Man claiming to be bitcoin's creator wins dispute over $50B in bitcoin     – CNET

Man claiming to be bitcoin's creator wins dispute over $50B in bitcoin – CNET

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A computer scientist who claims to be the inventor of bitcoin prevailed in a civil trial on Monday against the estate of a deceased former business partner that claimed it was owed half of a bitcoin fortune worth more than $50 billion.

The verdict means Craig Wright will get to keep all of the 1.1 million bitcoin in dispute in the trial. The estate of David Kleiman, a friend and collaborator of Wright who died in 2013, had claimed Wright and Kleiman created bitcoin together.

While Wright won’t have to share any of the 1.1 million bitcoin fortune, he must pay $100 million in damages for the unpaid use of intellectual property to W&K Information Defense Research, a company founded by Kleiman, a joint venture founded by the two men.

Wright says he is the true Satoshi Nakamoto, a psuedonym for the mysterious creator of bitcoin. The 1.1 million bitcoin Wright secured with the verdict is among the first bitcoin ever mined, and experts say that only someone involved with bitcoin from the beginning would have access the wallet containing the bitcoin, which is worth about $54 billion.

The quest to identify Nakamoto has been dramatic but journalistically perilous. Attempts by Newsweek and The New Yorker unraveled, and Wired was forced to back off its 2015 assertion that Wright probably is Nakamoto after close scrutiny revealed problems with the proof. Gizmodo, too, tentatively fingered Wright as the cryptocurrency’s creator in 2015.

The trial didn’t address the question of Nakamoto’s identity, as both sides claimed Wright was either partially or wholly responsible for the creation of bitcoin. However, Wright has yet to access the wallet with the 1.1. million bitcoin inside, which would go a long way toward proving Wright is Nakamoto once and for all.

Attorneys for W&K and Kleiman’s estate said it’s “immensely gratified” for the $100 million intellectual property rights judgment , despite Wright’s refusal to give the Kleimans “their fair share of what Dave helped create.”

Attorney’s representing Wright didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Julian Dossett

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