Come to Daddy: Court Rules Australian Man Has Right to Over $50Bln in Bitcoin Stash
23:05 GMT 07.12.2021 (Updated: 20:55 GMT 19.10.2022)
The battle for the title of the inventor of the world's most famous cryptocurrency and, actually, for the right to own its first sequence of coins has been taking place in a Florida court, where Ira Kleiman claimed that his late brother and Australian fellow scientist Craig Wright created the first crypto money.
Craig Wright, a computer scientist who claims to be Bitcoin's creator, won a civil action on Monday, allowing him to keep approximately $50 billion in cryptocurrency, or 1.1 million Bitcoin, the Associated Press reported.
The Bitcoin in question was one of the first to be mined, and it could only be controlled by people or entities who had been engaged with the cryptocurrency since its inception, such as Satoshi Nakamoto, the cryptocurrency's mysterious founder, whose identity is still a mystery.
The lawsuit was won against the family of David Kleiman, a deceased business partner, who claimed that half of the 1.1 million Bitcoin was owed to them. They were not owed the Bitcoin, but a Florida jury awarded them $100 million in intellectual property rights to a joint company between Kleiman and Wright.
According to the report, this is only a small portion of what Kleiman's attorneys requested during the trial.
The lawyers for the plaintiff, W&K Information Defense Research LLC, the two men's joint venture, said it was "gratified" that the jury awarded the company $100 million in intellectual property rights. The firm developed software that laid the foundation for early blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
Kleiman v. Wright update: We are incredibly gratified the jury found Craig Wright has to pay our client, W&K, $100,000,000 for the bitcoin-related assets he stole. This is a great win for our client and for justice!— Vel Freedman (@VelvelFreedman) December 6, 2021
According to the lawsuit, after Kleiman's death in 2013, Wright allegedly covered up his role in the creation of Bitcoin. The lawsuit demanded tens of billions in damages and forced Wright to sell some of the Bitcoin fortune believed to be controlled by Nakamoto.
If it had happened, it would have answered the question of whether Wright, who has claimed for years that he invented Bitcoin, was really involved. However, it should be noted that the issue of Nakamoto's real identity was not considered by the court, and the decision cannot be considered a legal admission of Wright being Nakamoto.
During the trial, both the Australian investor and cryptocurrency experts testified that he indeed holds 1.1 million Bitcoin.
21 November 2021, 00:08 GMT
One can be sure that the cryptocurrency world will be looking for Wright to now prove that he is in fact Bitcoin's creator, as he reportedly promised during the trial. This would bolster Wright's assertion that he is Nakamoto, a claim he began making in 2016. However, some members of the cryptocurrency community even doubt that Nakamoto was a single person.
Wright's claim of inventing Bitcoin has been met with severe criticism and skepticism over the years because the 1.1 million Bitcoins in question have remained untouched since their creation. And members of the community have repeatedly demanded that Wright shift a small portion of the money to a different account to confirm ownership, but every time the investor has backed down from doing it, citing various concerns.
Nonetheless, at the trial, he reportedly stated that he intends to donate a large portion of the Bitcoin fortune to charity.