secondly, the firm intends to vet the legal claims that it gets. This allows the public to judge the merits of a case before investing their coins and tokens in it.

According to Roche, Ryval will start by taking on cases that “are good claims”. But over time, the company will accept all types of cases, including wrongful termination, antitrust and securities claims. This will allow plaintiffs and litigators to access the justice system even when they are cash strapped.

There will even be a pro bono element where people can raise legal finance for those in need but can’t pay it back. Again, this is all to make the legal justice system more accessible to all Americans, regardless of the personal finance.

But why does Ryval want to make access to justice more affordable? According to Roche, the U.S. federal court system is up there with the best in the world. However, the associated costs are usually prohibitive for ordinary Americans.

Because of this, potential whistleblowers are often hesitant to take on large corporations. But with Ryval, the general public can contribute the legal costs of a case. This can easily allow whistleblowers to bring all types of cases against any entity, regardless of its size and resources.

That said, the Ryval platform doesn’t exist yet, even though it has a lawsuit (the Apothio case – more on this shortly) that is being publicly traded. Roche had announced that it would be up and running within the first quarter of 2022, but that doesn’t seem to have materialized.

Ryval Review: a Look at the Founders and Website

Ryval was founded by Kyle Roche and Emin Gün Sirer in 2020. While Roche is a New York-based lawyer, Sirer is a computer scientist and founder of AVA Labs.

In the initial stages, AVA Labs was responsible for raising money for Roche Freedman, the law firm owned by Kyle Roche and his partner Devin “Velvel” Freedman. This was done via crowdfunding and selling lawsuit tokens through initial litigation offerings (ILOs) on AVA Labs’ Avalanche blockchain.

Ryval was supposed to have its own platform by the end of Q1 2022, but that didn’t happen. Instead, the company was thrown into a series of scandals that arose from Roche’s and Ava’s supposed plan to maliciously sue Ava’s competitors.

Consequently, Roche was fired from his firm, which then rebranded to Freedman Normand Friedland. Following these controversies, Christen Ager-Hanssen – a Norwegian internet entrepreneur – withdrew his planned funding of Ryval. Roche was also forced to pull out of several crypto class action lawsuits, including ones against Tron and Bitfinex.

Despite the dramatic stories of its founders, Ryval’s website is pretty dormant. It has never been updated since it was first launched in 2020. The words “The stock market of litigation financing” welcome you to the site’s homepage (which is the only available page), followed by a brief description of what it’s all about; “Buy and sell tokens that represent shares in a litigation and access a multi-billion dollar investment class previously unavailable to the public”.

There’s also a promise of 50%+ annual returns, a value that Roche admits is a little too high. Other than that, there isn’t much information on Ryval’s website. In fact, the company’s social media accounts haven’t been updated since Roche and Ava’s controversies became public.

The Concept of ILOs

an icon of an investor, an icon of ryval, an icon of a plaintiff

Ryval calls the sale of tokenized lawsuits “initial litigation offering” or ILO for short. As you may have guessed, this is a method of fundraising for capital in exchange for crypto tokens. It’s the equivalent of initial public offering (IPO) for companies or initial coin offering (ICO) for cryptocurrencies.

In this sense, Ryval is, by and large, comparable to Robinhood, which does options trading. The difference is that Ryval is strictly for the law. Besides, while accredited investors (in other words, wealthy folks) will be allowed to trade lawsuit tokens instantly, non-rich buyers will be legally obligated to a one-year lockup period.

The company’s model is rather unfair to the non-rich, which is ironic because Roche argues that it’s intended for the ordinary American. Still, it gives everyday citizens a chance to earn interest from the legal market. According to Roche, law firms earn an annual percentage of between 30 and 40% from litigation settlements. Through Ryval, ordinary Americans can get in on the profits.

The Case of Apothio and Robinhood

Ryval is to the law what Robinhood is to options. Both allow investors to trade tokenized assets and potentially earn interest on them.

The first initial litigation offering (ILO) for Ryval came in the case of Apothio, LLC. This California-based cannabis company is suing its county government for destroying 500 acres of the crop. Ryval stepped in with the target of fundraising $250,000 to help Apothio fund the litigation.

Although the case has stalled since 2021, investors are still putting tokens into it. So far Ryval has raised $330,000 – which is well beyond the original target – from litigation tokens. The Apothio case represents one of the largest destructions of crops in U.S. history.

The buzz and interest around Apothio ILO confirmed that the Ryval platform has immense potential. Perhaps that is why Kyle Roche set his eyes on Robinhood soon after Apothio ILO was launched.

