The Internet Computer: ICP start-up Dfinity Foundation sues NYT, others over ‘hit piece’ report

The lawsuit alleges that the report aimed to reduce the threat that the ICP poses to competitive blockchains

Dfinity Foundation’s logo displayed on a smartphone                                 
Dfinity founder Dominic Williams claimed the report was “carefully crafted to defame the project and cause maximum harm” – Photo: Shutterstock

Dfinity Foundation, the company behind blockchain project The Internet Computer (ICP), has filed a lawsuit against The New York Times claiming that the publication and its reporters – Andrew Ross Sorkin and Ephrat Livni – together with Miguel Morel, founder of Arkham Intelligence, and its current and former employees deliberately published a defamatory story about a “hit piece” report in 2021. 

The report in question – which, according to Cryptoleaks, had very little traction until The New York Times shared the piece in its DealBook newsletter – was followed up by an article promoting the claims and stating that ICP’s founder and team had secretly executed a rug pull and crypto scam through the company. 

The lawsuit has labelled the The New York Times piece as defamatory, stating that it promoted “unfair business and trade practices”, inevitably causing ICP to devalue by billions of dollars and harming the company’s repuation as well as its ecosystem of operations.

The filing claims: “Simply stated, even minimal journalistic diligence would have demonstrated that the Arkham Report was created for only one purpose: to cause reputational and financial damage to Dfinity and the Internet Computer Protocol.”

Formed to advance Web 3.0 services

Zurich-based Dfinity Foundation is a Swiss organisation that was created to advance technology and support the Internet Computer project, as well as assisting developers using the platform to build Web 3.0 online services and decentralised applications.

The lawsuit alleges that wealthy elites “with actual malice” used The New York Times to publish a false story, with the hit piece report bought and paid for by these individuals who sought to personally profit from the scheme. 

Dfinity Foundation’s founder Dominic Williams said in a press statement: “After the Internet Computer network underwent genesis 10 May last year, a large number of vicious attacks were directed towards us. Most of these were motivated by a desire to harm and undermine the Internet Computer’s ecosystem to reduce the threat it poses to competitive blockchains.

“One of the worst attacks was Arkham Intelligence's hit piece report, which made many false and baseless claims, which I believe was carefully crafted to defame the project and cause maximum harm.”

According to the lawsuit: “As a direct result of the Times, through its celebrity reporter Sorkin, publishing the story which relied solely on the false Arkham bought-and-paid for hit piece, the scheme worked and Dfinity suffered extraordinary damages.”

Neither The New York Times or Arkham Intelligence responded immediately to our request for a comment. 

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