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Craig Wright wins court battle for 1.1 million bitcoins

Alleged inventor of Bitcoin won the claim to approximately $50 billion

Dr. Craig Wright arrives at the Federal Courthouse, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Miami.
Dr. Craig Wright arrives at the Federal Courthouse, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, in Miami. Wright is in a civil trial with Ira Kleiman in a case involving a significant amount of Bitcoin.
Marta Lavandier, Associated Press

Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, who says he is the inventor of Bitcoin, won a civil trial against the family of a deceased partner who claimed they were owed half of the cryptocurrency fortune.

On Monday, the jury found that Wright did not owe 1.1 million bitcoins, worth approximately $50 billion, to David Kleinman’s family. But the jury did award $100 million in damages over the breach in intellectual property rights to W&K Info Defense Research, a joint venture between the two former partners, per CNBC.

  • “We are immensely gratified that our client, W&K Information Defense Research LLC, has won $100,000,000 reflecting that Craig Wright wrongfully took bitcoin-related assets from W&K,” said counsel for W&K, per the report.
  • “This has been a remarkably good outcome, and I feel completely vindicated,” Wright said in a video posted to Twitter immediately following the verdict.

Origins of Bitcoin have always been a mystery, but in 2016 Wright implied he was Satoshi Nakamoto through a blog post.

  • During the 2008 financial crisis, “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a paper laying out the framework for a digital currency that would be decentralized, per The Guardian.
  • The name Nakamoto roughly means “at the center of” and was always known to be a pseudonym.
  • When Wright claimed that he was Nakamoto, he was met with skepticism. The big reason is that the 1.1 million bitcoin has not been touched since its creation.
  • Per the report, Wright said he would prove his ownership if he won the trial. He also promised to donate a significant amount to charity.