Craig Wright claims to have created Bitcoin. A federal jury ordered him to pay $100 Million in damages to his family and a business partner who died. He arrived in Miami on November 16th.
An Australian computer scientist, who claimed to have created Bitcoin, was ordered by a Federal Jury to pay $100,000,000 in damages due to a violation of intellectual property rights for the estate of a business partner.
Craig Wright was spared, however, from having to pay the family of David Kleiman half of a cache of 1.1 million Bitcoin – currently worth about $50 billion – they say the two mined together.
It is believed that Satoshi Nakamoto created the trove, which was one of the first Bitcoins ever to be made. Wright claimed to be its sole creator. But Kleiman, his brother Ira, argued that they shared the pseudonym.
The true identity of its creator was not revealed at the conclusion of the trial. Wright has refused to move the cryptocurrency to another account to prove he has ownership of it – therefore the jury could not award it to the family of Kleiman, who was a computer security expert from Florida and died in 2013.
However, the jury did find that Wright owed Kleiman’s family $100 million related to their joint venture W&K Info Defense Research LLC, through which the two developed software used in the early stages of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
Following three weeks’ worth of trial, the Miami federal court jury deliberated for over a week. It was a complex case in which the jurors sought to trace the mystery origins of Bitcoin, and then dive into its inner workings.
The jury ruled that Wright was innocent of all the Kleiman families’ claims. Wright stated to Bloomberg that he won’t appeal the verdict. He added, “I’ve never felt so happy in my entire life.”
W&K will directly receive the $100 million from Wright rather than the Kleiman estate. ‘We are immensely gratified that our client, W&K Information Defense Research LLC, has won $100,000,000 reflecting that Craig Wright wrongfully took bitcoin-related assets from W&K,’ a representative for the company told CNBC.
Devin Freedman was an attorney representing the Kleiman estate and stated to Bloomberg that this verdict is a historic precedent in the new and transformative field of blockchain and cryptocurrency.
David Kleiman, the computer security expert and family who lost his battle with cancer in 2013, claimed that the brothers launched Bitcoin. Wright claims half of the cache of $1.1million Bitcoin that Wright mined during the early stages of the currency’s development. Kleiman’s brother, Ira, is seen above arriving at the courthouse in November 16th.
Wright was found to owe $100 million for intellectual property rights violations (left), by the jury.
In a statement, he stated that Wright had told Kleiman’s family many years back that they had ‘developed revolutionary Bitcoin-based intellectual property.
Wright stated that Wright had not admitted to giving the Kleimans their share of Dave’s creations.
Freedman claimed that Wright plotted to “steal from his deceased best friend by forgery, lies and deceit.”
Wright claimed that Wright’s claims against him are fabricated, and that there is no paper trail linking Wright and Kleiman during their Bitcoin mining.
“This victory is among the greatest in American litigation. They were defeated. We had made no settlement offers to them, but their result was less than any we have ever offered. In a telephone interview, Wright’s lawyer Andres Rivero stated that this was a complete loss to the other side.
Rivero confirmed that Wright had previously promised to donate a significant portion of his Bitcoin fortune if he won the case.
Bitcoin has been anonymous since the beginning.
According to reports, in October 2008, someone using this name wrote a nine page letter explaining electronic cash systems to cryptographers. The Bitcoin network was then launched a few months later.
The two began the business venture, named W&K Info Defense Research LLC, to develope software used in the early stages of Bitcoin mining
Satoshi Nakamoto, the true creator of Bitcoin is not yet known
Two email addresses were used by the creator of Bitcoin. However, Nakamoto remained involved in Bitcoin’s development for nearly two years. Nakamoto had ‘essentially vanished’ by December 2010 and stopped publishing publicly.
Cryptocurrency experts continue to be skeptical as to whether Wright or Kleiman really had the right knowledge required to create Bitcoin.
‘[Wright]Arthur van Pelt (a Wright critic and bitcoin investor) stated that Wright has been “hacking, fooling and bamboozling people.” There is absolutely no credible, independent and genuine proof.
Emin Gun Sirer (founder of Ava Labs) said, “It’s open question.” He admitted that Kleiman was an expert in computing and could possibly have created Bitcoin. But, he also said that he didn’t have enough data to support the claim.
Wright claimed that the verdict shows that he is the only creator of Bitcoin, as Kleiman’s relatives were not awarded the $1.1million.
“The jury found me to be valid because it would not have been possible for me to win an award.” He said, “And I am.”