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Early Bitcoin Developer Jeff Garzik Subpoenaed in $1 Billion Craig Wright Lawsuit

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:20 PM
Gerelyn Terzo
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:20 PM

Jeff Garzik, one of the earliest contributors to the Bitcoin codebase who also previously worked for BitPay, has been served. Garzik – in the spirit of “radical transparency” – shared the subpoena on Twitter, not appearing particularly shocked and noting that the “Bitcoin lawsuit drags on.”

Maybe he saw it coming, as the summons is comprised of more than two-dozen requests surrounding everything from the true identity of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto to Silk Road to Mt. Gox.

Jeff Garzik Dragged into $1 Billion Bitcoin Lawsuit

Garzik is being subpoenaed by the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida for documents relating to the Kleiman vs. Craig Wright complaint. The estate of computer forensics expert Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013 from seemingly natural causes and who is being represented by his brother Ira, is suing the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto (Craig Wright) for a minimum of roughly 300,000 bitcoins allegedly stolen from an early crypto mining operation.

Chief among the requests for Garzik surrounds the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, who reportedly “controls about 1 million bitcoins.” 

The court is demanding:

“all documents, communications, and agreements that support [Jeff’s] personal theory that Dave Kleiman is Satoshi Nakamoto.”

Communications represent anything from emails to SMS messages to Twitter direct messages to Facebook posts – and much more.

Garzik worked alongside Satoshi Nakamoto, albeit virtually, for years through private emails and online forums until the Bitcoin creator went dark in 2011. Garzik later stated that he believed he was dealing with Kleiman:

“My personal theory is that it’s Floridian Dave Kleiman. It matches his coding style, this gentleman was self-taught. And the Bitcoin coder was someone who was very, very smart, but not a classically trained software engineer.”

The court document provides a trio of email addresses for the Bitcoin creator, including the following accounts: [email protected]; [email protected]; and [email protected].

Garzik Told to Provide Treasure-Trove of Documents to Court

bitcoin law
Maybe Jeff Garzik’s contribution will provide some closure to the Kleiman-Wright bitcoin dispute. | Source: Shutterstock

Garzik must also cough up any communications with Craig Wright and David Kleiman in addition to the following:

  • Documents and communications tied to W&K Info Defense Research, which is the LLC through which Kleiman and Wright allegedly mined BTC
  • Communications with Uyen Nguyen, who is seemingly tied to the LLC
  • Documents and communications tied to bitcoin mining from the period 2009-2013
  • Information related to the mysterious Tulip Trust/GISCR Trust, which is a trust fund seemingly comprised of more than 1 million bitcoins whose wallet will reportedly be unlocked in 2020
  • Communications and agreements tied to Silk Road

Garzik was given 30 days from the date of the subpoena to produce the documents in question to an Atlanta, Georgia location unless agreed upon with the plaintiffs otherwise.

Maybe his contribution will finally provide some closure to the Kleiman-Wright dispute, but don’t expect them to lift the curtain on the true identity of Bitcoin’s mysterious inventor.