Bitcoin “Inventor” Ordered to Pay Additional $43M by Federal Judge



A federal judge has ruled that self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright must pay an additional $43m to the joint venture he co-founded, on top of the $100m he paid last year.

Wright was ordered to pay the additional money as interest on damages after a jury established he illegally took intellectual property belonging to a joint venture with W&K Info Defense Research.

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However, Wright believes that the interest should only have been charged between Oct and Dec 2021, when the IP’s value was at its peak.

Both sides took a measure of victory from the ruling by Florida District Judge Beth Bloom.

Andrés Rivero, Wright’s attorney, said the award was “but a fraction of the amount plaintiffs claimed.” He also added that it did not affect the jury’s finding that Kleiman was not a co-inventor of Bitcoin with Wright.

On the other hand, W&K’s attorneys said in a statement that the additional amount, like the initial principle, “sets a historical precedent in cryptocurrency and blockchain.”

Wright had unlawfully seized intellectual property

Late last year, a jury found that Wright had unlawfully seized intellectual property belonging to a joint venture he had founded with late computer forensics researcher Dave Kleiman. 

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In 2018, Kleiman’s brother sued Wright on behalf of the estate, accusing him of stealing 1.1m Bitcoin, in addition to the intellectual property.

While jurors awarded W&K $100m for Wright’s appropriation of its intellectual property, he was acquitted of theft and fraud.

Additionally, W&K and Kleiman were not entitled to any of the Bitcoin in dispute. Court papers showed that the Bitcoin had been mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, author of its whitepaper and inventor, whom Wright has claimed to be on many occasions.

While Kleiman had claimed the assets were valued at over $11bn, in today’s money 1.1 million Bitcoin is worth roughly $43bn.

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