The self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin has been on a roller coaster of a ride ever since the first rumors of him being Satoshi Nakamoto appeared back in December, 2015. Since then, Wright has been at the center of what is regarded as the Bitcoin cash civil war, which resulted in the split of the network and the creation of Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision, as well as a now three-year long multi-billion dollar lawsuit involving the brother of his former business partner.
Regarded by most as a poser, Wright has yet to provide any concrete evidence that he really is Satoshi. While quite convoluted in nature, the whole story surrounding the mysterious figure of the Australian has been in the spotlight of blockchain news for several years now. With a concise timeline, we follow Wright’s story in cryptocurrency, from its beginning in 2015 to the latest events of today.
First Rumors Appear
Articles by WIRED and Gizmodo emerge, alleging a 44-year old Australian academic by the name of Craig Wright to be the long-sought-after creator of the Bitcoin protocol.
The report by WIRED was based on emails, transcripts and other documents provided by an anonymous source close to Dr. Wright. The article by Gizmodo was also based on a host of documents. These were reportedly provided by someone who claimed to have hacked Wright’s business email account.
Police Raid Craig’s Home
The Guardian reports that the raid happened at around 1:30 PM, but was not related to the recently-emerged news that Craig might be Satoshi Nakamoto. The Australian Federal police confirmed that in a statement:
“The AFP can confirm it has conducted search warrants to assist the Australian Taxation Office at a residence in Gordon and a business premises in Ryde, Sydney. This matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency bitcoin.”
Government Investigation Of Wright Intensifies
The Australian reports that a special team from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has been called in to investigate Wright, and his claims of millions of dollars in tax credit. The local news outlet further states that government officials don’t believe that Wright is Satoshi, but rather that “he may have created the hoax to distract from his tax issues”.
“The team has been interviewing Mr Wright’s former business associates in Sydney about tax claims he made through businesses and as an individual, while the ATO has been questioning former associates on supposed deals done through Mr Wright’s network of companies that claim to have about $300m in market capitalisation backed through bitcoin.”
Providing Proof In Private
The BBC, The Economist, and GQ publish reports on how Wright was looking to prove his identity through the use of Bitcoin private keys that were used for the first and ninth transaction blocks. During a meeting with the publications, Wright allegedly “digitally signed messages using cryptographic keys created during the early days of Bitcoin’s development”.
In addition to the articles, both Gavin Andresen, former Bitcoin Core maintainer, and Bitcoin Foundation founding director Jon Matonis, released blog posts defending Wright. Andresen wrote:
“I believe Craig Steven Wright is the person who invented Bitcoin,” while Matonis stated that he had “no doubt that Craig Steven Wright is the person behind the Bitcoin technology”. Still, people were not convinced, and were quick to go to social media in order to show that the proof was invalid.
Wright Promises “Extraordinary” Proof
After critics pointed out that the provided “evidence” was unconvincing, a representative of Wright stated that the Australian will “move a coin from an early block”, which was known to belong to Satoshi. In his own blog, Wright wrote:
“I will be posting a series of pieces that will lay the foundations for this extraordinary claim, which will include posting independently-verifiable documents and evidence addressing some of the false allegations that have been leveled, and transferring bitcoin from an early block.”
Wright Decides Not To Publish “Extraordinary” Proof
In a stunning reversal, Craig Wright decides not to provide any further proof that he was the creator of Bitcoin. In a new blog post, Wright claims that the decision was made because he feared that the move will cause “damage” to those who helped him engage with the press, namely Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. His other blog posts, including the one that pointed to the plan to move early Bitcoins, were removed from his website. Wright wrote in his new blog post:
“I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.”
Wright Bids For Patent Empire
A new report from Reuters shows that the Australian is now trying to build a large patent portfolio around Bitcoin, and the technology behind it. The report states that, since February 2016, Wright has filed more than 50 patent applications in the U.K. through a company called EITC Holdings Ltd., which sources claimed was connected to the Australian.
Wright Loses Andresen’s Support
In a new blog post, Gavin Andresen says he was withdrawing from the “Who was Satoshi” game. He stated that there were two possibilities for Wright’s claim – either he really was Satoshi, but wanted the world to think he was not, so he created a web of truths, half-truths and lies, or he was a master “scammer/fraudster” who was able to trick “some pretty smart people”. He further wrote:
“So, either he was or he wasn’t. In either case, we should ignore him. I regret ever getting involved in the ‘who was Satoshi’ game, and am going to spend my time on more fun and productive pursuits.”
