As the crypto world continues to grapple with the hearing recommendation in the Kleiman v. Wright case, a lot of people are getting the story wrong, and reaching some outlanding conclusions. Antonio Shillingford and James Coughlan of the Bitstocks TV YouTube channel sat down for a few minutes to discuss exactly what happened, and what the ramifications of the hearing actually are.
In their video, titled Kleiman vs Craig Wright – Getting the Facts Straight, the two begin with the history of the case, just to set the table. The Kleiman family is suing Dr. Craig Wright for what now looks to be $5 billion worth of SegWitCoin (BTC), representing the amount mined up to the point of Dave Kleiman’s death.
The case saw several difficult sticking points. They note that one point of contention was it was hard to pinpoint who mined what, and what blocks should be involved in any kind of full trial.
Now, what came out of Magistrate Judge Reinhart’s court wasn’t a verdict or conclusion, but rather a recommendation to the full court. Simply put, Reinhart recommended that half of the BTC mined up to December 31, 2013 should go to the Kleiman estate, along with half of the intellectual property (IP) rights of Dr. Craig Wright. That means there’s plenty of fight left in this case, as Dr. Wright can dispute the recommendation, and a full trial must still take place.
Now, with Kleiman unfortunately being deceased, Coughlan and Shillingford note that one can interpret this recommendation to mean Reinhart believes only Wright could potentially access the BTC that was mined back in the day, effectively concluding he’s the only living person left of what was once Satoshi Nakamoto.
This has ramifications for both the Bitcoin SV (BSV) and BTC worlds. They note that this isn’t really bad news for BSV, as the technology does not depend at all on the drama of Dr. Wright’s life; it’s been built to work just fine without him. However depending on what the Kleiman’s chose to do with their half of the IP, should they win a full trial, things could get messy in the future.
Any way you look at it though, if you’re a BTC “hodler”, this is bad. Should the Kleiman’s win a full court trial and gain access to $5 billion in BTC, they will have to sell off some of those assets to pay taxes, possibly causing a market crash. The duo hypothesized that to get ahead of that market crash, Dr. Wright may sell some of his BTC assets, while they are still at the maximum possible value, so that he can pursue the development and charity goals he’s previously stated.
There’s still a long way to go before that happens though. A big point of contention in the case so far as been understanding the private trusts involved, and it appears the court, the Kleimans and the Wright camps are still struggling with that. That will have to get figured out before any real conclusion can be reached.
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