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Australian businessman Craig Wright, who claims to have invented Bitcoin, was ordered by the US district court in Florida Tuesday to fork over half of his cryptocurrency stash, worth at least $5 billion, and half of his intellectual property, to the family of his former business partner, American programmer Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013.
Kleimanm’s family sued Wright in 2018, claiming Wright transferred the ownership of around 1.1 million Bitcoins and a technology company to himself following Kleiman’s death, despite the fact that the currency and intellectual property were jointly owned by the two men.
During the court ruling, Wright indicated that he is unable to access his bitcoin bounty because he encrypted it, and placed it into a blind trust in 2011 after becoming worried about Bitcoin’s use for illegal activities. Wright also said he is unable to access his bitcoins until a bonded courier delivers a necessary key in 2020.
“During his testimony, Dr. Wright’s demeanor did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth. When it was favorable to him, Dr. Wright appeared to have an excellent memory and a scrupulous attention to detail. Otherwise, Dr. Wright was belligerent and evasive,” Judge Bruce Reinhart said in his ruling Tuesday, cited by The Guardian. Reinhart also referred to Wright’s story as “inconceivable,” also noting that his claims defy “common sense and real-life experience.”
In 2016, Wright claimed that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used by the pseudonymous group that invented Bitcoin. However, Wright’s claims have been challenged by many experts.