Ah, another story about how one man’s (Crypto) loss is another man’s (Crypto) treasure. This time, it’s Australian computer scientist – and self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor – Dr. Craig Wright who has won a major US civil trial, allowing him to keep 1.1 million Bitcoin. If you’re unsure of the current Bitcoin value, that equates to a measly US$50 billion (A$71 billion).
So essentially, Wright has just gobbled a multibillion-dollar cryptocurrency fortune overnight.
“Thank you to everyone for all your support over the years. This has been a remarkably good outcome and I feel completely vindicated,” said Wright in a video after his verdict was decided.
“Next, there are still more fights. We are going to make everything change: cryptocurrency to digital cash the way it’s meant to be. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here for the long-term and I’m here for the fight.”
— Jimmy Nguyen (@JimmyWinSV) December 6, 2021
The highly technical, four-year-long lawsuit places Australian native Wright and his former business partner Dave Kleiman (now deceased) front and centre of this global affair. A Miami jury ruled against the family of deceased Kleiman, who claimed it was owed half of a cryptocurrency fortune worth tens of billions after Wright stole the Bitcoin that was first mined during their partnership. Kleiman’s family was also suing for intellectual property rights.
Wright has repeatedly claimed that he and Kleiman were friends and collaborated on work together, but denied that their partnership had anything to do with Bitcoin’s inception or early operation.
While the jury favoured Wright in this instance, it did, however, award US$100 million (A$142 million) in intellectual property rights to a joint venture between the two men, albeit a fraction of what Kleiman’s lawyers were asking for at trial.
The dispute was sparked over the first Bitcoin to be created through mining, which could only be owned by a person or entity that was initially involved with the digital currency’s creation.
So here’s where this story gets interesting: Wright himself claims to be the enigmatic Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto, which is a mind-boggling revelation if true. The name Nakamoto, which translates to ‘at the centre of’ in Japanese, was always somewhat of folklore in the crypto world; a mysterious figure that was never believed to be one single individual… until now.
We are pleased that after four years of intense litigation and seven days of jury deliberation, in a case that was thought to be unwinnable, the jury ruled Dr. Craig Wright (aka Satoshi Nakamoto), was not business partners with Dave Kleiman.#CraigWright #Victory #SatoshiNakamoto pic.twitter.com/Ob4pHOQ0n6
— Rivero Mestre LLP (@riveromestre) December 6, 2021
The crypto community will now be looking to see if Wright follows through on his promise to prove that he is, in fact, the owner of the Bitcoin currency (and essentially universe) in question, a revelation he first made in 2016.
The ripple effect of Wright’s success in court as translated in the crypto world, with Satoshi’s version of Bitcoin known as $BSV surging 39% on the Robinhood app post-trial.