And finally… ‘Inventor’ of Bitcoin to pay $5bn
Craig Wright, who claims to have invented Bitcoin, has been ordered to pay $5 billion to his alleged former business partner.
Wright, who is an Australian IT security consultant, must give over half of his Bitcoin holdings, estimated to be in the region of $5bn, to the estate of his alleged former business partner David Kleiman.
Craig Wright was sued by the estate of David Kleiman which claimed that the two had worked as partners on the formation of the cryptocurrency from 2009 until Kleiman’s death in 2013.
A Florida court judge has ruled that Kleiman’s family was entitled to half of Wright’s bitcoin holdings and half of his intellectual property. His holdings are estimated to be around $5bn, however, it is unclear exactly how many bitcoins Wright has and what their value might be given that he claims he is unable to access all of them.
Craig Wright told the court that he encrypted many of the bitcoins he mined when the currency became associated with drug dealers and money laundering. The encryption keys were then divided into multiple slices, many of which were held by Kleiman. Consequently, Wright argued, he will be unable to decrypt the coins until a bonded courier can deliver the keys in January 2020.
Wright has also claimed that his true identity, is the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. However, Judge Bruce Rheinhart described this story as “inconceivable” and criticised his credibility as a witness.
Judge Bruce Rheinhart said: “During his testimony, Dr Wright’s demeanour did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth. When it was favourable to him, Dr Wright appeared to have an excellent memory and a scrupulous attention to detail. Otherwise, Dr Wright was belligerent and evasive.”