The identity of the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the unidentified inventor of Bitcoin, could be soon be revealed by a Florida court due to an ongoing case over approximately $64bn (£47.5bn) worth of the cryptocurrency.
Kleiman’s family are suing the 51-year-old programmer for control of Kleiman’s alleged share of the entire asset, a cache of about a million bitcoins, according to reports.
Kleiman’s heirs allege that he and Mr Wright together were Nakamoto, which gives the family entitlement to half the fortune. Nakamoto is now the 15th wealthiest person in the world. Their net worth is estimated to be up to $73bn (£54.2bn), with crypto holdings in the region of 750,000 and 1.1 million BTC.
“We believe the evidence will show there was a partnership to create and mine over one million bitcoin,” Vel Freedman, a lawyer for the Kleiman family, told The Wall Street Journal.
The family has accused Mr Wright of recruiting Mr Kleiman to help write a white paper highlighting their vision for the digital currency in 2008 and launch a company.
According to the lawsuit, the family alleged that prior to his death, Kleiman incorporated a Florida company called W&K Info Defense Research in 2010, which was allegedly a partnership between the two men.
Andres Rivero, attorney for Mr Wright, said: “The court will find there’s nothing to indicate or record that they were in a partnership.”
In 2015, Mr Wright publicly said he was the only creator of Bitcoin, a claim that was quickly dismissed by the crypto community.
Three days later, he removed all the papers he had written about cryptography and bitcoin from his website, retracted the claim and posted an apology.
“As the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot,” he wrote.
Mr Wright also faced backlash earlier this year in May when he launched a court action suit to secure $7.25bn (£5.4bn) of the cryptocurrency which he allegedly owns. He claimed that he lost the encrypted keys when his home computer network was hacked in February 2020 and demanded 16 developers of the cryptocurrency to allow him to retrieve around 111,000 bitcoins.
In January 2009, months after Nakamoto released their white paper, Bitcoin was launched. Soon after, they collaborated with other developers for almost two years before completely disappearing in 2010.
Although the cryptocurrency had very few takers initially, it has now taken over the world by storm. The price of bitcoin hit a new all-time high earlier this month above $68,000 (£50,558), following an increase of more than 300 per cent over the last year.
In September this year, El Salvador became the first country to use bitcoin as legal tender.
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