The credibility of Craig Wright – the Australian tech entrepreneur who controversially claims to be bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto – has taken another blow.
After a list of bitcoin addresses Wright had provided as being his holdings in an ongoing court case were briefly and “inadvertently” made public by plaintiffs on May 21, 145 of the addresses were used to sign a public message both calling Wright a “fraud” and making it plain that he does not in fact own or control them.
The court case was brought by Ira Kleiman, the brother of Wright’s former business partner, David Kleiman, and seeks half of 1.1 million bitcoin (worth around $9.6 billion) the two allegedly mined in the early days of the cryptocurrency, as well as intellectual property. The case hinges on whether Wright can prove he has the keys to the trove of cryptocurrency.
While the list of addresses was quickly resealed by the Kleiman legal team, it still exists on Court Listener and looks to have provided a means for another individual to identify a number of addresses they in fact hold the keys to. That, in turn, enabled them to sign a message with the bitcoin keys. It reads:
"Craig Steven Wright is a liar and a fraud. He doesn't have the keys used to sign this message. The Lightning Network is a significant achievement. However, we need to continue work on improving on-chain capacity. Unfortunately, the solution is not to just change a constant in the code or to allow powerful participants to force out others. We are all Satoshi."
Some of the many addresses in the court filing published on Court Listener are indeed used to sign the message.
The message was first brought to wider attention on Reddit, with the claim that the addresses are for bitcoin mined in 2009 and that have not been moved since.
BitMEX Research tweeted it had taken “a random sample of 20” of the addresses and found they did not match the holdings of the “dominant” early bitcoin miner in 2009, who many think was Satoshi. The firm’s earlier research on this is to be found here.
Wright had claimed in court his billions in bitcoin were held for him in so-called Tulip Trusts, but that he could not prove his control of the keys due to attorney-client privilege. He has been accused by the judge of “abusing” client-attorney privilege to withhold documents and “obfuscate” proceedings elsewhere in the case.
Last August, the judge also found Wright had argued in bad faith, perjured himself and admitted false evidence.
In another filing on May 21, the Kleiman team filed an omnibus motion for sanctions against Wright, claiming: “Wright has engaged in a sustained pattern of perjury, forged evidence, misleading filings, and obstruction – this included submission of false evidence which, if not unmasked, could have resulted in Plaintiffs being deprived of their day in court.”
Saying the abuses are “undeniably directed at the singular goal of making it impossible for Plaintiffs to prevail at trial,” defendants seek sanctions and a default judgement against Wright.
Wright, for his part, is hoping to bring new expert witnesses into court, one of whom is said to be a “licensed clinical psychologist who has studied Autism Spectrum Disorder.”
If the judge rules in favor of Wright on this matter, Dr. Ami Klin “will testify that he has diagnosed Dr. Wright with Autism Spectrum Disorder with high intellectual skills. Dr. Klin’s testimony will help the jury understand how this disability affects behavior.”
Another of Wright’s experts would testify on whether David Kleiman “had the requisite skills and experience to have written or significantly have contributed to the original Bitcoin software application released in 2009.” The Kleiman team is seeking to block the appearances of the four expert witnesses.