With the years’ long Kleiman vs. Wright trial set to reach its climax in the next week or so, observers are ready for something dramatic to happen. BTC over the past week has hit all-time high prices on trading markets, raising the monetary amounts at stake. BSV and BCH, along with most other assets, have risen too. There has already been strong evidence made available in the Satoshi Trial in Florida so far that Dr. Craig Wright is creator of Bitcoin. However, should Wright produce compelling evidence during his defense which is set to start next week that he is indeed Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto (and holder of around 1.1 million Bitcoins), the implications for Bitcoin will be far greater.
Already, far more people are paying attention to the case. What started as a curiosity featuring a notorious BTC bogeyman and his deceased friend’s brother over unknown amounts of money has turned into a spectacle. The mainstream media is now paying attention to the Satoshi trial in Florida, and both spectators and reporters have had trouble getting a seat in the public gallery.
Whether the past week’s “crypto bull run” is a naturally occurring market phenomenon or a deliberate attempt to create a diversion, everyone is watching the Kleiman vs Wright trial—even if they won’t admit it publicly.
There’s reason to suspect it’s a diversion. Tether reportedly injected another US$3 billion worth of USDT into the digital asset market in early November, repeating an action that has often foreshadowed a price pump.
The monetary value
The suit began all the way back in 2018. As we pointed out previously, the value of the Bitcoins in question has risen dramatically since that time, the BTC value alone going from US$242 million at the time of Dave Kleiman’s death in 2013 to $7.1 billion by the time his brother Ira filed suit against Dr. Wright. At the end of October that had gone to $66 billion, and over the past week BTC went on to reach all-time highs. At the time of writing, it’s $67,000 per BTC, making the 1.1 million “Satoshi Coins” worth around US$73.7 billion.
Dave Kleiman’s estate (represented by Ira) is seeking half of that. If the Satoshi Coins haven’t moved since August 2017 (and by most accounts, they haven’t) the total would contain an additional ~$208 million value in BSV and ~$770 million in BCH.
The bigger question
But what happens if Dr. Wright proves he’s Satoshi? There are also signs the Bitcoin world is readying itself for that possibility too. But is the market really ready to hear such news?
The very nature of Bitcoin, and the public perception of who represents it best, could shift.
As per an independent research report put out by top 5 Canadian consulting firm MNP, only BSV represents “Satoshi’s Vision” for Bitcoin, and only BSV runs on the original Bitcoin protocol. BTC, with transaction rules altered in 2017, is therefore a “fork” of Bitcoin, not Bitcoin itself.
The BTC world has scoffed at this claim. And they would continue to happily ignore it… unless Satoshi Nakamoto himself—Dr. Craig Wright—backs it up. Even if BTC’s narrative shifts to “Satoshi’s identity doesn’t matter” the wider world will be curious to hear what Satoshi has to say.
And Dr. Wright says BSV is Bitcoin, while BTC is not. He also says Bitcoin is meant for far greater uses in the world than speculative trading, which is about all BTC is useful for. These are topics that will likely gain traction in the far larger proportion of the world’s economy that doesn’t trade BTC.
What likely makes the BTC-dependent more nervous is the possibility that their nemesis may actually be one of the largest Bitcoin holders, and one that’s looking to sell. Dr. Wright has said that, if he wins the case, he’s willing to donate an amount potentially worth US$5 billion to Veterans’ Affairs in honor of his friend Dave Kleiman. He has also previously pledged to use his BTC holdings to fund other charitable endeavors.
Even those who vehemently disbelieve Dr. Wright could be Satoshi (a far smaller group than it would appear to social media watchers) are keeping an eye on the Kleiman/Wright trial. So far, it hasn’t been the “slam dunk” they were hoping for. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, Ira Kleiman and his team haven’t delivered any killer blows against Dr. Wright’s claims. Nor are they trying to, since Kleiman’s claim essentially assumes Dr. Wright has Satoshi’s coins anyway.
This probably comes as a surprise to those force-fed a diet of tweets, “news” articles and socially engineered Reddit posts over the past few years that paint Dr. Wright’s claims as laughable or ridiculous, or easily debunked forgeries. Most people outside the BSV world don’t read every piece of Craig Wright news that comes along or dismiss them without paying attention. These people are taken aback when they find out there’s a lot more to this story than they realized, and that it could have an impact on them.
It’s hard to put a monetary value on what the impact might be, or on whom it might fall. But if and when it comes, there will be some big changes in the Bitcoin world.
CoinGeek will feature Kurt Wuckert Jr. in daily recap coverage which will be livestreamed on a daily basis at 6:30 p.m. EST on our YouTube Channel.
Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.
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