Australian computer scientist, Craig Wright, has gotten one step closer to confirming his identity as the founder of Bitcoin.
The creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, has remained anonymous since Bitcoin’s first appearance in 2009. Many have come forward to claim the title of creator and one such individual is Australian computer scientist, Craig Wright. Wright is an expert computer scientist and influential entrepreneur; however, many cryptocurrency advocates criticise Wright for falsely claiming that he is the creator of Bitcoin.
Wright’s claims have recently landed him in hot water when the family of his deceased business partner, David Kleiman, brought a civil lawsuit against Wright in the state of Florida. The Kleimans argued that David was integral in co-creating Bitcoin and was owed a portion of the 1.1M original Bitcoins that were mined and supposedly held between the pair. These 1.1M Bitcoins are now worth approximately $50B. Due to the public ledger system of blockchain technology, it was identified that these coins had been mined since the very beginning of Bitcoin’s creation and had never been moved or transacted with.
This is one of the first cryptocurrency cases in the world and has accordingly posed a variety of problems. Firstly, many members of the jury did not understand how cryptocurrency works. Secondly, the evidence of Wright’s claims was difficult to corroborate without Wright moving or interacting with the Bitcoins. And thirdly, there was no first-hand evidence from David Kleiman on account of his passing. Despite the use of cryptocurrency experts during the trial, many criticise this case as being built on hearsay.
However, the jury ultimately held that Wright was in fact the sole owner of Bitcoin (although not necessarily the creator) and was not required to transfer anything the Kleimans. Interestingly, if Wright was required to transfer half of the coins to the Kleimans, it would prove that he was in fact Satoshi Nakamoto by requiring him to access this multibillion-dollar wallet. Additionally, the Kleimans were awarded $100M in intellectual property rights as the family’s software company pioneered early blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
Following the trial, Wright has said he will donate a sizeable portion of his Bitcoin to charity. If he is able to do this, much to the chagrin of cryptocurrency elitists he will officially be recognised as Satoshi Nakamoto and the creator of Bitcoin.