Court: Self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor to pay $43 million for illegally seizing intellectual property

Court: Self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor to pay $43 million for illegally seizing intellectual property
4 months ago
2 mins read

A federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, decided on Wednesday, March 9, that self-proclaimed Bitcoin (BTC) founder Craig Wright must pay $43 million to a joint venture he co-founded.

According to a ruling issued [PDF] by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom, Wright must pay an additional $43 million to a joint venture he co-created, on top of the $100 million judgment against him last year.

In December, a jury determined that Wright had illegally taken intellectual property belonging to the joint venture with late computer forensics specialist Dave Kleiman, W&K Info Defense Research. 

According to the court’s final decision, the extra $43 million in interest on damages sustained by W&K from the time he seized possession of the IP in 2013 until the court’s final verdict.

For his part, Wright claimed that W&K should be entitled to interest solely for the period from October 2021 through December 2021, when the IP’s value was at its peak.

A historical precedent in crypto and blockchain

W&K’s lawyers stated in a statement that the ruling, like the verdict, “sets a historical precedent in cryptocurrency and blockchain.” 

In 2018, Kleiman’s brother filed a lawsuit against Wright on his brother’s behalf, saying that Wright had stolen intellectual property relating to blockchain technology from W&K, as well as 1.1 million Bitcoin.

According to court documents, Satoshi Nakamoto, who published a white paper defining the architecture for what would become bitcoin, was the one who mined the cryptocurrency. Wright has claimed that he is Nakamoto, a claim that has been challenged. 

However, the jury found Wright not to be liable for any other charges, including theft and fraud and determined that W&K and Kleiman were not entitled to any of the disputed bitcoin. 

In the case, Kleiman claimed that the assets were worth more than $11 billion. The 1.1 million Bitcoins would be worth $43 billion if they were mined today.

Notably, last year, Craig Wright had first launched a lawsuit against 16 Bitcoin developers in a bid to retrieve Bitcoin worth $5.7 billion at the time. While it was In 2016, the controversial figure also alleged he was the inventor of the Bitcoin whitepaper under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

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Jordan Major

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.