Who created Bitcoin? Craig White says court verdict proves he is Satoshi Nakamoto

An Aussie who says he is the creator of bitcoin was ordered to pay $142 million in damages after a court stoush — and he’s claiming victory.

An Australian computer scientist who claims to be the creator of Bitcoin has been ordered to pay damages over allegations he cheated a deceased business partner out of intellectual property for the cryptocurrency.

And he’s thrilled about it.

That’s because if he is who he says he is, Craig Wright holds 1.1 million bitcoin and is worth tens of billions of dollars.

In a landmark case, Wright was being sued by the family of deceased computer scientist David Kleiman, who they contended created the cryptocurrency along with the 51-year-old from Brisbane under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Kleiman died in 2013 but his family was seeking half of a Bitcoin stash worth nearly $70 billion that is held by Satoshi Nakamoto, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Wright claimed he created Bitcoin on his own, a contention that has drawn widespread scepticism in the crypto community.

And he claimed victory when a federal court jury in Miami ruled he was only liable for conversion (the illegal taking of property) on Monday.

The court awarded W&K Info Defense Research, a joint venture between the two men, $US100 million ($A142 million), which was significantly less than the amount Kleiman’s family was seeking.

“I have never been so relieved in my life,” Wright said after the verdict.

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Wright said he felt vindicated and that the verdict proved he is the creator of Bitcoin.

“The jury has obviously found that I am because there would have been no award otherwise,” he said. “And I am.”

Wright’s lawyer Andres Rivero called the verdict “one of the most resounding victories ever in American litigation”.

“We crushed them,” he said in a phone interview after the verdict. “Their result is less that any settlement offer we ever made to them. This is a total loss for the other side.”

But a lawyer for the Kleiman estate, Devin Freedman, praised the verdict as “a historical precedent in the innovative and transformative industry of cryptocurrency and blockchain.”

“Many years ago, Craig Wright told the Kleiman family that he and Dave Kleiman developed revolutionary Bitcoin based intellectual property,” he said in a statement.

“Despite those admissions, Wright refused to give the Kleimans their fair share of what Dave helped create.”

Wright has said he plans to donate much of the Bitcoin fortune to charity if he were to win at trial. In an interview, Wright’s lawyer Rivero reconfirmed Wright’s plans to donate much of his Bitcoin fortune.

Who really created bitcoin?

Bitcoin started in 2008, after “Nakamoto” published online an open-source paper introducing a new form of digital currency: designed to be used without the need for a central bank.

Its initial worth was less than a penny. Today, the value is more than $70,000 per coin.

Nakamoto came up with the idea for “coins” created by solving increasingly complex calculations that would eventually require extremely powerful computers. The number of Bitcoins in circulation will top out after a finite 21 million are mined — unlike traditional currency, which can be endlessly minted.

The identity of Nakamoto has become one of the great mysteries of our time, with everyone from Elon Musk to Swedish video-game developer Vili Lehdonvirta to American computer scientist Nick Szabo being tossed around as the man behind the myth. Wright, however, is the one person to step up and actually claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.

While testifying on the witness stand earlier this month, Wright, according to, claimed to have written the white paper that laid out the inner workings of Bitcoin and was credited to Satoshi Nakamoto.

But there are vehement doubters who do not believe that Wright is the real Nakamoto.

“He’s lying, full stop,” maintained the well-regarded security researcher Dan Kaminsky via Twitter. “Satoshi signed a transaction in 2009. Wright copied that specific signature and tried to pass it off as new.”

Who is Craig Wright?

Wright grew up in Brisbane, Australia, and says he has a PhD in computer science from Charles Stuart University in his home country.

“Craig has Aspergers and he is a little different from most people,” Calvin Ayre, a venture capitalist who first made his bones with the controversial online gambling site and is an investor in nChain, where, according to CrunchBase, Wright is a founder and chief scientist. “He’s a polymath who sleeps four hours a night and [in his sleep] listens to text books at four times the speed.”

In the early 2000s, Wright was working for BDO, an accounting firm in Sydney, Australia, when he was assigned to do a security audit for a different online gambling operation. That’s when he met the gambling site’s chief technology officer, Stefan Matthews.

“If he’s had a stressful day and needs to unwind, he reads a f–king textbook. He is wired differently from anyone I know,” Matthews told The Post. “He’s got dozens of technical certifications for things like networks, firewalls, penetration testing.”

Not long after they met, “He talked to me about digital gold and digital cash and he had eight or nine different concepts for them,” Matthews, formerly the CEO of nChain and now chairman of TAAL Distributed Information Technologies, recalled.

In 2008, Wright presented Matthews with a flash drive and asked him to download the document from it, with the hope that he would read it and offer his opinion on the work.

“It was a white paper [for Bitcoin, summing up the digital currency] that covered a lot of what we had discussed,” said Matthews. “The final, published version, in October 2008, has Satoshi’s name on it. In January 2009 [someone posing as Nakamoto] launched the Bitcoin code.”

— with New York Post

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