A cryptocurrency lawsuit worth over $50 billion dollars has been settled, in favor of Craig Wright, possibly one of the inventors of Bitcoin.
Craig Wright is a computer scientist from the United Kingdom, and there is some evidence, including his own testimony, that he is the real person behind Satoshi Nakamoto, the internet identity which created Bitcoin and blockchain databases, the technology behind most cryptocurrencies. The Nakamoto identity, which has always been known to be a pseudonym, was active in development communities from 2007 until 2010. Since ‘his’ disappearance, many people have claimed to be the man behind the curtain, including Craig Wright.
In favor of Wright’s claim, several investigations by tech journalists linked Wright to cryptocurrency keys from the very earliest days of Bitcoin’s development. The crypto community widely disbelieves Wright, who says he is unwilling to provide greater proof because there are links between Bitcoin and terrorism.
“I am the source of terrorist funds as bitcoin creator or I am a fraud to the world. At least a fraud is able to see his family. There is nothing I can do,” said Wright on his now-closed blog in 2016.
The case just settled in Florida does not prove the legitimacy of his claim, but it does concern it. It concerns the 1.1 million Bitcoin that Wright currently holds. Before 2013, Wright was business partners with the late David Kleiman, and Kleiman’s family claims that the two men invented Bitcoin together and that Kleiman’s estate is due one half of those Bitcoin. The jury did not find sufficient evidence that Wright and Kleiman had done any such work together, leaving Wright in possession of the Bitcoin fortune. With Bitcoin currently at 1=USD50,576, it’s worth over $51 billion.
The jury did award $100 million in intellectual property rights to a small venture jointly owned by the two men, but that’s small potatoes compared to what Kleiman’s family was hoping for.