Crypto startup wins cybersquatting dispute against Deloitte

Crypto startup Don’t Know Your Customer has managed to avoid a cybersquatting complaint brought by accounting giant Deloitte over its domain name.

Web3 design  and branding firm Penultimate Media Systems registered DontKYC.com for its crypto client, which claims to be a non-profit community that operates on the Binance Smart chain while offering prepaid cards that offer anonymity.

Deloitte disapproves the domain owner abbreviated its service as DKYC on its website. The accounting firm argued that the disputed domain name is highly similar to its own trademark as it uses the acryonym in the same form.

Deloitte even accused DKYC’s website of being illegal and emphasized the alleged damaging effects the startup’s use of the disputed domain name on the accounting firm’s reputation. The accounting firm explained that the crypto startup is promoting anonymous financial transactions that directly contradicts its own “knowyourclient” service, which is concerned with identification and traceability of clients in the financial world.

The World Intellectual Property Organization published its decision via Domain Name Wire, which argued that Deloitte failed to show that the domain was used in bad faith.

In response to the accusations, DKYC claims it does not know of Deloitte’s trademark and has researched the the US Patent and Trademark Office before registering the domain name.

As of May 6 2022, the startup is currently rebranding to “ShadowFi” and counters Deloitte’s accusation that the domain name is being used illicitly by emphasizing the difference between money laundering and the everyday spending services it offers.

The startup bridges decentralized finance (DeFi) and anonymous spending in the real-word and operates on the Binance Smart Chain. “Invest on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) while funding your everyday life. Our vendor doesn’t know who we are, and we don’t know who you are. No ID required. Ever,” its website reads. 

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