Among the richest men in the world—potentially—is the ever-elusive creator of Bitcoin, and we might be $10-billion closer to finally figuring out who is actually is.
Whether Satoshi Nakamoto—the name associated with the creation of Bitcoin—is a real person, a fake name, or possibly even a group, no one knows.
One prime ‘suspect’ has been Australian computer scientist and businessman Craig Wright—a suggestion the Bitcoin ‘community’ categorically rejects.
We might be on the verge of finding out now because Wright is being sued for $10 billion by the estate of his late former business partner, Dave Kleiman—another computer expert who has been hovering around since the early days of the coin’s creation.
In the least, the world is much more likely to learn whether Wright is indeed Nakamoto. If not, then we’re back to square one.
The lawsuit itself is almost as dramatically interesting as finding the mysterious identity of the God of Bitcoin.
In documents filed in a U.S. district court in Florida on 14 February, plaintiffs claim that Wright “perpetrated a scheme” against Kleiman’s estate in order to seize his bitcoins and rights to “intellectual property associated with the bitcoin technology.”
They also claim that Wright forged and back-dated a number of documents after Kleiman’s death to make it appear that the co-founder had signed everything away.
Wright and Kleiman met in 2003, according to the lawsuit, and jointly ran Florida-based W&K Info Defense Research LLC, working on blockchain technologies and mining more than 1.1 million bitcoin. Related: Europe’s Newest Tax Haven
That’s worth around $11 billion today, and the lawsuit alleges that none of it was distributed to the Kleiman estate.
The recent lawsuit also reveals an email message that was written prior to the original Bitcoin paper in 2008, in which Wright communicates to Kleiman: “I need your help editing a paper I am going to release later this year. I have been working on a new form of electronic money. Bit cash, Bitcoin . . . [y]ou are always there for me Dave. I want you to be part of it all.”
Regardless of the allegations, if the true identity of the creator of bitcoin is revealed, there is some concern that it could be the next big thing to shake up an already highly volatile market. In the last 12 months alone, Bitcoin has spiked from $1,000 per coin to over $20,000 in December, before settling back down to $10,500 in recent weeks.
If the Kleiman estate is truly out half a share of $11 billion in bitcoin, it has nothing to lose in outing the creator and opening up this huge sum to the tax man.
But anything could happen in the meantime. The alleged missing 1.1 million bitcoins, some feel, create a crypto vacuum. If Wright indeed has them and tries to offload them, some fear it could spark a sell-off and another price crash. But missing bitcoins are nothing new.
For now, though, crypto conspiracy theories are thriving more than ever. In a rational world, it wouldn’t matter who created bitcoin. It doesn’t need a leader, and it exists solidly with or without the knowledge of its creator. Pretty much just like humans do. The market, however, is rarely rational.
By Jan Bauer for Safehaven.com
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