Craig Wright Facing $10 Billion Lawsuit Over Stolen Bitcoin
There have been numerous lawsuits filed against individuals and companies in the cryptocurrency sector in recent times. Most of the time these are related to fraudulent ICOs or tokens that do not follow the relevant securities laws. However, none of them have been as substantial as the lawsuit that was filed against self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright that is looking for a massive $10 billion in damages.
No Cryptographic Proof that Wright is Satoshi
Craig Wright is nChain’s chief scientist, and he has made claims in the past saying that he is actually Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym for the creator of bitcoin. The true identity of Nakamoto has been a topic of great debate ever since bitcoin first began to get popular, with everyone seemingly having a theory.
Ira Kleiman filed the lawsuit against Wright on behalf of her brother David’s estate, an individual who has significant links to the beginning stages of bitcoin. In 2013 Kleiman passed away due to MRSA and had been a leading author and forensic computer investigator.
The role Kleiman played in the development of bitcoin first was highlighted towards the end of 2015 when there were murmurs surfacing about Wright. It was Wired and Gizmodo who had identified the Australian academic and businessman Wright as potentially being the true identity of Nakamoto.
However, these claims were swiftly met with resistance from the Bitcoin community, with many people saying that there was no shred of evidence to support these claims. A cryptographic signature is all that is needed and has been, so far, absent.
Wright came out and said he would not be publicising any proof that would support the claim and since then he has been working with the nChain startup as their chief scientist, as well as being part of the Bitcoin Cash movement which was launched August 1, 2017.
Wright May be Forced to Concede He’s Not the Creator of Bitcoin
The lawsuit was filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida on February 14, 2018, and at the heart of it is the supposed hoard made up of more than 1.1 million bitcoin which at current market prices roughly is equivalent to $10 billion. The background to this hoard of bitcoin is very intriguing in itself, and you can look at their history thanks to this fascinating blog post. In short, addresses with massive amounts of bitcoin linked to them seemed to have been picked at random by Wright, with many linked to Mt. Gox.
Kleiman’s representatives are Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, a widely-known law firm who worked on high-profile cases such as that of Bush v. Gore following the 2000 presidential election. The lawsuit alleges that Wright enacted a scheme against the estate of Dave Kleiman in order to obtain Dave’s alleged stash of bitcoins, as well as the rights he held involving IP of Bitcoin technology.
It goes on to allege that Wright forged numerous contracts which transferred assets from Craig to Dave (or companies owned by the defendant). These contracts are alleged to have been backdated and having forged Dave’s signature. There is nothing contained within the complaint that refers to the true identity of Nakamoto; it simply states they that it is “unclear whether Craig, Dave and/or both created Bitcoin.”
It is believed that this matter could be broached during court proceedings. This would be a massive event for involved in bitcoin and digital currencies as a whole, as concrete evidence could be showcased that finally puts to rest the claims of Wright that he is the genuine founder of Bitcoin.
The full complaint can be found here.