By CCN Markets: Florida judge Bruce Reinhart sealed the list of bitcoin holdings that self-proclaimed “Satoshi Nakamoto” Craig Wright was compelled to submit on June 17 pursuant to an order he issued last week.
Unfortunately for curious followers of this bizarre legal drama, this means that the crypto-sphere will have to wait a little longer before they can see proof of Wright’s claims that he’s the inventor of bitcoin.
As CCN reported, Judge Reinhart ordered Wright to produce a list of all the bitcoin he mined prior to Dec. 31, 2013. Reinhart made the ruling in response to a motion filed in March 2019 by the estate of computer genius Dave Kleiman.
Kleiman was a colleague and friend of Craig Wright until his untimely death in 2013. Kleiman’s estate claims that Wright stole Kleiman’s share of the 1.1 million bitcoin they had mined together between 2009 and 2013.
That bitcoin stash was worth $10 billion in 2018 when Kleiman’s estate sued Wright. The estate is demanding at least $5 billion from Wright — or half the value of the Wright/Kleiman bitcoin stash.
Last week, the judge told Wright to produce a list of his bitcoin holdings by June 17 or face contempt charges. So far, it appears that Wright has complied with the court’s directive.
It’s almost a certainty that the files were sealed at Wright’s request because he had sought a similar protective order in April. At the time, the court denied Wright’s motion for a protective order. That’s probably why Wright refused to provide the verification documents that Kleiman’s estate had sought.
But now, the files are sealed from the public’s prying eyes, so Wright scored a small victory in this heated lawsuit.
As CCN reported, the estate of Dave Kleiman filed a $10 billion federal lawsuit against Craig Wright in February 2018. In the complaint, the estate accused Wright of trying to steal the intellectual property and massive bitcoin stash that he and Kleiman had mined together before Kleiman’s death.
Wright and Kleiman started collaborating on bitcoin back in 2008 — before anyone had ever heard of it. Together, they mined more than 1.1 million bitcoins, according to the Kleiman lawsuit.
There are rumors that Dave Kleiman was Satoshi Nakamoto and that Wright is trying to horn in on that because Kleiman’s not around to contradict him. However, in their lawsuit, Kleiman’s estate concedes that it’s possible that either Kleiman or Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.
“It is unclear whether Craig, Dave, and/or both created Bitcoin. For reasons not yet completely clear, they chose to keep their involvement in Bitcoin hidden from most of their family and friends. It is undeniable, however, that Craig and Dave were involved in Bitcoin from its inception and that they both accumulated a vast wealth of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013.”
Kleiman’s estate apparently doesn’t care who Satoshi is. They merely want the $5 billion in bitcoin that Wright and Kleiman had mined together.
According to the Kleiman lawsuit, Wright used bogus signatures on legal documents to bilk Kleiman’s estate out of their rightful property.
The plaintiffs attached an Exhibit (see below) that compared Kleiman’s signature and the ones found on several contracts that Wright used to claim ownership to the intellectual property and bitcoin referenced in their lawsuit.
Kleiman’s estate noted that the signatures look “substantially different.” Moreover, they claim that the electronic signatures on relevant contracts look like a computer-generated font.
“The electronic signatures that appear on these documents are substantially different than known examples of Dave’s electronic and written signatures,” the complaint alleges. “This signature appears to be a near identical copy of a computer-generated font called Otto.”
The Kleiman lawsuit is still in the early stages and could drag on because of the staggering amount of money involved. So what’s next for Craig Wright? Mediation is set for June 18, and deposition is scheduled for next week. He has to appear in court in Florida on June 28.
This article was edited by Gerelyn Terzo.
Last modified: August 16, 2019 17:22 UTC