Investors Buy Firm Connected to Wright
A Malta-based investment fund, High Tech Private Equity Fund SICAV plc, purchases nChain, previously known as EITC Holdings. The firm had reportedly filed for, with the help of Wright, several dozen patent applications connected to Bitcoin and blockchain throughout 2016.
nChain Makes Plans To Compete With Bitcoin Core
nChain appoints the former Bitcoin Foundation director Jon Matonis as its Vice President of Corporate Strategy. Speaking to CoinDesk, Matonis reveals that nChain was trying to gain enough traction in the Bitcoin network through the release of its own software development kit. The goal is to become a popular implementation for other developers. Matonis further notes that, should nChain launch its implementation to widespread adoption, it could lead to a fork in the Bitcoin network. He said:
“This is the governance model for bitcoin, there’s no other governance model. If you can’t get traction with pull requests, you launch software propagation battles, and when one reference implementation has greater than 50% or 75%, you can attempt a fork of the network.”
Wright Gets Sued For $10 Billion
The lawsuit is brought by Ira Kleiman on behalf of the estate of his brother Dave Kleiman, who has been linked to the earliest days of Bitcoin, and who passed away in 2013 after a battle with MRSA. Wright is accused of hoarding more than 1.1 million Bitcoins, at the time worth around $10 billion, which he and Kleiman had mined together.
Court documents further allege that Wright had contacted Ira after his brother’s death, claiming that Dave had signed all his Bitcoin and intellectual properties to him, in exchange for “non-controlling share of a non-operational Australian company worth millions. Kleiman’s lawyers said:
“As part of this plan, Craig forged a series of contracts that purported to transfer Dave’s assets to Craig and/or companies controlled by him. Craig backdated these contracts and forged Dave’s signature on them.”
Wright Receives Heavy Criticism
During a Q&A session at the 2018 Deconomy conference in Seoul, South Korea, prominent names in the crypto space take the microphone to attack Wright’s technical commentary, which according to them did not make any sense. Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, is applauded by the crowd after saying “Given that he makes so many nonsensical claims, why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?”. The co-inventor of the lightning network, Joseph Poon, joined in by saying “I wrote the lightning network whitepaper and I still didn’t understand your talk”.
The creator of Litecoin, Charlie Lee, tweets that “Craig S Wright’s talks and papers are filled with illogical technobabble and his Satoshi proof is fraudulent. He’s a fraud. Why give this guy a platform?”. Cornell computer scientist Emin Gun Sirer probably summarized the general sentiment the best when he tweeted “Right now, I have bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum and zcash devs in my mentions, all roundly ridiculing Craig Wright’s technobabble. Cryptocurrencies have never been as united.”
Some Defend Wright
Even though many accuse Wright of being a fraud, some in the crypto community come to his defense, arguing that whether or not he is Satoshi, he has done a lot for certain cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash. Jonald Fyookball, who wrote many critical essays for the community argues on Reddit:
“Regardless of whether he’s Satoshi or not, or whether he’s even right or wrong about various technical points, I think it’s unfair to accuse him of ‘fraud’ because claiming to be Satoshi (and then not proving) isn’t fraud. Also, giving away tons of money to various BCH endeavors doesn’t seem like fraud either.”
Wright Files Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit
Wright, who is being sued for roughly 1.1 million Bitcoins, moves to dismiss the complaint. He argues that Ira Kleiman’s claims are without merit and that the plaintiff lacks any standing to file suit, calling the effort an “attempted shakedown” based on “a thin soup of supposition, speculation, conflicting allegations, hearsay and innuendo”.
Since Wright does not control the private keys needed to access those funds, the motion goes on to assert.
He also argues that the court lacks jurisdiction over Wright for the alleged activities, noting that an Australian court has already heard the matter and that its decision cannot be considered invalid as the plaintiff argues.
Wright Challenged On Twitter
Days after the private keys connected to a now-defunct alert system built into Bitcoin were made public, Bitcoin Core developer Bryan Bishop takes to Twitter to challenge Wright. He writes a message coded in one of the bitcoin alert key signatures, and invites Wright to respond in the same way, if he indeed had the knowledge of this private information only known to a select few at the time. Unsurprisingly, Wright does not respond to the open invitation.
