Craig Wright, Ordered To Pay 500,000 BTC
Craig Wright’s lies and vanity has been annoying Blockchain community for a long time. It seems that his reckless behavior has taken its toll and eventually Wright is facing charges he has deserved for 5 years.
Craig Wright is another exceptional figure in Blockchain industry, just like his business colleague Justin Sun, the founder of TRON. The one thing that connects these two entrepreneurs is creating a commotion around themselves. However, they both seek attention; Sun is still “just” accused of things that he might have done. His actions aren’t that significant compared to Wright’s. Self-proclaimed Satoshi has been lately charged with massive fraud and ordered by a judge to give back half of all his assets. The amount of money is enormous; we are talking about 500,000 BTC, which is over 4.5 billion dollars. How did he manage to accumulate this fortune? To answer that question, we need to draw up an introduction about Craig Wright.
Craig Wright is known for claiming himself to be the true Satoshi Nakamoto. He was asked plenty of times to provide sufficient proof, but apparently, he failed to give any. His employment history also remains mysterious.
Craig Wright, according to one of his many companies registration papers, was born in 1970. After graduating from Padua Catholic College in 1987 in Brisbane, he started working as a cook. Wright was continuing his work when he. began studying at the University of Queensland. His first choice was engineering, but he changed his mind in the fourth year and switched his course to computer science. At his LinkedIn profile, we can find that Craig was later working in Ozemail, which was his first remarkable IT job. What is interesting, an article from Computerworld (released in 2007) reports that he started working in IT after getting a job at K-Mart in 1985. After short calculations, we can easily say that the event, if true, would have happened when he was a 15-year-old boy.
In 1997, Wright joined the Australian Stock Exchange and established a company DeMorgan. Until July 2015, Wright was the CEO of nearly 15 companies. In about a week he resigned from being a director of 12. Now his LinkedIn profile only features startup nChain, where he has allegedly been working as a “chief scientist” since June 2015. It remains unexplained why Wright has cut out that facts from his employment history.
Wright’s sophisticated bio includes even more unbelievable events. Apart from holding two PhDs and having various certifications in the computer science area, he also claims that he worked in Venezuela and Colombia. Wright portrays himself, in one of his articles on Medium, as a special agent. He was involved in the fight with terrorism and got shot twice and once he was a pastor. Isn’t that crazy?
Wright introduces himself as Satoshi Nakamoto
In 2015 two media websites The Wired and Gizmodo reported that according to hacked emails and documents, Craig Wright could be the creator of Bitcoin. From the evidence that leaked, it turned out that Satoshi Nakamoto could have been a nickname for both Wright and Dave Kleiman, his friend, and a business partner. Kleiman was a computer forensics analyst and cybersecurity specialist; he died in 2013.
All the evidence, presented by Wright, turned out to be untrue. Cloudcroft, the company, owned by Wright, informed that they owned two supercomputers, made by SGI, which were used to create Bitcoin. SGI, a computer manufacturer, later explained that they had never cooperated with Cloudcroft.
Next thing to deny that Wright is Satoshi, was the result of the analysis made on two PGP (email encryption tool) public keys owned by Wright. They were also connected to Satoshi, but examination showed they were generated with a later date than the documents in which they were included. Last, but not least, he deleted his blog with posts from 2013 where he was laboriously building the fake image of Satoshi. Recently he also has deleted his Twitter account. What’s more important, there remains a message with the key related to Bitcoin’s genesis block which hasn’t been signed by Wright yet. If he signed it, it could become a shred of powerful evidence.
The suit against Craig Wright
Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman have mined a gigantic fortune in Bitcoins. In 2013 Kleiman died from complications caused by an MRSA infection. Five years later, on February 2018, Ira Kleiman, David’s brother, filed a suit against Wright. In documents that can be found on Reddit, we can read:
“It is unclear whether Craig, Dave, and/or both created Bitcoin. For reasons not yet completely clear, they chose to keep their involvement in Bitcoin hidden from most of their family and friends. It is undeniable, however, that Craig and Dave were involved in Bitcoin from its inception and that they both accumulated a vast wealth of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013.”
As the lawsuit says, Kleiman’s family wasn’t aware of his fortune accumulated in Bitcoins even at the time of his death. It turns out that Wright after acknowledging that he might be the only person who knows about his business partner capital, he transferred the funds from Kleiman’s account to his own. Wright backdated contracts with forged Kleiman’s signature, which gave him the right to do so.
After about six months, the sentence was settled. Wright has to give up half his crypto mined before 2014 to Ira Kleiman as well as half his intellectual property. The judge, apart from announcing in an explicit way that Wright was presenting false evidence, also said:
“Dr. Wright and David Kleiman entered into a 50/50 partnership to develop Bitcoin intellectual property and to mine bitcoin; (2) any Bitcoin-related intellectual property developed by Dr. Wright prior to David Kleiman’s death was property of the partnership, (3) all bitcoin mined by Dr. Wright prior to David Kleiman’s death (“the partnership’s bitcoin”) was property of the partnership when mined; and (4) Plaintiffs presently retain an ownership interest in the partnership’s bitcoin, and any assets traceable to them.”
Justin Sun can be hated for his reckless actions and generating unnecessary attention. But comparing him to Craig Wright, I guess the fake Satoshi is “winning”. As long as Wright’s actions were narrowed down to some reckless behavior, they weren’t noxious. Many politicians and well-known people behave similarly and get away with that. Unfortunately, stealing from someone, what’s worse, from a dead friend… is something inexcusable. Wright can still file an appeal, but he won’t have bigger chances to win that case. Let’s hope the justice will finally reach him.
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