Nick Chong · 5 days ago · 2 min read · Insights via Grayscale Investments
Bitcoin › U.S. › People
Craig Wright loses Kleiman case—billions in Bitcoin awarded to Kleiman estate
The Southern District Court of Florida magistrate Bruce Reinhart recommended that Kleiman’s estate be awarded half the Bitcoin and intellectual property Wright held prior to 2014.
In 2018, Ira Kleiman, the brother of Wright’s late business partner Dave Kleiman, sued Craig Wright for allegedly attempting to appropriate the estate’s massive 1.1 million BTC holdings held in a family trust. These coins were jointly owned between Wright and Kleiman.
Over the course of the year-long court battle, it appeared that Craig Wright was attempting to forge documents and lie, under penalty of perjury, in an attempt to claim right over Kleiman’s $5 billion in Bitcoin. These coins were acquired through Florida-based W&K Info Defense Research, a company the two used to mine during the early days of the protocol.
Today, the judge reaffirmed that Craig Wright was indeed acting in bad faith in court. The judge rejected Wright’s testimony, found that he perjured himself, found him in contempt of court, and found that he falsified documents, according to court documents.
That said, the judge did not determine whether Wright was Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Though his behavior in court certainly calls into question his claims to the title.
Though #CraigisSatoshi and this will be obvious to all in time (it is already to everyone smart), this is now moot. Real #Bitcoin #BSV is beyond any one person now…it is the worlds top utility platform with its unique in the world massive scaling and Craig did this for sure.
— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) August 26, 2019
On Bitfinex, Bitcoin SV is down roughly 4 percent in terms of BTC since the news broke. However, given the lack of liquidity and high concentration of BSV ownership among entities related to Wright et. al., the real impact of the event may not be accurately reflected in market activity.
That said, should Wright sell his BSV holdings to satisfy the ruling then the thinly traded Bitcoin SV markets may be devastated.
The loss in the Kleiman case follows the dismissal of another case in a U.K. court, where Wright claimed that Roger Ver had defamed him. The judge said there was little evidence suggesting Wright’s reputation was harmed and that the U.S. was a better jurisdiction to render a judgment.
With the substantive issues in the Kleiman case settled, now the court will need to determine how to collect the whopping 550,000 BTC from Wright (though the answer likely involves selling a whole lot of Bitcoin SV).