In a new twist to an old case, Craig Wright, Chief Scientist at blockchain research and development firm nChain and the self-acclaimed Bitcoin (BTC) creator Satoshi Nakamoto, has been ordered by a federal court to list all of his public Bitcoin addresses.
Last week, the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida issued an official order telling Wright to provide a list containing all of his public BTC addresses. The order is coming as part of an ongoing case between Wright and the estate of David Kleiman, a deceased computer scientist who, at a point, was a partner of Wright’s.
Kleiman v. right: A recap
The Kleiman v. Wright case is one that has been going on for about a year now. Wright was sued by Ira Kleiman, David Kleiman’s brother, who claimed that the scientist stole over 1.1 million BTC tokens (worth about $5.6 million at the current rate) and intellectual property when he worked with David. As at the time the suit was filed, the tokens were worth about $5 billion.
David Kleiman and Craig Wright admittedly worked for a brief period. However, when Kleiman died from Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA; a bacterial infection) in 2013, Wright approached his family and offered to help them to liquidate the deceased’s Bitcoin holdings.
The Kleiman family, led by Ira, requested in their February 2018 suit, that Wright should provide fair compensation for all of the intellectual property he stole from them, as well as a substantial portion for the BTC tokens he took as well.
Wright filed a motion to get the entire case dismissed, with his attorney arguing that it was a “thinsoup of supposition, speculation, conflicting allegations, hearsay and innuendo.” The scientist’s attorneys also dismissed the case as no more than an attempted shakedown designed to steal Wright’s fortune and intellectual property.
However, the motion was denied by a South Florida District Court judge. In its documents, the court claimed that the plaintiff’s claim for conversion was sufficient, and thus, “survives Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.”
What this order entails
The new court order illustrates some of the plaintiff’s requests. The family asked the court to force Wright to reveal all the public Bitcoin addresses in his possession as at December 31, 2013, make him identify all of the tokens that were sent to a particular blind trust back in 2011, and provide relevant documents related to the trust in question.
In addition, Kleiman’s family also asked the court to order Wright to identify the trust’s current and past trustees. This, as the order states, will help in conducting further depositions of Wright as regards the Bitcoin tokens in his possession.
According to the order, Wright had previously filed a motion to keep information regarding his Bitcoin holding sealed. However, citing general policies of accountability and disclosure, the court rejected Wright’s motion.
Now, Wright has until 5:00 pm EST on May 8 to identify the blind trust in question, as well as provide information concerning its whereabouts and both its past and present trustees. A deadline of 5:00 pm EST on May 15 was also set for Wright to produce all of the trust’s transaction records, “including but not limited to any records reflecting the transfer of Bitcoin into the blind trust in or about 2011.”
All wrong, no Wright
This case’s progression continues a contentious year for Wright, as Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV) a digital asset which he promotes and favors, has been delisted from a number of popular crypto exchanges, including Binance and Kraken.
Following Wright’s behavior and public dispute with Hodlnaut (a Twitter user who criticized Wright for claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto), BSV has continued to receive little appreciation from the crypto community. At press time, the currency is trading at $52.43, down 3.07 percent over the last 24 hours (per data from CoinMarketCap).