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The judge ransacked self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright



  Craig Wright, right, arrives at the Federal Court in West Palm Beach, Florida on June 28, 2019.
Enlarge / Craig Wright, on the right, arrives at the Federal Court in West Palm Beach. Florida, June 28, 2019.

Saul Martinez / Bloomberg on Getty Images

Australian Internet personality Craig Wright claims to be the Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. Many people do not believe him. But a person who believes that he is Ira Kleiman, the brother of the late technologist Dave Kleiman. According to potentially fake e-mails published by Gizmodo in 201

5, Wright and Kleiman worked together in 2008 and 2009 to develop and implement Bitcoin.

These documents suggest that Wright and Kleiman worked together in 2009 and 2010 to mine hundreds of thousands of Bitcoins would make Ira Kleiman the heir to a billionaire fortune. So Kleiman sued Wright last year and sought his share of the Nakamoto Bitcoins.

Since then, Kleiman and Wright have been fighting in a Florida courtroom. In a ruling on Tuesday, Federal Judge Bruce Reinhart Wright condemned for repeatedly misleading the court and generally wasting everyone's time. Wright claims Wright was scared after drug traffickers and traffickers started Bitcoin and decided to distance themselves from the cryptocurrency. He founded a legal entity called Tulip Trust with him and Dave Kleiman as trustees. He then encrypted the keys to his Bitcoin assets with an encryption scheme that required multiple keys to decrypt the data. After Kleiman is dead, Wright claims he can no longer decrypt the file.

Judge Reinhart does not buy it.

"Dr. Wright's behavior did not impress me as someone who told the truth," wrote the judge. "I completely disclaim Dr. Wright's testimony about the alleged Tulip Trust, the allegedly encrypted file and its alleged inability to identify its Bitcoin holdings." In fact, Reinhart came to the conclusion that "Wright's testimony that this trust exists is deliberately wrong."

"Not only was Dr. Wright's story not supported by other evidence contained in the file, but it also contradicts common sense and real experience," judges added. In general, Reinhart stated that Wright's "failure to comply with court orders was intentional and malicious."

The judge asked Kleiman to file a lawyer's fee in the present case. And crucially, all of the Bitcoins Wright had mined before 2013 were the joint property of Wright and Kleiman.

The judge has not decided if Wright is Satoshi The main question is not to answer: Are there any bitcoins at all?

Bitcoins were easy to break down in the early years of Cryptocurrency. Forensic analysis shows that more than 1 million bitcoins were mined in 2009 and 2010 and have not moved since. These bitcoins are now worth about $ 10 billion. It is generally believed that many of these bitcoins belong to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Kleiman's lawsuit is based on the assumption that Wright is Nakamoto and controls these bitcoins.

But if Wright is not Nakamoto, then there's no reason to believe Wright has a million bitcoins – or anything like that. Kleiman and Wright may be in litigation over bitcoins that do not exist.

But Tuesday's verdict does not address this problem. "The court does not have to decide or decide whether the defendant is Dr. Craig Wright Sata [o] shi Nakamoto, the inventor of the Bitcoin cyber currency," Reinhart wrote.

There are many reasons to doubt Wright's claim to Nakamoto's coat. Important evidence linking Wright to Nakamoto seems to have been faked years after the fact. If Wright wanted to prove he was Nakamoto, he could do so simply by creating a cryptographic signature using a private key associated with Nakamoto's identity. Wright has repeatedly forced himself to do so.

The creator of the Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, called Wright "fraud" last year.

Of course there is also the possibility that Wright is not Nakamoto, but in the early years some bitcoins have broken down the cryptocurrency – either with Kleiman or on their own.

Reinharts Tuesday decision does not end the case anyway – far from it. Wright will have another opportunity to provide information about its Bitcoin holdings. If he can not – and can not convince the judge that he is unable to do so – he could have more serious consequences, including contempt. However, when Wright submits credible records of his Bitcoin holdings, there is a dispute over how much of Wright's fortune actually belongs to the Kleiman estate.


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