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A lawsuit may finally reveal who is Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin

The lawsuit against Craig Wright may reveal the real creator of the Bitcoin protocol (image: CoinGeek)
The lawsuit against Craig Wright may reveal the real creator of the Bitcoin protocol (image: CoinGeek)
According to the heirs of one David Kleiman, he co-created the Bitcoin protocol together with another programmer, Craig Wright, and is entitled to half of the one million bitcoins their partnership created. They have filed a lawsuit against Mr. Wright in Florida to prove the collective is behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto that allegedly has access to the bitcoins in question, now worth north of US$60 billion.

Thanks to the Ira Kleiman vs. Craig Wright civil trial currently underway in Florida, we may finally learn who created the most popular cryptocurrency protocol. A person (or several people) dubbed Satoshi Nakamoto has long been named the inventor of Bitcoin. The problem is that nobody knows who exactly is hiding under the Satoshi pseudonym; as anything crypto-related, the topic has been rife with speculation and plot twists. Filed by the heirs of one deceased David Kleiman, who they claim aided in inventing the Bitcoin protocol with the defendant Craig Wright, the lawsuit aims to prove that Satoshi Nakamoto is a collective of Mr. Kleiman and Mr. Wright.

On Oct. 31, 2008, somebody using that name sent a nine-page paper to a group of cryptographers explaining a system of “electronic cash” that allowed people to exchange value without the need for a bank or other party. A few months later, the bitcoin network went live, and Nakamoto collected one million bitcoins in its first year.

It was earlier in 2008 that the family of Mr. Kleiman claims his business partner Mr. Wright asked for Mr. Kleiman’s help in what would become that nine-page paper. They collaborated on the white paper and launched bitcoin together, the suit alleges.

That million of bitcoins is worth more than US$60 billion at the current price of the cryptocurrency, explaining the "Bitcoin Trial of the Century" moniker. The descendants of Mr. Kleiman argue that they are entitled to half of what has now become one of the most significant private fortunes, yet Mr. Wright has been claiming he is the sole inventor of Bitcoin for a while. Some crypto analysts believe it was Mr. Kleiman who possessed the technical knowledge to invent the Bitcoin ledger; others argue that Mr. Wright, an Australian programmer living in London, has been perfectly capable of doing it all by himself.

Depending on whether someone gets forced to prove access to Satoshi Nakamoto's account by the court proceedings, the lawsuit may finally settle the pressing question and confirm for us mere spectators who created Bitcoin.

Get "Satoshi's Vision: The Art of Bitcoin" on Amazon


WSJ (paywall)

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Daniel Zlatev
Daniel Zlatev - Tech Writer - 260 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
Wooed by tech since the industrial espionage of Apple computers and the times of pixelized Nintendos, Daniel went and opened a gaming club when personal computers and consoles were still an expensive rarity. Nowadays, fascination is not with specs and speed but rather the lifestyle that computers in our pocket, house, and car have shoehorned us in, from the infinite scroll and the privacy hazards to authenticating every bit and move of our existence.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 11 > A lawsuit may finally reveal who is Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged inventor of Bitcoin
Daniel Zlatev, 2021-11-14 (Update: 2021-11-16)