The key takeaway is that the charges levied against Craig Wright in the recent $10 billion dollar lawsuit likely have some merit – and no, that doesn’t make him Satoshi Nakamoto.
When you read about Bitcoin for the first time, you generally learn within a few lines that the cryptocurrency was coined by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. Most accept this narrative, and are happy doing so. Dr Craig S. Wright is not most, however. The Australian computer scientist last year claimed to be Bitcoin white paper’s author and consequent inventor of Bitcoin. This is a claim that has since been rapidly debunked across social media. His self-proclaimed status as the father of cryptocurrency has not stopped him from declaring his belief that Bitcoin should, in fact, be controlled and centralized.
Lawsuit alleges over $10 billion of bitcoin stolen
Today, it was announced that Wright is the subject of a lawsuit brought by Ira Kleiman (acting on behalf of his late brother’s estate). According to the complaint, Wright is responsible for siphoning upwards of a million bitcoins from Dave Kleiman, his deceased friend and business partner. The stash is currently valued at a dollar amount of 10 billion.
The complaint further details how Wright “maliciously misappropriated trade secrets belonging to Dave’s estate relating to blockchain based technologies by using a series of fraudulent contracts, misrepresentations, and fraudulently obtained court judgments to transfer/acquire the property rights in these trade secrets to/for himself.”
It appears that Wright forged Dave’s signature on documents in order to gain access to the funds. This is based on comparisons of signatures from prior contracts to later ones. According to the court documents, the forged signature was computer-generated, too: take a look at Dave’s signature here, then try generating his name in Otto font here.
Conspiracy theories are already rampant on Reddit, coming in many flavours. Some believe that this is another publicity stunt by Wright to deceive the public into believing that he is Satoshi – one exhibit reveals an email exchange between himself and Dave, revealed to be backdated & forged, wherein he allegedly wrote: “I need your help editing a paper I am going to release later this year. I have been working on a new form of electronic money. Bit cash, Bitcoin[…]”. Others believe that Kleiman was Satoshi, and that his heavily-encrypted flash drive contains the famed bitcoins.
A more recent investigation in light of the lawsuit takes a deeper look at how the above email is “provably false”. According to the source, the domain “information-defense.com” from which the email was sent from was only registered by Craig Wright on January 23rd, 2009, many months after it was allegedly sent. This information can independently verified by ordering a historical whois of the domain – which would prove that any claims to ownership of the domain prior to January 23rd, 2009 was likely done via a “back-ordering” service from the domain registrar.
Considering the defendant’s track record and the evidence noted above, the key takeaway is that the charges levied against Craigh Wright likely have some merit. And no, that in no way entertains his ridiculous claims to the Sataoshi Nakamoto pseudonym.
By Matt Breen at cryptoinsider
Featured image from Shutterstock