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Bitcoin's Creator Could Be Unmasked In US$64 Billion Lawsuit

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Bitcoin's Creator Could Be Unmasked In US$64 Billion Lawsuit

A trial over a deceased estate in Florida looks like it could unveil the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin.

The family of David Kleiman is suing his former business partner, Craig Wright, for control of their shared assets, which includes one million Bitcoins allegedly belonging to Nakamoto.

One million Bitcoins are worth a casual US$64 billion (£47.7 billion/AUD$87 billion).

Wright is a 51-year-old Australian programmer living in London who has previously claimed he created Bitcoin. The wider cryptocurrency community has largely disregarded this claim.

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Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used by the person or persons who developed Bitcoin, authored the Bitcoin white paper and created and deployed Bitcoin's original reference implementation.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Nakamoto also devised the first blockchain database. Many people have laid claim to the alias, but the true identity isn't known.

According to the family of Kleiman, both he and Wright were partners in engineering Bitcoin, which entitles them to half of Nakamoto's Bitcoins, which are worth over US$30 billion.

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Vel Freedman, a lawyer for the family told the Wall Street Journal, "We believe the evidence will show there was a partnership to create and mine over one million Bitcoin."

Wright is arguing that he alone is the creator of Bitcoin, which would remove the Kleiman family's claim to the fortune.

"We believe the court will find there's nothing to indicate or record that they were in a partnership," Andrés Rivero, a lawyer for Wright told the WSJ.

Many experts believe the code behind the asset is too sophisticated for it to have come from one person, unless that person was a genius, while others who have spoken with Nakamoto over the years believe them to be of non-Japanese descent, which counteracts earlier claims Nakamoto was a 37-year-old male who lived in Japan.

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Nakamoto, who is said to use two email addresses, vanished from message boards and development discussions at the end of 2010. During the asset's first year of operation, Nakamoto collected nearly one million Bitcoins.

In 2016, shortly after his public claim that he was Nakamoto, Wright walked back the announcement. He has since reestablished the claim but insists only he is behind the creation.

Featured Image Credit: Andrew Paterson / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Bitcoin, News, Cryptocurrency, Australia

Hannah Blackiston
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