The BCH Civil War Begins
The community behind Bitcoin Cash is now in a disagreement over the future of the cryptocurrency. The leading BCH implementation, Bitcoin ABC, releases a new software that included a suit of upgrades, including a smart contract feature that would support atomic swaps.
This move, however, was met with opposition from Wright, who teams up with the founder of crypto news site CoinGeek Calvin Ayre to release their own BCH implementation called Bitcoin SV. This version scraps Bitcoin ABC’s scripts for its own, and pushes the block size parameter from the 32 MB to 128 MB. nChain’s announcement of Bitcoin SV reads:
“Bitcoin SV is intended to provide a clear bitcoin cash implementation choice for miners who support bitcoin’s original vision, over implementations that seek to make unnecessary changes to the original bitcoin protocol.”
Hash Power Seems To Favor Wright’s Bitcoin SV Camp
A report from CoinDesk indicates that, while Bitcoin ABC trading on Poloniex seems to be more bullish, Bitcoin SV seems to have attracted the most hashing power before the upcoming 15 November split.
Based on public statements, CoinGeek, SVPool, BMG Pool, okminer and mempool, which have all indicated support for Bitcoin SV, control a total of at least 73 percent of the network hash rate.
Craig Wright implies that he would support killing the Bitcoin ABC implementation by mining empty blocks on the network after the coin splits, if Bitcoin SV miners maintain more than 51 percent of the current network’s existing hash power.
The Battle Between Bitcoin ABC & Bitcoin SV Intensifies
While some exchanges, such as Poloniex and Bitfinex, are already supporting active trading for both networks, others like Coinbase state that they were “now prepared to resume limited trading in [bitcoin cash]”. CoinDesk also reports that the Bitcoin ABC chain is leading Bitcoin SV, both in terms of block count and proof of work. The news outlet spoke with Wright, who stated:
“We’re still competing. This is going to take some time. This is not a split, this is one survives and one dies and it is not going to be us that dies.”
However, on the Bitcoin ABC side, proponents such as Roger Ver, CEO of mining pool bitcoin.com, claim that the current hash power going to mine blocks on Bitcoin ABC can sustainably run for months. On the official Bitcoin.com YouTube channel, Ver states:
“It’s none of your business where the hash rate came from and it’s not for a single day, it’s for as long as we want. We can go for a single decade if we need to so bring it baby.”
Court Denies Wright’s Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit
Court documents filed in the southern district of Florida reveal that most counts of Wright’s motion have been denied. The document reads:
“Here, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged a claim for conversion. The Amended Complaint alleges that Defendant converted at least 300,000 bitcoins upon Dave’s death and transferred them to various international trusts, which was an unauthorized act that deprived the Plaintiffs of the bitcoins therein. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ claim for conversion (Count I) survives Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. “
Wright’s motion, however, succeed on the claim that counts III and IV over misappropriation of “trade secrets” were not valid, as the three-year statute of limitations in Florida had been exceeded.
Wright Resumes Claims To Being Satoshi
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission had requested for public feedback on different questions about Ethereum back in December 2018, and Wright did not miss this opportunity to once again claim he is Satoshi. In his response to the CFTC, he briefly lays out his case that he is the creator of Bitcoin, saying:
“My name is Dr. Craig Wright and under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto I completed a project I started in 1997 that was filed with the Australian government in part under an AusIndustry project registered with the Dept. of Innovation as BlackNet.”
He then continued with a critique of the technology and governance of blockchain and smart contract platform Ethereum.
“Ethereum is a poorly designed copy of bitcoin designed with the purpose of completing the promise of smart contracts and scripting that were delivered within bitcoin but which were hobbled by the core developers of bitcoin who sought to enable anonymous transactions to exist within the system.”
nChain Looks To Hire Patent Lawyer
The company founded by Wright announces that it is looking to hire a patent counsel in London. The job advertisement states that the applicant must be a qualified European Patent Attorney, have a keen interest in bitcoin and blockchain and also possess a first degree in computer science, electronics, physics, or mathematics.
Wright Starts Issuing Legal Letters
Probably in an attempt to silence those that claim he is a fraud, the Australian starts sending legal letters out. The first to receive such a letter is “Hodlonaut”, the pseudonymous bitcoin user that created the lightning torch experiment. In his letter to Hodlonaut, Wright argues that those calling him a “fraud” are libelous and damaging his reputation – warranting legal action.
