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Judge Overturns Order to Make Craig Wright Pay 50 Percent of His Bitcoin Holdings

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craig wright
craig wright

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One of the longest-standing cases in the history of the cryptocurrency industry is getting yet another twist, as a judge just ruled in favor of crypto entrepreneur Craig Wright in his dispute with the estate of former business partner David Kleiman.

According to multiple industry news sources, a United States District Court Judge Beth Bloom has ruled that a previous order compelling Wright to turn over half of his Bitcoin holdings to the plaintiffs will not stand.

An Improper Ruling

The dispute between both parties is in relation to a stash of up to 1.1 million BTC, which the Kleiman estate claims that Wright embezzled from David while they worked together to mine Bitcoin years ago. Last August, U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered that Wright had perjured himself by presenting fake documents to the court, and immediately ordered the Australian computer scientist and businessman should turn over 50 percent of the Bitcoins to the Kleiman estate.

However, as court documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Florida on January 10 show, Judge Bloom ruled that the previous sanction as improper. Per the ruling, the judge deemed that although Wright did have an equal partnership with Kleiman, this fact didn’t necessarily mean that the partnership was extended to the discovery of the Bitcoins in question.

In addition, Judge Bloom claimed that even if the court chose to accept the facts, the abuse of discovery (in this case, of the Bitcoins) would still be “uncured,” since the court doesn’t have an estimate of how much Bitcoin Wright owns. However, the judge also pointed out that Wright hadn’t acted in good faith as this case continued to stand, and she ordered him to pay the attorney fees incurred by the Kleiman estate.

Even at that, Wright is still not out of the woods just yet. As the filing states, the computer scientist has until February 3 to let the court know if a “mysterious bonded courier” has arrived with the access key to his Bitcoin wallet, so they can finally get a glimpse of his Bitcoin holdings. While the judge questioned the possibility of his previous assertion that he’d get his courier to deliver the key by this month, she urged the court to indulge him and afford him the opportunity to grant them access to his holdings on their own terms.

Wright Still Clings to Being Satoshi Nakamoto

Although Wright has been involved in this legal dispute for well over five years now, he has continued to be perhaps the most infamous name in the entire crypto space- particularly for his continued claims that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous entity (or entities, as the case may be) that developed Bitcoin and released the whitepaper for the digital asset back in 2008.

Last December, he appeared in an interview with Modern Consensus, where he showed a document which he claimed validated his claim to be Nakamoto. The article represented a digital database from the academic journal JSTOR back in 2008. In it, the story of Tominga Nakamoto- a Japanese 17th-century economist- is told.

However, the article itself also had the following handwritten notes:

“Nakamoto is the Japanese Adam Smith. Honest Ledger + Micro Cash. Satoshi is Intelligent History. Not too hard.”

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