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