What are the legal implications of clicking acknowledge below the following statement: "By clicking acknowledge below, I certify that I am not a resident of XYZ."

The context for this, if it helps, is in the cryptocurrency space. There are a lot of initial coin offerings that are required to restrict participation based on residency. In addition to IP-based blocking, they typically require participants to "certify" their non-residency in prohibited countries. What is the legal meaning of "certify" in this context? For example, if one were to certify a false statement, would it be a crime?

2 Answers 2


It means that you state the fact and represent that it is true

If you make a material false representation in the formation of a contract and the other party enters the contract in reliance on that, then that contract is void. This would appear to be the case here.

When a contract is void neither party can enforce their rights, nor are they required to perform their obligations under that contract. The practical effect for a cryptocurrency broker is they have your money and your crypto coin and you can’t sue to get either back.

  • There could even be an award of money damages against you if you lie, e.g. litigation costs with a third-party as a result of your false certification.
    – ohwilleke
    Nov 2, 2021 at 22:11

In this context, "certify" is essentially a synonym for "state" or perhaps "formally state".

If the statement is false, there may be legal consequences depending on the exact circumstances.

If the statement is made "under penalty of perjury" then a false statement could in theory be prosecuted as an act of perjury. In practice, people ave very rarely indeed prosecuted for falsifying such statements.

If the statement is knowingly false, and another party relies on such a statement to his or her detriment, and the false statement was made with the intent that such detriment would result, then it might be fraud, depending on the detailed circumstances. But the word "certify" would not convert a non-fraudulent statement into a fraudulent one.

Indeed if the statement were edited to change the word "certify" to the word "state" there would probably be no change of legal effect.

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