Photo of Craig Wright

The view from the gallery: A Kleiman v Wright special report

The excitement hasn’t quite gone down from Dr. Craig S. Wright’s spectacular win against Ira Kleiman at a Florida court in December. It may have just been one of several legal battles for Dr. Wright, but it is one of the most crucial related to his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

With proceedings lasting over a month, the so-called “Bitcoin Trial of the Century” did not disappoint. And there was no better view than the one from the gallery where CoinGeek reporters watched the action happen. In a special report, Kurt Wuckert Jr. takes us through what he calls the “surreal experience.”

“If Craig wasn’t Satoshi Nakamoto, he’s been pretending to be Satoshi Nakamoto since 2006 and has done nothing but that,” Wuckert said, quoting a Twitter observer during one of his daily livestreams late into the trial. “It doesn’t make sense for him to not be Satoshi.”

The case itself did not specifically aim to determine whether or not Dr. Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto, both sides agreed that he is the inventor of Bitcoin. Instead, the question was whether or not he and Dave Kleiman were partners in the creation of Bitcoin. CoinGeek’s Associate Editor for North America, Patrick Thompson, also observed the proceedings from the gallery, and he says the evidence spoke for itself. Or rather, the lack of evidence did.

“They’re trying to prove a partnership and there’s no written statement, no email correspondence,” Thompson said. “It’s not something they can show, because it’s something that doesn’t exist.”

Thompson adds that “there’s no way to walk out of there and not think that [Craig Wright] either is Satoshi or he was very early and played this crucial role in getting bitcoin off the ground.”

In the end, the jury agreed with this conclusion, voting in favor of Dr. Wright on all but one count on the verdict sheet. An overwhelming win, for sure, and a thrilling outcome for the defense after the jury spent long days deliberating.

“Beating a fraud allegation is absolutely critical,” said defense lawyer Andrés Rivero of Rivero Mestre LLP. He adds that it was significant that the jury found there was no partnership, and that Dr. Wright was telling the truth all along.

For Dr. Wright, there will be more legal battles to come, but this one, at least, has ended in his victory.

“And each victory we get takes us closer to a world where digital cash is used,” Dr. Wright said. “Not a global casino but real digital cash where people in third world countries can make money, hold money, and trade.”

Get the whole story from Kurt Wuckert Jr. in his special report on CoinGeek’s YouTube channel.

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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