A man who claims to have invented the cryptocurrency Bitcoin says he can’t access his fortune in coins, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Craig Wright, an Australian scientist, was at a federal court hearing in West Palm Beach and said he could not follow a court order compelling him to produce a list of all his early bitcoin addresses.
Wright is being accused of intellectual property and Bitcoin theft by his late business partner’s estate. Wright claims he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the online handle for the supposed Bitcoin inventor.
Wright says his business partner Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013, was tasked with covering Wright’s tracks so no one would know he was Satoshi Nakamoto.
He said he stopped working on the cryptocurrency in 2010 because it was too often used for illicit purposes, like drugs and child porn.
“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.
The outcome has some large implications, especially because whoever created Bitcoin holds about $10 billion of it. Wright said he gave Kleiman an important piece of information before Kleiman died, making it almost impossible to track down all the wallets with the cryptocurrency in them. He said the fact that the money is gone doesn’t bother him.
“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.”
Kleiman’s estate claims Wright forged documents and transferred assets to himself after Kleiman died. Wright said that’s hard to do because the holdings are in blind trusts and guarded by numerous trustees.
“I do not manipulate metadata on things for any purpose,” Wright said in court when he was accused of falsifying documents.