Craig Wright, a computer scientist who claims to be the inventor of. to be Bitcoin, prevailed on Monday in a widely publicized process that will allow him to keep a hoard of tens of billions of dollars worth of bitcoins.
A Florida jury found that Wright did not owe the family of David Kleiman, Wright’s former business partner, half of 1.1 million bitcoins.
The case was very technical, with the jury listening to explanations about the intricate workings of cryptocurrencies and the opaque origins of Bitcoin. It took the jury a whole week to deliberate and repeatedly asked the lawyers on both sides and the judge questions about how cryptocurrencies work and the business relationship between the two men.
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At the center of the process is 1.1 million bitcoins, valued at approximately $ 50 billion, based on Monday’s prices. These were among the first bitcoins to be created through mining and could only be owned by a person or organization who had something to do with digital currency from the start.
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Bitcoin’s origins have always been a mystery, which is why this process has received so much attention from outsiders. In October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, a person named “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a paper setting out a framework for a digital currency that was not tied to any legal or sovereign authority. The currency degradation began a few months later.
The name Nakamoto, roughly translated from Japanese to mean “in the center of”, was never considered to be the real name of the creator of Bitcoin. Some in the cryptocurrency community don’t even believe that Nakamoto was a single person.
Wright has been claiming he was Nakamoto since 2016, a claim that was received with skepticism by a sizable segment of the cryptocurrency community. Due to its structure, all Bitcoin transactions are public and the 1.1 million Bitcoins in question have remained intact since Wright’s great revelation. Members of the Bitcoin community have regularly asked Wright to transfer just a fraction of the coins to a separate account in order to register that he is really as rich as he claims.
David Kleiman died in April 2013. His family, led by his brother Ira Kleiman, claimed that David Kleiman and Wright were close friends and co-founded Bitcoin through a partnership. Kleiman’s estate sued half of the bitcoins in question, as well as intellectual property rights.
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Wright’s attorneys have repeatedly said that David Kleiman and Wright were friends and worked together to work together, but their partnership had nothing to do with the creation or early operation of Bitcoin.
Wright has announced that much of the Bitcoin fortune will be donated to charity should he win in the process.