His threat fails to work the way Wright wants, thinking people will be worried about expensive and timely court cases and so hesitant to post negatively about him. Instead, the threat triggers a wave of community support for Hodlonaut, with many others jumping in to call Wright a fraud.
Peter McCormack also points fingers at Wright and receives a legal letter, asking him to apologize publicly and delete any incendiary tweets or face legal repercussions. McCormack then publishes a three-page response saying that he would not apologize, and would fight Wright in court.
Binance To Delist Bitcoin SV
The exchange announces it would be delisting all BSV trading pairs on April 22. The move came only days after the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), threatened Wright he would delist BSV if the Australian did not stop his attacks on Twitter users who claimed he was not Satoshi.
CZ later went on Twitter, and in a series of follow-up tweets called Wright a “fraud”, and stated that “the real Satoshi can digitally sign any message to prove it”, and that doing so would be simple for him.
Kraken Joins Binance In Delisting BSV
The San Francisco-based crypto exchange announces that, starting 22 April, BSV will no longer be supported on its platform. While Kraken had been negatively disposed toward BSV and Wright, the announcement came a day after the exchange launched a poll on its Twitter account, asking its users to vote for or against delisting BSV. The poll eventually ended with 71.4% agreeing to delist, while only 7% voted for the cryptocurrency to remain on the platform.
Court Orders Wright To Disclose Bitcoin Addresses
The southern district court of Florida issues an order, stating that Wright must produce a list of his bitcoin holdings as of December 31, 2013. The Australian, however, claimed that he did not have a complete list of the addresses, and that in 2011 he transferred ownership of all his Bitcoin holdings to a blind trust. The court then orders Wright:
“On or before May 15, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Dr. Wright shall produce all transactional records of the blind trust, including but not limited to any records reflecting the transfer of bitcoin into the blind trust in or about 2011. The production shall be accompanied by a sworn declaration of authenticity.”
Wright Attempts To Copyright Bitcoin’s White Paper & Code
The U.S. Copyright Office receives two applications from Wright, who is trying to copyright “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and “Bitcoin”, meaning the original 2009 code. CoinDesk also receives a press release, which states:
“In the future, Wright intends to assign the copyright registrations to Bitcoin Association to hold for the benefit of the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin Association is a global industry organization for Bitcoin businesses. It supports BSV and owns the Bitcoin SV client software.”
Jerry Brito, executive director at advocacy group CoinCenter then sheds some light on registering a copyright, saying:
“Registering a copyright is just filing a form. The Copyright Office does not investigate the validity of the claim; they just register it. Unfortunately there is no official way to challenge a registration. If there are competing claims, the Office will just register all of them.”
U.S. Copyright Office Does Not Recognize Wright as Satoshi
After a press representative sends a widely-read release that suggests the government accepted Wright was Satoshi, the U.S. Copyright Office publishes its own press release, stating that it did not recognize the Australian as the inventor of Bitcoin. The press release reads:
“As a general rule, when the Copyright Office receives an application for registration, the claimant certifies as to the truth of the statements made in the submitted materials. The Copyright Office does not investigate the truth of any statement made. In a case in which a work is registered under a pseudonym, the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”
New Details About Wright’s Bitcoin Trust Emerge
A redacted declaration filing from the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit emerges, which details Wright’s purported ownership and the trustee scheme of the “Tulip Trust”, which allegedly holds over 1 million Bitcoins. While the document names seven trustees, it indicates that Kleiman was the initial, and sole, trustee before the others were appointed.
According to Wright, the trust was encrypted using a method called “Shamir’s Secret Sharing Algorithm”, which requires all private keys in order to decrypt it. The Australian also claims that the Tulip Trust is currently inaccessible, saying:
“Access to the encrypted file that contains the public addresses and their associated private keys to the Bitcoin that I mined, requires myself and combination of trustees reference in Tulip Trust I to unlock based on Shamir scheme.”
Wright Fails To Disclose Full Bitcoin Holdings
According to Ira Kleiman’s lawyer, Velve Freedman of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, Wright fails to produce his Bitcoin holding as per the court order. In a tweet, he states:
“Craig Wright hasn’t complied with the court’s order to list his bitcoin as of 12/31/13. He remains under an order to show cause why J. Reinhart shouldn’t issue sanctions under R.37 & order him to appear before J. Bloom to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt.”
