Craig Wright, a computer scientist who claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin, prevailed on Monday in a civil lawsuit against the family of a deceased business partner, who claimed he was owed half of a crypto fortune. -currency worth tens of billions.
A Florida jury concluded that Wright did not owe half of the 1.1 million Bitcoin to David Kleiman’s family. The jury awarded $ 100 million in intellectual property rights to a joint venture between the two men, a fraction of what Kleiman’s lawyers were asking for at trial.
“It was a tremendous victory for our team,” said Andres Rivero of Rivero Mestre LLP, senior counsel representing Wright.
The case was highly technical, with the jury listening to explanations of the complex workings of cryptocurrencies as well as the murky origins of Bitcoin’s birth. Jurors took an entire week to deliberate, repeatedly questioning lawyers on both sides as well as the judge about how cryptocurrencies work as well as the business relationship between the two men.
At the center of the lawsuit are 1.1 million Bitcoins, worth around $ 50 billion based on Monday’s prices. These were among the first Bitcoins to be created through mining and could only be owned by one person or entity involved in digital currency from its inception.
Bitcoin’s origins have always been a bit of a mystery, which is why this essay has gained so much attention from outsiders. In October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, someone by the name of “Satoshi Nakamoto” published an article defining the framework for a digital currency that was not linked to any legal or sovereign authority. The mining of the currency began a few months later.
The name Nakamoto, roughly translated from Japanese to mean “in the center of”, has never been considered the real name of the creator of Bitcoin. Some in the cryptocurrency community don’t even believe that Nakamoto was a single individual.
Wright has claimed since 2016 that he is Nakamoto, a claim that has sparked skepticism from a significant portion of the cryptocurrency community. Due to its structure, all Bitcoin transactions are public, and the 1.1 million Bitcoins in question have remained intact since Wright’s big reveal. Members of the Bitcoin community have regularly asked Wright to move only a fraction of the coins to a separate account to record that he is truly as rich as he claims to be.
During the trial, Wright and other cryptocurrency experts testified under oath that Wright owns the Bitcoins in question. Wright said he would prove his ownership if he won at the trial.
David Kleiman passed away in April 2013. Led by his brother Ira Kleiman, his family claimed David Kleiman and Wright were close friends and co-created Bitcoin in a partnership. Kleiman’s estate sued half of the Bitcoins in question as well as intellectual property rights.
Wright’s attorneys have repeatedly said that David Kleiman and Wright are friends and collaborate to work together, but their partnership had nothing to do with the creation or early operations of Bitcoin.
Wright said he plans to donate a large chunk of Bitcoin’s fortune to charity if he wins at the trial. In an interview, Wright’s attorney, Rivero, reconfirmed Wright’s plan to donate much of his fortune in Bitcoin.