Craig Wright Sues Bitcoin Devs to Retrieve £3.5B in ‘Stolen’ BTC

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In Brief
  • Software engineer, Craig Wright, has begun legal action against several Bitcoin core developers.

  • The suit claims those involved stole over £3.5 billion worth of Bitcoin from his personal holdings.

  • Wright is known in the crypto space for claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin's creator.

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Craig Wright is suing several crypto developers he claims stole nearly £3.5 billion worth of bitcoin (BTC) from him in a series of hacks.

Another Case Begins

Wright, an infamous software developer, has begun a legal case against several leading crypto developers to recover the ~99,100 BTC ($4.94 billion).

The suit alleges that private keys belonging to Wright were stolen during an attack on a computer network hosted by the software engineer. In this case, however, no details of the hack became public.

The evidence presented by Wright came from a letter his law firm, Ontier, sent to several Bitcoin Core developers. According to the letters, hackers took encryption keys to a file containing two private keys for the disputed BTC.

Wright’s law firm argues that those responsible for the Bitcoin blockchain have a duty to do all they can to avoid “illegitimate transactions.”

The developers in question include teams from Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Cash ABC (ABC), and Bitcoin SV (BSV).

Real or Fake

Wright is notorious in the cryptocurrency community for laying claim to the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. In 2016, the Australian software developer made claims offering evidence of his involvement in the early-stage development of the leading cryptocurrency.

Unsurprisingly, this sparked a ferocious backlash from the community, with many disputing Wright’s allegations. Wright, however, did nothing to win any favor.

Over the years, he has staked a claim to BTC lost in the Mt. Gox hack and openly disparaged the reputation of the confirmed early BTC developer, David Kleiman.

As a result, he is probably the most investigated individual in crypto. His doctoral thesis was examined for plagiarism, and his company has become the target of multiple attacks.

Satoshi Uncovered?

Nevertheless, Wright continues to claim he is Bitcoin’s creator, using this as the basis for several legal actions. In January, Wright threatened legal action against websites hosting Bitcoin’s whitepaper, claiming intellectual property theft.

Moreover, following calls for him to prove he owned wallets belonging to Satoshi, Wright fought back in court to prevent the public from examining his personal addresses.

For now, and despite Wright’s best efforts, Satoshi’s identity remains unknown. Whilst some argue his discovery may be a good thing, the overwhelming majority of the community seemingly think otherwise.

To some extent, one could also argue it might actually prevent any identification. Wright has a lot of proving to do, and this case is just the latest addition to that test.


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Emmanuel entered the cryptocurrency space in 2013 as a cryptocurrency broker. He is a crypto-enthusiast, entrepreneur, and investor, who has built and led several projects and communities in the space. He is CEO and co-founder of Provence Intelligence, a boutique crypto-consultancy firm that aims to bridge the gap between the cryptocurrency and DLT space and the traditional world. Interests include DeFi, non-blockchain DLTs, and the synthetic derivatives space.

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