Wright Takes The Stand
While Wright’s morning deposition is closed to the public, the court is opened for the evidentiary hearing in the afternoon, with reports from the trial being posted on Twitter. According to CoinDesk, Wright was “emotional” during his time on the stand, reportedly beginning to cry when he stated:
“I created Bitcoin to be the FIRST digital cash system NOT connected to crime. The Silk Road was made for the sale of heroin, MDMA, Fentanyl, weapons then a reputation system was developed for assassination markets and for terrorism.”
He continued to be “emotional” during the cross-examination as well, when the plaintiff’s attorneys threw a print out of an email they allege Wright had forged to steal from the Kleiman estate. The same email had stirred the crypto community in the past, with members pointing out that the email was provably false on Reddit.
Throughout the hearing, Wright repeats the same pattern when asked about evidence pertaining to the Tulip Trust, allegedly saying that the lawyers have “put forth documents” he did not recognize. The plaintiff’s lawyer then pointed out that these were documents that Wright’s counsel put forward in discovery.
Wright also says he had instructed his business partner to hand over his keys to bonded couriers, who would not be able to deliver the keys until 2020, which prompted the Judge to ask:
“So since 2016 you have known that you didn’t have access to these files and wouldn’t have access until 2020? And you knew this in February 2019, and March 2019?”
Judge Strikes Down Libel Lawsuit Against Roger Ver
Wright’s attempts to sue Roger Ver for hurting his reputation in England are struck down by Judge Sir Matthew Nicklin, who states that the Australian did not supply sufficient justification that the trial should be overseen by the High Court of England and Wales. The Judge further states that the “evidence clearly demonstrates that the most substantial publication of the statements complained of is in the US”.
Court Hears Kleiman’s Expert Witness In Metadata & Cryptography
As part of this civil and criminal hearing the prosecution calls Matthew J. Edman, Director at Berkeley Research Group, as an expert witness in metadata and cryptography. According to him, documents connected to the Tulip Trust, as well as a number of emails and BitMessages allegedly sent between Dave Kleiman and Wright, show evidence of tampering.
Tulip Trust Validity Questioned
A new court document emerges, which shows that Jonathan Warren, the developer of Bitmessage, had testified in a pre-trial examination as part of the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit. According to the document, Warren alleges that messages pertaining to the formation of the Tulip Trust sent between Wright and Kleiman are likely forged.
Judge Blasts Wright For Inconsistent Testimony
Wright files a motion to challenge the southern district of Florida’s jurisdiction over the proceedings, claiming that an entity oversight was granted on Florida-based W&K Info Defense Research, a now defunct firm, had a foreign national as “director”.
Judge Beth Bloom then provides five statements where Wright obfuscates the ownership structure of W&K. She then says:
“He seems to argue that even though his numerous conflicting statements are the very reason confusion has been created… the Court should nonetheless use these statements as a basis to challenge the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction.”
“In weighing the evidence, the Court simply does not find the Defendant’s testimony to be credible.”
Wright Once Again Claims Authorship Of Bitcoin Whitepaper
This time, Wright does so by posting the whitepaper on the scientific journal hosting site SSRN, citing himself as the author. While the hosting site does not peer-review papers that are uploaded, commentators are quick to point out that the metadata on the paper posted by Wright seems to have been altered.
Judge Recommends Ruling In Favor Of Kleiman
According to an individual familiar with the case, magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart recommends that the Kleiman estate be awarded 50% of the Bitcoin and intellectual property Wright held prior to 31 December, 2013.
Judge Confirms Ruling
According to court documents, Judge Bruce E. Reinhart confirms that Wright must forfeit half his crypto mined prior to 2014 to Ira Kleiman as well as half his intellectual property. The court found Wright had argued in bad faith, perjured himself and admitted false evidence during the motion. According to experts, the ruling is “atypical” procedurally, and the district judge overseeing the trial may not accept Reinhart’s decision without amendment.
