Craig Wright, the Australian scientist who claims he created Bitcoin, said at a federal court hearing in West Palm Beach, Florida, that he can’t comply with an order to produce a list of all his early Bitcoin addresses, and may not even be ever able to access the coins.
Wright is defending himself against charges that he stole Bitcoins and intellectual property worth billions from a late business partner. The case could potentially help shed light on whether he really is Satoshi Nakamoto -- something that many in the cryptocurrency community doubt.
At times choking back tears, Wright told the judge that he is Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the digital token’s creator in 2009, and that Dave Kleiman, whose estate is suing him, was tasked with covering up Wright’s tracks, so people wouldn’t find out he was Satoshi.
Wright said he decided to stop working on Bitcoin in 2010, the result of concern that the token was increasingly being used to trade drugs and child pornography. “I brought in Dave because he was a friend and he knew who I was and he was a forensic expert, and I wanted to wipe everything I had to do with Bitcoin from the public record,” he said.
Billions are potentially riding on the outcome. The creator likely owns about $10 billion Bitcoin based on current prices, casting great sway over the market. Bitcoin SV, an offshoot that Wright supports, is valued at about $3.9 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. Were Wright’s reputation to take a hit, this coin could get hurt as well.
“My wife and I consider it’s too much money," Wright said. "I’ve got enough now… and we worry what that amount of money would do to the kids." Read more