The Kleinman Case: Craig Wright wins US court case over bitcoin store worth billions

Category: Americas Crypto

Drawing the attention of the crypto-community and laymen alike, the trial over a cryptocurrency fortune of 1.1 million bitcoin worth $£54.5 billion has concluded in favour of Craig Wright.

As the premier crypto-currency, it is no surprise that Bitcoin houses a deep mystery at its heart. This mystery pertains to the true identity of its founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. While the name may hint to some inklings of an identity, “Nakamoto” translates directly from Japanese to “at the center of” which means that it is almost definitely a pseudonym.

The mystery surrounding this identity forms the crux of this court case. Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist and long-time claimant to the identity, has succeeded in a civil trial against the family of a deceased business partner. David Kleinman, a close friend and alleged business partner of Wright, passed away in April 2013 at the young age of 46. In 2019, Wright told Finder that bitcoin’s creation was a collaborative effort and stated that Dave Kleinman was involved.

Ownership of the original 1.1 million Bitcoins could constitute significant evidence for Wright’s claim of being Satoshi

His family, led by his brother Ira Kleinman, claimed that David had a legal right to half of a store of 1.1 million Bitcoin and that the right now passed on to his immediate family as claimants. At the conclusion of the trial, a Florida jury concluded that Wright did not owe half of the store to Kleinman’s family. While the jury did award the family $100 million in intellectual property rights over a joint-venture between the two men, this was only a fraction of what Kleinman’s legal team officially requested and the money will be transferred to W&K Info Defense Research, the company founded by the two men, rather then to the family directly.

However, the events of the trial do hold very interesting developments in terms of the legal status of Wright’s claim that he is the creator of Bitcoin. During the trial, both Wright and other Blockchain experts testified under oath that Wright owns the bitcoin store. The Crypto-Community now eagerly awaits Wright following through on his claims by transferring any of the coins to a private wallet, conferring credence on his claim to be Nakamoto as those original 1.1 million coins where directly minted by Satoshi.

Taking an entire week to deliberate, the jurors had to repeatedly consult both legal and blockchain experts in order to clarify the intricacies of the Blockchain system as well as its technicalities. At a point, the jurors were signaled to notify that they were deadlocked.

Wright had originally claimed that he intended to donate much of the revenue from the bitcoin fortune to charity if he had to succeed in his bid for ownership. This was reiterated by Wright’s lawyer Rivero who also confirmed that he planned to donate much of the fortune.

Story sourced from CNBC and The Guardian. Images of Wright taken by Saul Martinez/Bloomberg.

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