In January 2021, Robinhood suspend trading of GameStop shares following a huge surge in its demand. While users were allowed to sell GameStop shares, they weren’t allowed to buy them. This prompted some to accuse Robinhood of unlawful maniupulation.

Others went as far as asking if they can ILO Robinhood. That is what caught Roche’s attention. The lawsuit did not happen, but it did generate enough interest to put Ryval and Roche in the news.

Still, it’s unlikely to materialize in the near future because Roche’s scandals with AVA Labs have seen him withdraw himself from a series of class action suits. But if Rayval launches, it’s easy to see why other cryptocurrency litigation lawyers may want to revisit the Robinhood case.

What’s the Goal of Suing Using Crypto?

The primary goal of suing people using crypto is to tokenize a civil lawsuit and sell it as a fundraiser (or crowdfunding) to raise the associated legal costs. This is essentially litigation funding (aka legal financing), a concept that has been gaining popularity in recent years. As Vice reports, investors put a whopping $2.5 billion into legal financing between June 2019 and June 2020.

Those with money often invest in such cases for two reasons:

  1. To help plaintiffs fund their lawsuits
  2. To get a share of the settlement amount

Now crypto is disrupting the traditional way of litigation funding by introducing ILOs. Through these offerings, ordinary citizens can find and fund civil lawsuits on the blockchain. Think of it as a GoFundMe, but with crypto.

Potential Return for Investors

The biggest draw to tokenized litigation, at least for investors, is that it provides access to a class of multi-billion-dollar assets that were previously unavailable to the general public. Litigation settlement is no longer restricted to attorneys and law firms. The general public can invest in it and earn passive income.

On its website, Ryval promises at least 50% annual returns for investors. However, Roche admits that the figure is a “little high”. Perhaps more telling, he says that law firms typically earn between 30% and 40% from litigation settlements.

If the same percentages are transferred to ILOs, it means that investors stand to earn more from tokenized litigation than conventional assets like stocks and bonds.

Just as important, tokenization of the law provides liquidity in the U.S. legal system. Any investor can trade their token for cash if they think a case is not a winner or if they simply need cash.

To help investors choose the best lawsuits and maximize their return, Ryval plans to provide detailed facts about cases, complete with the procedural elements that are necessary to win each case in court.

What People Think about Ryval’s Idea

Public opinion on Ryval is mostly divided. While some people think it’s a good idea, others believe that it is a “scummy project”. Kyle Roche’s outrageous wrongdoings definitely didn’t help his company’s PR.

That said, a good number of crypto enthusiasts welcome the ideal of litigation finance using cryptocurrency. Many of them hold Roche’s belief that it will help everyday citizens get access to the U.S. justice system.

screenshot of what People Think about Ryval’s Idea

Of course, there is also the worry that easier access will open the floodgates for litigations. This may strain the country’s legal system.

screenshot of what People Think about Ryval’s Idea

Final Word

At the end of the day, Ryval’s idea of making access to justice more affordable is a noble one. According to Roche, the company will thoroughly vet all cases to weed out frivolous lawsuits. Should this come to pass, Ryval will undoubtedly go down as the company that successfully and positively disrupted the justice system.

The prospect of Good Samaritans helping litigators who can’t finance their cases is intriguing, to say the least. But, of course, Roche and Ava Labs will need to repair Ryval’s damaged image before earning full public trust in this project.


Is suing people using crypto a good idea?

Betting on a civil lawsuit with crypto tokens can be a profitable venture, particularly if the case is a winner. According to Kyle Roche, investors may earn between 30 and 40% of the settlement amount. This means any case that has top cryptocurrency lawyers may be worth a second look.

What do cryptocurrency litigation lawyers do?

Primarily, cryptocurrency litigation lawyers bring crypto class action lawsuits to courts. Whether it’s an unlawful practice by a crypto exchange (like Robinhood with GameStop) or a government agency that has flouted the law (like the Apothio case), these attorneys may help plaintiffs get justice.

Can you get in trouble with the law from crypto?

Using crypto tokens to finance litigation will not get you in trouble by itself. However, the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 imposes certain legal requirements when handling crypto. For example, you are required to report all incomes, losses and gains from cryptocurrencies on your tax returns.

Can the IRS track cryptocurrency?

Yes, the IRS can track cryptocurrency because all blockchain transactions are usually recorded on a publicly distributed ledger. However, most states allow litigation financiers to remain anonymous. Therefore, you can bet on a case without being tracked.

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