A Florida jury found that Craig Wright, who claims to be the founder of Bitcoin, did not owe half of the $50 billion worth of bitcoins he claims to own to the estate of his former business partner.
The verdict appears to support Wright's claim that he is the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto,” a name that means “at the center of," who founded Bitcoin.
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"This has been a remarkably good outcome, and I feel completely vindicated," he said after the verdict. "My original invention is coming back. I'm not going anywhere. I'm here for the long term."
Wright was in court because the family of his former business partner, David Kleiman, claimed the two co-created Bitcoin and had an oral agreement. Kleiman died in 2013, so the family argued that it was entitled to half of the 1.1 million bitcoins Nakamoto originally mined.
The jury found that Wright owed $100 million in intellectual property rights to a W&K Info Defense Research, a joint business between Wright and Kleiman, the Associated Press reported.
Wright testified that "at most," Kleiman helped him edit the grammar on a paper attributed to Nakamoto that created Bitcoin, according to CoinDesk. He was adamant that they were not business partners on Bitcoin.
In theory, the 1.1 million bitcoins, thought to be owned by Nakamoto, could only be owned by an individual associated with Bitcoin from its beginning. But the ruling means that Wright will not have to produce the alleged 1.1 million bitcoins in question, which will likely keep alive the debate over whether or not Wright is Nakamoto.
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In May, Wright filed a lawsuit attempting to retrieve roughly 111,000 bitcoins — roughly $5.4 billion — he does not have the private keys to, the Guardian reported. He claimed he lost the keys when his computer was hacked.
Wright first came forward in 2016 as the founder of Bitcoin. He previously said he would donate a large amount of his Bitcoin fortune to charity if he were to win at trial, according to the Associated Press.