Craig Wright loses Kleiman Bitcoin court case, must forfeit half of Bitcoin holdings

Posted: 27 August 2019 1:20 pm
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The eventful case is drawing to a close, but there are still some boxes left to tick.

Craig Wright and David Kleiman were involved in Bitcoin mining in the cryptocurrency's early days, and by doing so are believed to have amassed a fortune of about a million Bitcoin between them, currently worth some $10 billion all up.

Or, according to another theory, Craig Wright and David Kleiman were actually two thirds of the trio collectively known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

Either way, as far as the legal system is concerned, Wright and Kleiman's jointly-owned business held a lot of assets on its books at the time Kleiman passed away in 2013 and his brother, Ira Kleiman, should have inherited his fair share of it.

Instead, Wright allegedly just kept the whole lot, resulting in a protracted legal battle for the enormous Bitcoin hoard.

That battle has now (almost) ended with the court's decision that Wright hand over half the stash, sources say.

What's still left to do?

There are still some question marks floating around the case.

Firstly, there's the question of actually collecting the Bitcoin.

Even in the most straightforward case, it would be challenging to collect Bitcoin from someone who really doesn't want to hand it over, and this isn't a straightforward case. The Bitcoin at stake here is by some theories part of the so-called "Tulip Trust", which may hold the key to the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.

And as Wright said at multiple points during the case, he couldn't unlock the trust even if he wanted. All of that should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt. But still, the series of events isn't really over until half the Bitcoin are in Kleiman's possession.

Secondly, there are the allegations of perjury clouding the case, which armchair legal experts are suggesting may result in consequences down the line.

What does it mean for Bitcoin and BSV?

The prices of Craig Wright's own BSV cryptocurrency, a Bitcoin Cash fork, didn't react discernibly to the development. This is not unexpected, firstly because BSV doesn't typically track rationally and secondly because the outcome of the case doesn't directly have anything to do with Wright's claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto. If anything this result helps cement the claim, as Kleiman's lawyers ("the winners") themselves said that Wright might be Satoshi Nakamoto.

As for the rest of the market, half a million Bitcoin changing hands is kind of a big deal, and assuming all this actually ends up happening, and if Kleiman chooses to dispose of his new holdings, there may be some kind of market impact down the line.



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Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.

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