$10.8 Billion Bitcoin Tussle Heats Up as Florida Court Summons Craig Wright
By CCN Markets: Craig Wright is to appear in a Florida court next week to contest allegations that he stole 1.1 million Bitcoin from his old friend, Dave Kleiman.
Wright had initially appealed to postpone proceedings or be allowed to attend via video conference call. Those appeals were denied by District Judge Beth Bloom, who deemed the plaintiff’s claims substantial enough that he show up in person to defend against them.
Wright summoned to florida court on june 18th
According to a court docket filed June 10th by the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Wright’s motion to avoid attending proceedings in person were denied.
“The Court has reviewed the Motion, the Plaintiffs’ Response in Opposition, ECF No. , the record and applicable law, and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons that follow, the Motion is denied.”
The self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto originally claimed appearing in person would cause him “unjustifiable hardship”.
Craig Wright’s legal team deemed the evidence supplied by the plaintiffs insufficient to demand their client fly halfway around the world for a two-hour legal proceeding.
According to Wright’s own previous filing in the case:
“Dr. Wright is a foreign citizen who lives and works in the United Kingdom. The burdens associated with travel to Florida for mediation at this juncture constitute good cause to permit attendance by video conference.”
The judge disagreed, and on June 18th Wright must appear in person to face Ira Kleiman et al (representing Dave Kleiman’s estate) in court. From the order:
“After a review of the record and the submissions by the parties, the Court does not find that a continuation of mediation is warranted. The Court further agrees with the Plaintiffs that personal appearance by the parties will promote meaningful participation at mediation.”
The Kleiman affair: Whose bitcoin is it anyway?
This is the latest development in a messy and drawn-out lawsuit which sees Wright accused of theft by the estate of his now deceased best friend, Dave Kleiman. The case is not clear cut by any means.
There’s the question of who actually owned W&K Info Defense Research LLC – the firm through which Kleiman and Wright mined their 1.1 million Bitcoin (worth $10.2 billion when the lawsuit was filed). And there’s the question of who was rightfully in control of it at the time of Kleiman’s death.
Many still herald Dave Kleiman as a prime candidate for being the true creator of Bitcoin – Satoshi Nakamoto. Kleiman’s past as a military operator, cypherpunk enthusiast, and noted computer forensics expert made him one of the few people in the world who fitted the mould.
The identity of Satoshi is relevant to this case. The Kleiman estate claimed previously that ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ was the name signifying a partnership between Kleiman and Wright, when they both created Bitcoin together.
If there was ever a time for Craig Wright to confirm once and for all that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, that time is now. With a potential $10.8 billion on the line, what better motivation could Wright need?
Your private key or your life.
About The Author
Greg Thomson is a freelance journalist covering the cryptocurrency and blockchain beat. He contributed to numerous crypto news outlets before joining CCN and Hacked in 2018.Reach him directly [email protected], or Tweet at @gregthomson88.
This article was edited by Samburaj Das.