The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto — a pseudonym for the legendary, still-unidentified creator of Bitcoin — could soon be revealed in a court case in Florida, according to a report.
The family of deceased computer scientist David Kleiman contends he created the cryptocurrency along with Craig Wright under the Satoshi Nakamoto name. And Kleiman’s heirs are suing to get their half of a Bitcoin stash worth nearly $70 billion that’s under the famous pseudonym, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Wright, a 51-year-old, Australian-born tech entrepreneur living in London, claims he created Bitcoin on his own — a contention that has drawn widespread skepticism in the crypto community. But heirs to Kleiman, who died in 2013, argue that he created Bitcoin alongside Wright — and they say they have evidence that proves the two men were partners.
“We believe the evidence will show there was a partnership to create and mine over one million bitcoin,” Vel Freedman, a lawyer for the Kleiman family, told the paper.
“We believe the court will find there’s nothing to indicate or record that they were in a partnership,” said Andrés Rivero, a lawyer for Wright.
Whether they were partners or not, for many Bitcoin enthusiasts the only proof that either of them has a genuine claim would come in the form of Kleiman’s family producing a password or private key for the digital wallet in Satoshi Nakamoto’s name, which holds more than 1 million bitcoins.
The trove has never been touched, and the fact that neither Wright nor Kleiman’s family has produced a private key has kept many skeptical about both of their claims.
The identity of Bitcoin’s founder has been a question since the digital currency’s inception in October 2008 when a person, or group of people, released a nine-page white paper introducing the new cryptocurrency under the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym.
According to Kleiman’s family, he helped Wright author the white paper and launched Bitcoin with him, thereby entitling him to more than half a million bitcoins, according to their suit.