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Court Orders ‘Bitcoin Inventor’ Craig Wright to Put Up or Shut Up

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:36 PM
Samantha Chang
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:36 PM

By CCN.com: A Florida judge ordered Craig Wright — the self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor — to put up or shut up if he wants to prove that he’s Satoshi Nakamoto.

In a June 14 motion to compel, federal magistrate judge Bruce Reinhart ordered Wright to produce a list of all the bitcoin he mined prior to December 31, 2013.

The judge set a June 17 deadline for Wright to produce the list of his bitcoin holdings — or else face court-ordered sanctions.

bitcoin inventor craig wright motion to compel
A federal judge ordered self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig Wright to produce a list of all the bitcoin he mined prior to December 2013.

Judge to Craig Wright: Show Me the Money

In his decision, Judge Reinhart said Wright has not explained why he cannot obtain the necessary encryption keys to comply with his prior order. The judge was referring to his March 2019 ruling, when he directed Wright to produce the evidence.

At the time, Wright rattled off a laundry list of excuses for why he couldn’t comply. First, Wright claimed that he couldn’t produce the list because it’s “unduly burdensome.” He said this is because in 2010, he stopped keeping track of the public addresses for the bitcoin he had mined.

Judge’s Job Isn’t to Identify Satoshi Nakamoto

Then, Wright insisted that he had transferred ownership of all his bitcoin into a blind trust in 2011.

However, the judge is now fed-up and wants Wright to produce evidence that sustains his contention that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. The judge wrote:

“He has not explained why he cannot obtain, and has not obtained, the necessary keys from these third parties. At this point, the record before the Court fails to demonstrate that Dr. Wright cannot through reasonable diligence comply with the Court’s March 14th Order. The Court will allow the parties to develop a full evidentiary record before it decides whether sanctions are warranted.”

Moreover, the judge ordered Wright to appear in person before the court on June 28 to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt for failing to comply with his March order.

Wright Accused of Forging Documents

As CCN.com reported, Craig Wright is embroiled in a bitter lawsuit with the estate of deceased computer genius Dave Kleiman. Kleiman was Wright’s friend and colleague.

In February 2018, Kleiman’s estate filed a $10 billion federal lawsuit accusing Wright of trying to swindle Kleinman out of the bitcoin stash they had mined together, as well as IP rights to blockchain technologies they had worked on before Kleiman’s death in 2013.

Wright and Kleiman collaborated on bitcoin dating all the back to 2008 — before anyone had heard of the cryptocurrency. Together, they mined more than 1.1 million bitcoin, according to the court filing. There is rampant speculation that Dave Kleiman was Satoshi Nakamoto.

bitcoin inventor dave kleiman craig wright
Dave Kleiman and Craig Wright mined 1.1 million bitcoin before Kleiman’s tragic death in 2013. | Source: YouTube screenshots

Wright and Kleiman Mined 1.1 Million Bitcoin

The stash that Kleiman and Wright jointly held was worth $10 billion using the bitcoin price at the time the lawsuit  was filed. However, Kleiman — who was wheelchair-bound following a 1995 motorcycle accident — died in 2013 from complications related to an MRSA super-bug infection.

Wright never shared that massive fortune with Dave Kleiman’s estate after he died, according to the lawsuit filed by his estate.

Kleiman’s estate claims that he was the rightful owner of more than $5 billion worth of bitcoin and other intellectual property he developed during his partnership with Wright.

Wright denies all the accusations in the Kleiman lawsuit. He insists he is Satoshi and the legitimate bitcoin inventor.