Wright Challenges Court Decision
According to a new document submitted to the Florida court, Wright is seeking to gain more time to challenge the judge’s decision. The reason for the request was Hurricane Dorian, which was due to hit Florida early in the week, which has limited Wright’s ability to work on the matter. The document reads:
“Dr. Wright does not concede that Magistrate Reinhardt had the power to enter the order that he did. However, the time frame that arguably could apply to addressing the legal validity of the purported order would be the 14-day time frame set forth in Rule 72 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”
Wright Considers Settling The Lawsuit
Before the judge’s decision is finalized, for Wright to turn over half of his Bitcoin holdings, the Australian once again requests to be granted more time. This time Wright claims to be negotiating a settlement with the Kleiman estate. The document reads:
“The parties are currently engaged in good faith settlement discussions. To that end, Dr. Wright and Plaintiffs respectfully request a 30-day extension of all discovery and case deadlines to facilitate these discussions.”
Saying that a settlement is in the interest of both parties, Wright’s legal representative requests that the court allow the 30-day extension. The Kleiman estate supported the request for more time to finalize the settlement.
Wright Breaks Off Settlement Talks
According to a new court document, Wright pulls out of the settlement agreement in which he would forfeit half his intellectual property and bitcoin mined prior to 2014. Filed by Kleiman’s counsel, the document states that Wright is unable to finance his court settlement negotiated with the Kleiman estate. While the “discussions began at Craig’s request and due to the fact that Craig represented he had the means to finance a settlement”, he allegedly reneged on the non-binding agreement “without notice”.
Court Gives Wright Until 3 February To Access Tulip Trust
According to court documents, Wright is granted a request to extend a period of discovery so that a “mysterious” bonded courier could provide him with the keys needed to unlock the encrypted Tulip Trust.
According to Wright’s previous testimony, it would be “impossible” to comply with the court order to identify his Bitcoin before the bonded courier returned 100% of the assets to his control on 1 January, 2020. Judge Beth Bloom wrote:
“The Court questions whether it is remotely plausible that the mysterious ‘bonded courier’ is going to arrive, let alone that he will arrive in January 2020 as the Defendant now contends.”
It also becomes known that evidence of another Tulip Trust have entered the court record. While details of the document remain unknown, as Wright had requested they remain sealed, Kleiman’s lawyers were not happy, and wrote:
“In advance of today’s discovery hearing, Plaintiffs will be filing a Notice of Filing attaching a third Tulip Trust document (“Tulip Trust III”) that was not produced under this Court’s prior order to produce all documents related to the “blind” tulip trust. Plaintiffs received this document for the first time on January 6, 2020, amongst a production of 428 other documents, without any explanation as to its late disclosure, or even an email pointing out this document had been produced.”
Wright’s Bonded Courier Allegedly Arives
According to a court filing, a third party finally “provided the necessary information and key slice to unlock the encrypted file”, seemingly referencing the “mysterious”, unnamed intermediary with the private keys necessary to unlock the 1.1 million Bitcoin trove.
Kleiman Lacks Bonded Courier Information
The attorneys of Ira Kleiman state, in a court filing, that Wright only provided a list of 16,404 addresses, but no information about the bonded courier.
Wright Blocks 11,000 Documents From Entering Court
The legal team representing the Kleiman estate files a memorandum, challenging Wright’s assertion that more than 11,000 company documents are inadmissible in court because they come under attorney-client privilege. The filing calls for the court to order Wright to present all documents from dissolved companies and third parties withheld under claimed privilege, as well as to clarify the privilege claims for other documents on the log. Kleiman’s legal team writes:
“Almost all of the companies Defendant is using as a tool to assert ‘privileges,’ no longer exist … any privilege these companies may have once had, does not survive their dissolution.”
Wright Doubles Down On Satoshi Claim
In one of his blog posts, Wright claims that, as the “creator” of Bitcoin, he had full rights to the Bitcoin registry, and that Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin ABC had infringed on his intellectual property, which could force him to take legal actions. He further writes:
“If you negotiate with me, arrangements can be made allowing the continuance of selected copies of my network, with a set of restrictions. In other words, I am willing to license … the Bitcoin database. I will do so on my terms.”
Wright Claims Courier Was Lawyer
In a 9 March court filing, Wright presents a declaration that stated that the bounded courier was a lawyer, and as such Wright was unable to prove his access to the trust due to attorney-client privilege. He produces a statement, which claimed that the courier had obtained a bachelor of law degree in 2007 from “Moi University in Kenya”, and also introduced a “printout of a Linkedln profile”, that stated the same thing, asserting that the courier is counsel to the trust.
