Forget the debate about whether bitcoin is a store of value or a currency. What everyone can agree upon is that it is a store of drama. And where there is drama in bitcoin over the last couple of years, Australian computer guru Craig Wright is often in the thick of it. Filed on Valentine’s Day and released yesterday, Mr. Wright is being sued for upwards of 5 billion dollars by the estate of his former business partner, now deceased David Kleiman. At issue are hundreds of thousands of bitcoin, business relationships, integrity, and the still-going suspicion Mr. Wright might be Satoshi Nakamoto.
Craig Wright Is Sued for Billions
$5,118,266,427.50 USD is a big number, and it’s the amount plaintiff Ira Kleiman claims is owed the estate of David Kleiman, his brother, by notorious cryptocurrency enthusiast Craig Wright. According to certain statements Mr. Kleiman, the deceased, partnered with Mr. Wright in various forms, and the two were apparently around at the inception of bitcoin and the chance to get in on the cheap to the tune of roughly one million tokens. Craig “Satoshi” Wright Sued for Billions
That sum would be divided, the plaintiff asserts, with Mr. Kleiman receiving about 300,000 bitcoin.
At some time after the agreement, as Ira Kleiman alleges in his 38 page lawsuit against Mr. Wright, and Mr. Kleiman’s death in 2013, attempts to fudge the deceased man’s portion in Mr. Wright’s favor occured. Mr. Wright, as of this writing, has not responded officially.
The filing is riddled with juicy morsels such as “It is unclear whether Craig, Dave, and/or both created Bitcoin. For reasons not yet completely clear, they chose to keep their involvement in Bitcoin hidden from most of their family and friends. It is undeniable, however, that Craig and Dave were involved in Bitcoin from its inception and that they both accumulated a vast wealth of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013,” a point of contention for the last few years at least.
Is He or Isn’t He
Craig Wright, of course, is perhaps best known for either claiming to be Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, as way to hedge against press accounts; for claiming the title as an elaborate hoax; claiming to be Satoshi as a way to shield others; a tortured genius who became exasperated with skeptics, or an insufferable publicity hound and scam artist. Readers pick.
What is clear are the odd lengths to which Mr. Wright went about his claim/hoax/whatever, going so far as to fly no less a personage than bitcoin luminary Gavin Andresen to London in order to make the case, or non-case. Mr. Andresen, for his part, left convinced Mr. Wright was Satoshi, though he kept an eye toward skepticism. It was all very confusing. Those efforts, however, might now contribute to the charges against Mr. Wright.
It’s also par for the course in civil lawsuits of this sort to engorge one’s opponent as a maniacal super villain, capable of the worst trickery. Again, at this point, we haven’t Mr. Wright’s side of things.
Nevertheless, it is put forward that Mr. Wright conspired against the ignorance of Mr. Kleiman’s family after his death in 2013. Because Mr. Kleiman’s heirs were unaware of their family member’s bitcoin efforts and potential bounty, “Craig perpetrated a scheme against Dave’s estate to seize Dave’s bitcoins and his rights to certain intellectual property associated with the Bitcoin technology. 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,” the filing states.