$65 Billion Case: Kleiman vs Wright starts Monday 1 November

Case Background

  • This is the most significant legal case in the history of blockchain technology. Kleiman Estate v. Dr Craig Wright (US and UK Copyright holder of the Bitcoin Whitepaper).

  • Wright was forced to reveal himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto after a coordinated doxing. Following Dr. Wright’s decision to come forward, Ira Kleiman alleged that his brother David Kleiman was a co-creator of Bitcoin—despite the fact that David and Ira were estranged.

  • At stake is 1.1 million Bitcoin, at a current value of over $65 billion, which only the creator of Bitcoin could have mined. It is Dr. Wright’s intention to prove his exclusive ownership and then direct these funds to charitable use, lifting many in developing countries out of poverty.

  • Wright created Bitcoin and then made it publicly available for all to benefit from the use of it. His sole intention through granting public access was widespread adoption and public use. The intention was never to have the public alter or change the original vision and mechanics of Bitcoin.

  • Dr Wright never wanted to be outed as Satoshi Nakamoto or receive public recognition for his creation of Bitcoin – he has repeatedly said he didn’t, but once others began to come forward to falsely claim the title of Satoshi Nakamoto he had little choice but to defend his position and the original vision of Bitcoin. Wright authored the Bitcoin white paper and has US and UK copyright, upheld by UK court in the Cobra case.

Significance of the Case

  • Craig was forced to reveal his identity to prevent Bitcoin’s legacy from being subverted for purposes not in line with the original vision

  • This is one of the biggest IP cases in the world

  • Craig Wright and David Kleiman were friends and worked together. They knew each other since 2003 and Craig considered him a very close friend. In Craig’s own words from when Dave died: https://youtu.be/uVtOkE5vHbY)

  • Wright has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which affects the way he communicates information and otherwise may inform his conduct. Lawyers for Dr. Wright were keen to have this taken into consideration at trial

 Craig Wright and David Kleiman History

  • There is NO authenticated evidence to show a partnership – they worked together, they were close friends, Craig called him his partner but nothing to indicate or record that they were in a partnership on Bitcoin in business law. Inventorship and partnership are 2 entirely different legal concepts – the former well defined in patent law.

  • Craig Wright never denied that he received help from others in coding, implementing, perfecting and advancing Bitcoin. He has been forthcoming and consistent in this regard, and all evidence supports his claim that he alone invented Bitcoin. None of the public statements and court documents contradict that claim.

  • David Kleiman was a close friend of Craig Wright, and the two had worked closely at least since early 2009. Dave only spoke highly of Craig.

  • David Kleiman’s estate alleges that Wright and Kleiman together are the true owner of those coins. The estate only asks for up to 50%, not for 100%, because even they acknowledge Craig Wright’s role in inventing Bitcoin.

Clarification Points

  • Bitcoin was designed to be a frictionless, sound money that could not be debased

  • Wright did not create Bitcoin as a speculative ‘currency’ – it was created as a peer-to-peer cash system to make finance more accessible

  • Holding the Bitcoin private key does not equal ownership. For further insight: https://craigwright.net/blog/law-regulation/good-title-is-not-a-key/

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