The Bitcoin logo will appear on the screen of a Bitcoin ATM in Los Angeles, California on November 10, 2021.
Mario Tama | Getty Images
A man who claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin has just won a major US lawsuit and saved him from paying tens of billions of dollars in cryptocurrency to a former business partner.
Australian computer scientist Craig Wright hinted in a 2016 blog post that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the person or individuals who developed Bitcoin. Many in the crypto community are skeptical of Wright’s claim, in part because he did not move any of the early bitcoins believed to have been mined by Satoshi.
On Monday, Wright prevailed in a civil lawsuit in Miami in which he was pitted against the family of his late business partner and computer forensics expert David Kleiman. At stake was half of the 1.1 million bitcoins Satoshi mined and held, a cache currently valued at around $ 54 billion. The estate also claimed rights to some of the intellectual property behind the early blockchain technology.
Prosecutors argued that Kleiman was a co-creator of Bitcoin with Wright, which earned him half of Satoshi’s suspected fortune. A federal jury in West Palm Beach sided with Wright and declined to give any bitcoins to Kleiman’s estate.
However, Wright was fined $ 100 million in damages for an intellectual property violation related to W&K Info Defense Research LLC, a joint venture between the two men. This money goes directly to W&K and not to the Kleiman property.
“We are delighted that our client, W&K Information Defense Research LLC, has won $ 100,000,000, reflecting Craig Wright wrongly stealing bitcoin-related assets from W&K,” said the W&K attorney.
“This was a remarkably good result, and I feel completely vindicated,” Wright said in a video posted on Twitter immediately after the verdict.
The Secret of Satoshi Nakamoto
The secret of starting Bitcoin is a big part of the reasons this civil lawsuit has received so much attention in South Florida.
In 2008, as the US financial crisis hit, Satoshi Nakamoto published a nine-page white paper detailing a vision for Bitcoin – a “peer-to-peer e-cash system” that is beyond the reach of Governments would work.
A few months later, Nakamoto released software that allows users to mine for the cryptocurrency.
Mining for cryptocurrencies is the computationally intensive process of creating new tokens and verifying transactions on existing digital coins. In the early days of Bitcoin, it was possible to mine for it on a home PC. At the time, winning a block earned a reward of 50 Bitcoin. Nowadays, the process requires special equipment, is carried out mainly by professionals, and thanks to an anti-inflation measure built into the code, the block reward is 6.25 Bitcoin.
Nakamoto, who could be a person or a consortium of programmers, stayed on the stage until 2011, after which he abruptly left the project after emailing another developer that she was “moving on to other business.” are”. The enigmatic creator is believed to have mined up to 1.1 million bitcoin before its disappearance.
Had Wright lost the case, he would have had to show the Satoshi coin supply to pay for the estate. But Wright said he would prove his property if he won the trial. He also promised to donate a large part of his Bitcoin fortune to charity if he should prove to be a winner.