The legal world has begun the process of getting to the bottom of the controversial Australian computer scientist Craig Wright’s as-yet wholly unsubstantiated assertions that he is Satoshi Nakamoto – the pseudonymous founder of bitcoin (BTC).
The long-awaited trial, in Miami, Florida, has been in the pipelines for some three years and has pitted the estate of the alleged former Wright partner Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013, against a man many have labeled “Faketoshi.”
Wright is a highly polarizing figure in the crypto sphere, and his claim that he is Nakamoto has led him to legal campaigns to block websites from publishing the Bitcoin white paper.
The Kleiman estate claims that Wright essentially pocketed Dave Kleiman’s share of a BTC 1.1 million of tokens (USD 69.7bn) the partners allegedly shared. Wright denies the claim.
He also stoked fury in the crypto community earlier this year when he won a legal battle with Cobra, the operator of the Bitcoin.org website. Prior to this, in February, his legal team took aim at a group of open-source developers on the Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV) networks.
Twitter users @FractalEncrypt, who claimed to have attended the first day of the proceedings, opined that “these folks all seem like a bunch [of] scammers on all sides.”
The Twitter user summarized events thusly:
“One side says Wright and Kleiman both created Bitcoin, mined BTC 1.1 million and were partners. Wright says he did it all himself [with] no help.”
The alleged attendee explained that in opening arguments, Kleiman’s team provided emails as evidence, “with highlights all showing Wright saying things about being partners and how he can’t do it without Dave.”
The defense counsel also reportedly warned the jury that Wright would “lie and claim autism,” adding that “his autism was diagnosed by a doctor hired by his attorneys, over a phone call.” Wright allegedly had “never even met” the doctor “in person.”
Wright’s counsel, meanwhile, again per @FractalEncrypt, allegedly opened with the line:
“Today you are going to meet a genius. […] To the world, he is known as Satoshi Nakomoto.”
The lawyer then reportedly went on to explain that Dave Kleiman had never been Wright’s business partner, and that they were instead just “friends,” allegedly adding that “Nothing you will see will show a partnership between Wright and Dave Kleiman or mining BTC.”
Bloomberg also reported on the trial, claiming that the defense counsel’s evidence had shown a “simpatico relationship” between the two men, and that in one message Wright called Dave Kleiman his “best friend.”
– Satoshi-era Bitcoin Miner Calls Craig Wright a Fraud Using “His” BTC Addresses