An intense battle is going on behind the closed doors of a court in Florida, USA, to determine who could be crowned as the inventor of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
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Satoshi Nakamoto is the name on the paper that first introduced Bitcoin to the world, but the shadowy figure has never come forward to collect the rightful plaudits.
Instead, Craig Wright has tried to take the glory but has failed to prove his credentials publicly.
That might change with the result of the court case.
The estate of software developer and friend of Wright, Dave Kleiman claims Wright has tried to grab a fortune in Bitcoin and intellectual property which rightfully belongs to the estate.
£10 billion fortune
The story is that Wright and Kleiman developed Bitcoin together and mined the first 1.1 million tokens worth £10 billion when Kleiman died in 2013.
His estate argues Wright forged Kleiman’s signature to change the ownership of the Bitcoin hoard in his favour.
The court has ordered Wright to hand over an inventory of any Bitcoin he mined between 2009 and Kleiman’s death in 2013, which he has done. However, the document was sealed away from the public gaze by a judge.
The latest move to sort out the row was mediation, but a document was filed at the court stating no agreement could be reached and the case was at an impasse.
The proceedings are ongoing, with a hearing due on June 28.
Meanwhile, there is no news of Nakamoto or if Wright, Kleiman or both hid behind the Japanese identity.
“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,” says Kleiman’s estate.
“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.
“The electronic signatures appearing on the [Bitcoin] documents are substantially different from the known examples of Dave’s electronic and written signatures. This signature appears to be a near identical copy of a computer-generated font called Otto.”
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