The Craig Wright v Ira Kleiman legal tussle took a rather interesting turn on Monday after the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ordered Wright to transfer 50% of the Bitcoin he had mined before Dec 31, 2013, to the Kleiman Estate.
This is a significant setback for Wright, the self-proclaimed creator of Bitcoin, as he now has to part ways with 500,000 Bitcoin tokens. That number amounts to a little over $5 billion, in which Wright may not even have.
3 Likely Scenarios Wright May Have to Face
In all likelihood, Wright now has his back against the wall given that one of the three following scenarios is true:
- He is not Satoshi and never had access to the 500k Bitcoins in question, to begin with. Failure to comply with the order, however, could mean further legal trouble for Wright. This seems to be the most likely scenario.
- Even if he was actively involved in the creation of Bitcoin, Wright currently doesn’t have access to those early Bitcoins he and his former business partner David Kleiman, jointly mined. (Wright claims of the 1 million Bitcoin the duo mined, roughly 800k belongs to him.) This leads to the same outcome as the first scenario.
- If Wright doesn’t receive any immediate relief from the court, which he probably won’t, the plaintiff can still go after him by demanding a cash-equivalent to the 500k in Bitcoin.
For those out of the loop, the case dates back to 2018 when Ira Kleiman, the brother of the late David Kleiman, sued Wright claiming that he was trying to fraudulently transfer a large volume of Bitcoin legally owned by David to his own name.
However, if Wright can comply with the court order and pay Bitcoin worth $5 billion to the Kleiman Estate, it could potentially cause the asset to tank. That’s because Ira Kleiman, upon receiving the $5 billion, will have to pay a 40% tax under Florida’s inheritance laws.
That means Kleiman will have to pay nearly $2 billion in tax. According to Wright, Kleiman is unlikely to be able to pay such a huge amount in cash. This could mean that the Kleiman Estate will be selling off a considerable chunk of the newly acquired Bitcoin stash.
A Potential Bitcoin Tank?
Wright, in his conversation with the Modern Consensus, added that such a chain of events would inevitably cause Bitcoin to tank — which, he says, was never his intention.
Wright further taunted that such a scenario could have been avoided if everyone was not so keen to hate on him.
“Everyone wants to hate on me. This is the result. If you’d left me alone, I would have sat on my fucking money and you wouldn’t have to worry. And the biggest whale ever has to dump because he has to pay tax. […..] Trust me. This is not an outcome I would have liked. I own a lot of BTC.”
Do you think this could very well be the line for Wright’s seemingly bogus claims that he is the original creator of Bitcoin? How seriously do you take his claim that he will be complying with the court order and pay 500k Bitcoin to Kleiman? Let us know in the comments below.
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