US court orders alleged Bitcoin inventor to split his bitcoin hoard

Craig Wright must give half his bitcoins to his former business partner's estate

Craig Wright, the Australian IT security consultant who has claimed to have invented Bitcoin, has been ordered by a US judge to hand over half his Bitcoin holdings to the estate of his alleged former business partner. The payout could be worth over $5 billion.

Wright was sued by the estate of David Kleiman, who died in 2013. The estate alleges that Wright and Kleiman were partners and that the estate is entitled to a share of the Bitcoin mined by the pair. The pair were involved with the cryptocurrency from 2009 to 2013.

In a US district court in Florida, it was ruled that half of the mined currency and intellectual property from that time belongs to Kleiman. However, it is not known just how much bitcoin Wright has and Wright has claimed that he is unable to access all of them.

According to reports from the Guardian, Wright told the court that many of the mined bitcoins were encrypted when the currency became associated with criminals and money laundering. Encryption keys used to scramble the bitcoins were divided up and given to Kleiman who then distributed them to other people through a trust.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Wright has said that the file containing bitcoins could not be decrypted until January 2020 when he gets a key from a bonded courier. Wright has made such a claim before when he alleged he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin.

Judge Bruce Rheinhart described his story as "inconceivable" and criticised his credibility as a witness.

"During his testimony, Dr. Wright's demeanor did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth. When it was favorable to him, Dr. Wright appeared to have an excellent memory and a scrupulous attention to detail. Otherwise, Dr. Wright was belligerent and evasive," Reinhart said.

Featured Resources

Digital Risk Report 2020

A global view into the impact of digital transformation on risk and security management

Download now

6 ways your business could suffer if you don’t backup Office 365

Office 365 makes it easy to lose valuable data regularly, unpredictably, unintentionally, and for good

Download now

Get the best out of your workforce

7 steps to unleashing their true potential with robotic process automation

Download now

8 digital best practices for IT professionals

Don't leave anything to chance when going digital

Download now


digital currency

What is cryptocurrency mining?

6 Jan 2020

What is blockchain?

13 Sep 2019

Pat Gelsinger: “Bitcoin today is not OK”

28 Aug 2019
digital currency

On this one issue, Trump is absolutely correct

12 Jul 2019

Most Popular


How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020

The top ten password-cracking techniques used by hackers

10 Feb 2020
cyber security

McAfee researchers trick Tesla autopilot with a strip of tape

21 Feb 2020