Reed Smith In-depth

Key takeaways

  • While crypto asset platforms typically seek to resolve user disputes through flexible, confidential and independent arbitration, users and collaborators sometimes instead bring claims before local courts.
  • In such cases, even where the user is bound by a valid arbitration agreement, the crypto asset platform might, in certain circumstances, still find itself subject to court proceedings.
  • In Julian Moreno Beltran and another v Terraform Labs Pte Ltd and others [2023] SGHC 340, the Singapore High Court found that, notwithstanding the prima facie existence of an arbitration agreement in a platform’s terms, the platform was nonetheless bound to litigation as it had taken steps in the litigation proceedings, so losing its recourse to arbitration.
  • The court also shed light on the issue of whether an arbitration agreement has been sufficiently drawn to a user’s attention by way of incorporation into a platform’s terms and conditions as displayed on the website.
  • In so doing, it recognised a useful distinction between “clickwrap”, “sign-in wrap” and “browse-wrap” agreements, with disputes over the existence of “browse-wrap” agreements tending to require more fact-sensitive inquiries, which some businesses may wish to avoid.
  • Platforms seeking to rely on arbitration agreements are well advised to take note of the approach of the Singapore courts, given that Singapore is a jurisdiction where a number of disputes relating to digital assets have arisen.

Autores: Matthew Townsend Hagen Rooke Bryan Tan Teddy To Adrian Aw (Resource Law LLC), Anand Tiwari (Resource Law LLC)


Terraform Labs Pte Ltd (“Terraform”) is a Singapore-incorporated company in the business of developing software and applications which run the Terra blockchain, including UST, a dollar-denominated algorithmic stablecoin.

Anchor Protocol (“Anchor”) is a lending and borrowing platform where users could stake their UST in consideration for a return calculated on an annualised yield basis. This was set initially at 20%.

The Luna Foundation Guard Ltd (“Luna”) is said to be an organisation supporting the growth of the Terra ecosystem by building reserves to buttress the stability of UST.

The Terraform and Anchor websites contained hyperlinks to terms of use and terms of service respectively (“Terms”). These in turn provided for arbitration of disputes in Singapore under the rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (“SIAC”).

In December 2021 the hyperlink to the Terraform Terms was situated at the bottom of the website and so not as prominent as other sections and hyperlinks on the site. By contrast, the Anchor Terms were brought to the attention of at least some users in a more direct way: clicking on the “Connect Wallet” link triggered a pop-up stating: “By connecting, I accept Anchor’s Terms of Service”.

Following UST’s collapse in May 2022, two individuals commenced a class action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and 375 other Terraform customers in the Singapore courts against Terraform, Luna and two other individuals, namely Kwon Do Hyeong and Nikolaos Alexandros Platias, who were the co-founders of Terraform. The claimants sought relief against the defendants for, inter alia, making several statements in various project white papers, websites and social media posts regarding the design, stability and nature of the UST ecosystem. The claimants alleged that these statements were misrepresentations that had induced them to purchase UST, stake UST on the Anchor platform and hold UST while its value plummeted.