Craig Wright

Kleiman v Wright trial verdict: Does it mean Craig Wright is Satoshi?

Finally, the Bitcoin Trial of the Century is over. Dr. Craig Wright was cleared of six of seven civil charges, and for anyone who paid close attention with an impartial mind, he was confirmed as the sole creator of Bitcoin.

I went into this case believing that Dr. Wright was at least one-half of Satoshi Nakamoto and open-minded to the idea that his friend David Kleiman might have been a partner. After following every element of the trial closely, I’m convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Dr. Wright is the one and only inventor of Bitcoin.

While BTC maximalists will scream through gritted teeth that the trial proved no such thing—in reality, it did, and I’d like to explain why to readers who may be unfamiliar with the details of the case.

The trial was based on the premise that Dr. Wright was at least half of Satoshi

Ira Kleiman’s lawyers went into this case arguing that Dr. Wright was at least half of Satoshi Nakamoto. What they hoped to prove was that the late David Kleiman was the other half. They failed to prove this, as evidenced by the jury throwing out counts of fraud, civil theft, unjust enrichment, and breach of fiduciary duty. Instead, they found that Dr. Wright should pay W&K Info Defense Research LLC, a company in which David Kleiman owned a minority stake, $100 million on the charge of conversion related to intellectual property.

So, if even the people suing Dr. Wright went into this case arguing that he invented Bitcoin but attempted to prove he did so as part of a partnership, why do so many people still refuse to accept it? That’s down to politics, denial, and financial interests. Some people will never accept it, but it doesn’t matter because the legal record now clearly shows that Dr. Wright alone invented Bitcoin. Unless someone steps forward and proves otherwise, that’s the way it shall remain.

What evidence did we see that Dr. Wright invented Bitcoin?

During the trial, both in the early stages and the jury trial itself, plenty of solid evidence was presented that Dr. Wright invented Bitcoin. I found the following evidence the most compelling:

  • Gavin Andresen, the original lead developer of Bitcoin who had personal interactions with Satoshi, testified under oath that he still believes Dr. Wright is the man behind the pseudonym. He stated that Dr. Wright signed several early blocks of his choosing with Satoshi Nakamoto keys on computers he was convinced had not been tampered with. While Andresen expressed that he felt “bamboozled” by Dr. Wright’s public blog post, he maintained that the private key signings were “more likely than not” legitimate.
  • Dr. Wright’s uncle, RAAF Wingman Donald Lynam, testified that his nephew had shown him early copies of the Bitcoin white paper and that he had run an early node when Bitcoin was being set up. He stated that he was sure the paper he saw was referencing Bitcoin, even though it wasn’t called Bitcoin at that stage, and went into details about his nephew’s childhood. His deposition was a fascinating look into Dr. Wright’s formative years, which included a strong relationship with his grandfather, a cryptographer during World War II, and a lifelong interest in the types of technical subjects one would need to understand in order to create Bitcoin.
  • The defense also produced hand-written meeting minutes from Dr. Wright’s former employer BDO from when he worked as an auditor, in which he described his plans to create and launch an electronic cash system. At this time, Dr. Wright referred to the system as TimeChain, but it’s evident that he was talking about Bitcoin before it was released.

I was a little disappointed that Dr. Wright’s lawyers stopped him from producing further evidence, such as the multiple 2008 receipts, which I suspect to be the receipts for purchasing Bitcoin.org. Then again, these are the same lawyers who just helped Dr. Wright beat virtually every accusation thrown at him, so who am I to question their strategy? I accept that there is likely a good reason why we didn’t get to see this evidence at this time, and I look forward to seeing it in the COPA lawsuit.

The verdict is in—Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto

The Kleiman v Wright trial did not directly answer whether Dr. Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto, as this was implied from the outset. Instead, it was about whether or not there was a partnership between Dr. Wright and David Kleiman to launch Bitcoin, with the plaintiff producing forged emails in an attempt to imply as much. The jury didn’t buy it, and they found that Dr. Wright owed $0 to the estate of his late friend. However, the trial produced yet more evidence that the Australian polymath—who has a deeper understanding of Bitcoin than anyone else—was Satoshi Nakamoto.

We’ve already heard individuals like Stefan Matthews tell the story of how they interacted with Dr. Wright in the early days, and we’ve also seen them subsequently align their careers with him, giving them serious credibility as people with skin in the game. We’ve also seen Dr. Wright repeatedly demonstrate knowledge about Bitcoin that nobody else has, such as his early revelation that Bitcoin Script is Turing complete, which begs the question as to how he knows this sort of thing if he is merely a Satoshi pretender.

When we combine this pre-existing evidence with the further testimony and the BDO meeting minutes proving Dr. Wright was discussing Bitcoin before its release, it becomes undeniable to all but the most hard-nosed doubters that he is the inventor of Bitcoin. 

While the skeptics and truth-twisters will never be convinced, they don’t matter in the end. Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system has been restored under the guidance of its inventor. Now that a jury in a federal court has dismissed the allegations of fraud, theft, and other underhandedness, the adoption of BSV will only speed up, and Dr. Wright will take his rightful place in history.

The mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto has been officially solved. It’s time to move on and start building the future on Bitcoin SV.

Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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