District Magistrate Bruce Reinhart then dismisses Wright’s argument and apparently questions the lawyer’s existence, saying:
“I decline to rely on this kind of document, which could easily have been generated by anyone with word processing software and a pen.”
Wright Ordered To Produce Previously-Withheld 11,000 Documents
According to court documents, judge Beth Bloom overrules Wright’s objection to an Order of Discovery, which asked him to produce 11,000 documents for the Kleiman lawsuit. She rules Wright’s arguments that the documents would be inadmissible because they would disregard his attorney-client privilege were a mischaracterization. She writes:
“The Court is puzzled by Defendant’s apparent argument that Judge Reinhart must blindly accept items produced by Defendant such that Judge Reinhart cannot rely on his past experiences with Defendant in this litigation (including his history of providing forged materials and giving perjured testimony) in evaluating whether Defendant has carried his burden as to privilege. That is not how fact-finding works.”
Kleiman Alleges Wright Possesses Key To Encrypted BTC File
The Kleiman estate alleges that Wright “has the ability to open the encrypted file” containing the private keys to the addresses supplied to the court. The plaintiff further claims that Wright does not wish to open the file as “it will contain evidence of the partnership” between Wright and the late Dave Kleiman. Kleiman’s legal team further requests that sanctions be made against Wright, claiming that he “committed perjury, produced forgeries, and engaged in judicial abuse”.
Wright Called a Fraud in Message Signed With “His” Addresses
A list of Bitcoin addresses, which Wright had claimed were his own holdings, are briefly made public by the plaintiffs. While the addresses are quickly resealed by Kleiman’s legal team, the list remains on Court Listener, which provides the means for another individual to identify a number of addresses to which he held the private keys. Using 145 of those addresses, the individual signs a public message, which reads:
“Craig Steven Wright is a liar and a fraud. He doesn’t have the keys used to sign this message. The Lightning Network is a significant achievement. However, we need to continue work on improving on-chain capacity. Unfortunately, the solution is not to just change a constant in the code or to allow powerful participants to force out others. We are all Satoshi.”
Wright Claims To Have Autism
In response to Kleiman’s omnibus motion, which requested that sanctions be made against Wright, the Australian publishes his own motion, citing an expert witness, who could prove he had autism. The motion reads:
“Dr. Ami Klin, a licensed clinical psychologist who has studied Autism Spectrum Disorder for more than 35 years, … will testify that he has diagnosed Dr. Wright with Autism Spectrum Disorder with high intellectual skills.”
Judge Accepts Autism Defense
U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom rules against an omnibus motion the Kleiman legal team had filed against Wright. The documents further show that Judge Bloom cleared Wright to proceed with his autism defense, saying that the psychologist could provide testimony that could explain how his condition “could be incorrectly perceived as having provided untruthful testimony”. The judge said:
“For instance, as Plaintiffs note, Defendant’s testimony has been glaringly inconsistent at numerous junctures. Defendant, however, stresses that he has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum, and thus his testimony needs to be evaluated in that light.”
Kleiman Lawyers Claim Wright Defrauded The Court
According to a court filing, Kleiman’s legal team disputes the validity of Lynn Wright’s, Craig Wright’s ex-wife, testimony. The legal team points to the inconsistencies in Ms. Wright’s claims she had previously owned one-third of her former husband’s firm, W&K Info Defense Research.
She had claimed that her transferable interest in W&K moved into one of Wright’s other companies in 2012, Craig Wright R&D, which ultimately changed its name to “Tulip Trust,” and that she only regained ownership interest again in July 2020.
Ms. Wright’s testimony means Craig Wright’s previous assertions that the Tulip Trust was a blind trust, an entity run independently of its beneficiaries, was not true. Kleiman’s legal team said:
“The infamous ‘Tulip Trust’ is now apparently just a name change of a company affiliated with Dr. Wright, it is not a “blind trust” as previously alleged.”
Wright’s Trial Moved To 2021
According to a court order, Judge Beth Bloom grants the joint motion from Wright and plaintiff Ira Kleiman to move the trial from the previous date of 13 October. The jury trial is now scheduled to continue on 4 January, 2021.
Note: If we have missed an important event in the timeline, please leave details about it in the comment section below.