Craig Wright will not be forced to forfeit Bitcoin until February

Dr Craig Wright, who was initially supposed to give up half of his Bitcoin fortune to the Kleiman estate, has been told he will not have to forfeit his holdings just yet

In the latest development in the Kleiman vs Wright case, a United States District Judge has overturned a previous ruling ordering Wright to give half his Bitcoin holdings to the late Dave Kleiman’s estate.

Court filings from January 10 show that Judge Beth Bloom, presiding over the recent hearings, has deemed earlier orders by Judge Bruce Reinhart to be improper.

Instead, Wright has been given an extension to prove he is the creator of Bitcoin as he claims, and that he holds the keys to the disputed Bitcoin fortune.

Judge Reinhart handed the order to Wright in a ruling in August 2019, claiming he must surrender 500,000 BTC to the Kleiman estate. However, it’s unknown whether Wright even has access to these funds.

The dispute centers around an estimated 1.1 million BTC which Wright claims were mined by him and Kleiman in the early days of Bitcoin’s creation.

Naturally, as Wright claims to be the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, he has argued that he should not need to forfeit his funds, and in November 2019 Wright informed the court he could no longer finance their agreement.

Funds allegedly misappropriated following Kleiman’s death

Representatives of Kleiman’s estate seek the return of the full 1.1 million Bitcoins – currently worth over $8 billion – claiming that Wright misappropriated them following Kleiman’s death.

Kleiman’s brother, Ian Kleiman, led the allegations against Wright, claiming that he only purported to be Satoshi Nakamoto once Kleiman was deceased.

At the time, the US District Court of Florida subpoenaed early Bitcoin pioneer Jeff Garzik, urging him to provide evidence that Kleiman was indeed the creator of Bitcoin.

The overturning of Wright’s order to pay over 500,000 BTC comes just three weeks before a bonded courier is due to ‘deliver’ the final private key to Wright.

The bonded courier is allegedly supposed to deliver Wright the keys upon the expiration of the Tulip Trust, which holds the disputed BTC funds.

Wright has until February 3 to receive the final key from the bonded courier and prove he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

However, scathing court documents expressed doubt that Wright’s mysterious courier will arrive, saying:

“The Court questions whether it is remotely plausible that the mysterious ‘bonded courier’ is going to arrive, yet alone that he will arrive in January 2020 as the Defendant now contends.”

With the court eager to bring the case to a close, the final decision will be made on February 3.


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