If you had been hoping that the identity of the inventor of Bitcoin would be revealed during the court case involving somebody who claims to be, you are in for some disappointment. The trial has ended without the person behind the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto being uncovered.
Any serious follower of cryptocurrency knows about the legend of Satoshi Nakamoto, the name that appeared on the whitepaper that started the phenomenon of Bitcoin. The identity has never been proven and it is not even known if it referred to a person or a group of individuals. It has remained one of the mysteries of the modern world.
Craig Wright, the man in the middle of the suit, claims he was the inventor of Bitcoin, meaning a stash of almost one million Bitcoin amassed early would most likely belong to him. They were generated back when home computers could mine bitcoins. He was dragged to court by the family of Wright’s late colleague, Dave Kleiman. They contended that Kleiman was a co-inventor and thus was entitled to half of the Bitcoin haul. The family wants Wright to transfer half of the cache to them.
Going by Kleiman’s family’s claim, Wright was an inventor of Bitcoin, only he was not the only inventor as he had always claimed.
However, Wright asserted that his involvement was not enough to be considered a business partner in creating Bitcoin, even though the two were frequent collaborators and friends.
Many people had been following the case, which started in 2018, as there was a consensus that Wright had never proven beyond a doubt that he invented Bitcoin.
Two possible outcomes of the case would have confirmed the identity of the Bitcoin creator. The court could have asked Wright to prove he owned the coins in question or be ordered to transfer half of the stash to the estate of Kleiman. However, neither of the two possibilities came to pass.
At several points during the trial, it seemed the crypto community would get its wish, as the judge even accused Wright of attempting to present forged documents as evidence. Even the jury was not asked to determine whether Wright owned the stash of Bitcoin but to decide whether there was a business relationship between Wright and Kleiman that would have qualified the former to half of the asset Wright would have made if he had invented Bitcoin.
After days of deliberation and an Allen Charge from the judge, the jury determined that Kleinman did not have a part in creating Bitcoin, which ruled him out of entitlement to half of the Bitcoin at stake.
There is still hope though, as Wright was ordered by the jury to pay $100 million to W&K Info Defense Research, a company the two men formed. The jury found Wright in breach of the company’s intellectual property rights.
If Wright must pay the fine, he will no doubt have to move about 2,000 Bitcoins from the address that has been accepted as belonging to Nakamoto and the much-needed prove would be established.
The payment of the fine would not be happening anytime soon, as the beneficiary of the judgment is being litigated. The lawsuit itself was brought by Ira Kleiman, brother to Dave Kleiman, using W&K. However, it is not clear if Kleiman’s estate was authorized to do so as Wright’s ex-wife, Lynn is in the fray, claiming to own the majority of the shares in W&K. She sued that the lawsuit in W&K’s name was not authorized.
Lynn’s suit was stayed pending the outcome of Wright’s trial. The result of Lynn’s suit will determine who gets the fine from Wright.
Despite the $100 million fine and the controversy surrounding who will get it, Wright considers the outcome a win since he won’t have to give up half of his alleged fortune. He doesn’t plan to appeal. However, he has decided to give out most of the stash to charity.