Craig Wright, the highly controversial Aussie computer scientist who claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin (BTC), the enigmatic ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, has won a significant victory in his ongoing legal battle.
A United States District Judge has ruled that a previous sanction ordering Craig Wright to give up half of his Bitcoins to the estate of Dave Kleiman will not stand.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart’s delivered the sanction ruling last August in the long-standing court battle over an alleged 1.1 million Bitcoins which were mined by Wright and Kleiman in partnership in the early days of Bitcoin, shortly after Wright claims he invented it.
Order to hand over 50% of Bitcoin was “not proper”
In August 2019, US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ordered Wright to hand over half of his alleged 1.1 million Bitcoins (BTC), that were mined by Wright and Kleiman way back in the first years of Bitcoin.
Judge Reinhart had concluded that Wright had perjured himself by knowingly presenting false documents, and so ordered him to hand over 50% of his Bitcoin (BTC) to Kleiman’s estate. However Bloom, the District Judge, has now decided Reinhart’s sanction was not proper.
Judge Bloom cited the fact that just because Wright had an equal partnership with Kleiman, it doesn’t specifically relate to the issue of a discovering Wright’s Bitcoin (BTC) Holdings, and that the court doesn’t have any way of knowing how much Bitcoin (BTC) Wright owns anyway.
Legal fees and the mystery courier
It wasn’t all good news for Wright though, as Judge Bloom still concluded he had not attempted, in good faith, to comply with discovery orders, and so is still liable to pay the attorney fees incurred by Kleiman’s estate – which, according to a motion filed in November 2019, could be up to $658,000.
Wright now has until 3rd February to inform the court if a “bonded courier” turns up with the final key slice allowing him to access his Bitcoin (BTC) holdings – though many, including the judge it seems, have doubts as to the existence of such a courier.