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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

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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.