The civil trial of Ira Kleiman vs. Craig Wright began in Miami on Monday, making it as one of the most significant legal cases in the history of blockchain technology. The trial may now possibly answer one of the biggest mysteries of Bitcoin: Is Wright Satoshi Nakamoto and what happened to the approximately 1.1 million BTC in his possession?
Wright has been claiming to be the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin since 2016. However, the suit claims that Wright wasn't the only one who created Bitcoin but was helped by Ira Kleiman's late brother David Kleiman and is now entitled to a huge share of Bitcoin, which is now valued at $66 billion.
Who Invented Bitcoin?
Wright, an Australian computer scientist, has been claiming since 2016 to be the creator of Bitcoin who acted under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. He has been trying to take all the credit and eventually a treasure trove of Bitcoin, which has been challenged by the late David Kleiman's sister Ira.
The suit alleges that Kleiman and Wright formed a partnership and established an entity called W&K Info Defense Research, LLC, that they used to mine bitcoin and organize their intellectual property, including the Bitcoin source code. At stake is now 1.1 million Bitcoin, at a current value of over $66 billion, which only the creator of Bitcoin could have mined.
While Wright is trying to claim that he was the sole creator of the Bitcoin, Ira, although he was estranged from David at the time of his death, believes that his brother was solely responsible for mining Satoshi's treasure trove of Bitcoins.
Writing, on the other hand, denies David's role and claims that they were only friends and not partners and that he alone is Satoshi Nakamoto.
The trial, which began on Monday, may now put an end to the years-long debate and claims. A panel of 10 jurors who were selected on Monday will now have three week's time to hear the evidence and decide the fate of Satoshi's fortune.
Long and Complicated Fight
Wright claims he created Bitcoin, which was then made publicly available for all to benefit from the use of it. His sole intention through granting public access was widespread adoption and public use. The intention was never to have the public alter or change the original vision and mechanics of Bitcoin.
He also claims that he Wright never wanted to make public that he was Satoshi Nakamoto as he never intended get any public recognition for his creation of Bitcoin. However, he had to finally do that after several others started coming forward to falsely claim the title of Satoshi Nakamoto.
That said, on Monday, Kyle Rosche, an attorney for the Kleiman, established a timeline for the jury that aimed to demonstrate Wright's conflicting statements about his nature of relationship with David Kleiman.
The court saw emails wherein Wright repeatedly referred to David Kleiman as his "partner" and his "business partner" until after his death in April 2013.
However, Wright started acting differently and his stance changed after David Kleiman's death. Although he referred to David Kleiman as his partner, he started claiming that he had transferred their shared intellectual property into Wright's possession.
Wright's in his defense is mainly trying to stress on two factors: his diagnosis with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the lack of a written agreement between him and David Kleiman.
In her opening statement, Amanda McGovern, counsel for Wright, claimed that Wright's autism made him difficult to communicate with, overly literal and combative. Rather than pushing back against the veracity of the plaintiff's timeline, McGovern instead attempted to convince the jury that Wright and Ira Kleiman simply have a different understanding of the word "partner."
It now needs to be seen what the jury over the next few weeks make of the relationship between Wright and David Kleiman. They now will look for answers of some very important questions: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Was David Kleiman Wright's partner? And of course, if David Kleiman is entitled to a treasure trove of Bitcoin or just $40 million for materials belonging to their shared company, which Wright has been offering to pay?