Miami Bitcoin Trial: Defendant Wins Dispute Over 50B in Bitcoin – NBC 6 South Florida
craig wright, a computer scientist who claims to be the inventor of bitcoin, prevailed in a civil lawsuit verdict on Monday against the family of a deceased business associate, who claimed he was owed half a fortune in cryptocurrencies valued in tens of billions.
a jury in south florida found that wright did not owe half of 1.1 million bitcoins to the family of david kleiman. The jury awarded $100 million in intellectual property rights to a joint venture between the two men, a fraction of what Kleiman’s attorneys were asking for at trial.
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“This was a great victory for our side,” said Andres Rivero of Rivero Mestre llp, the lead attorney representing Wright.
david kleiman died in april 2013 at the age of 46. Led by Ella’s brother Ira Kleiman, Ella’s family has claimed that David Kleiman and Wright were close friends and co-created Bitcoin through a partnership.
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At the center of the test were 1.1 million bitcoins, worth approximately $50 billion based on Monday’s prices. these were some of the first bitcoins to be created through mining and could only be owned by a person or entity involved with the digital currency from the beginning, such as bitcoin creator satoshi nakamoto.
now the crypto community will be looking to see if wright makes good on his promise to prove he owns bitcoin. doing so would lend credence to wright’s claim, first made in 2016, that he is nakamoto.
Kleiman’s estate was suing for half of the bitcoin in question
the case tried in miami federal court was highly technical, with the jury hearing explanations about the intricate workings of cryptocurrencies, as well as the dark origins of how bitcoin came to be. the jurors took a full week to deliberate, asking lawyers on both sides, as well as the judge, repeated questions about how cryptocurrencies work and the business relationship between the two men. at one point, the jurors indicated to the judge that they were deadlocked.
Bitcoin’s origins have always been a bit of a mystery, which is why this lawsuit has drawn so much attention from outsiders. In October 2008, during the height of the financial crisis, a person or group of people by the name of “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a document that established a framework for a digital currency that would not be tied to any legal or sovereign authority. mining of the coin, which involves computers solving mathematical equations, began a few months later.
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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.
wright’s claim that he is nakamoto has been met with skepticism from a sizable portion of the cryptocurrency community. Due to its structure, all bitcoin transactions are public and the 1.1 million bitcoins in question have remained untouched since their creation. Wright has been regularly asked by members of the bitcoin community to move just a fraction of the coins to a separate account to prove ownership and prove that he really is as rich as he claims.
During the trial, both Wright and other cryptocurrency experts testified under oath that Wright is the owner of the bitcoins in question. Wright said that he would prove ownership of it if he won the trial.
Lawyers for w&k information defense research llc, the joint venture between the two men, said they were “satisfied” that the jury awarded the $100 million in intellectual property rights to the company, which developed the software that sat down the foundations. for early blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
“wright refused to give the kleimans their fair share of what (david kleinman) helped create and instead took those assets for himself,” said vel freedman and kyle roche of roche freedman llp and andrew brenner, a partner at boies schiller flexner, in a joint statement.
lawyers for wright have repeatedly said that david kleiman and wright were friends and collaborated on work together, but their association had nothing to do with the creation or initial operation of bitcoin.
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wright has said he plans to donate much of the bitcoin fortune to charity if he wins the lawsuit. In an interview, Wright’s attorney, Rivero, reconfirmed Wright’s plans to donate much of his fortune in bitcoin.