During the financial crisis of 2008, someone or someones named “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a white paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” This paper is what has started the crytpo and blockchain phenomenon of the century. This paper laid the framework for digital currency which is the key to individual sovereign authority over what we think of as money but this money is valuable without being connected or backed by some central authority like the dollar backed by the United States government or the Yen backed by the Japanese government or the Yuan backed by the Chinese government.
Bitcoin is not money like a coin or a paper like a dollar; its not like a nickel or dime or quarter. Bitcoin is not a company. Bitcoin is not a product or a service. Bitcoin is not even a currency, but bitcoin as a currency, according to Andreas M. Antonopoulos, is the first application of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a way for humans to communicate value to each other without the backing of “government or other third-party intermediaries.” It is a platform of trust without the need of third-party validators or backing. It’s a foreign concept to many of us because we are used to third party validators or intermediaries.
Bitcoin functions from the convergence of 4 technologies: Blockchain, Peer-to-Peer, Cryptography, and proof of work (i.e. a type of consensus mechanism). It’s oh so hard to fully grasp and understand but oh so interesting to learn about. And Bitcoin and all of its iterations are still in their infancy. And the trajectory of where Bitcoin and the convergence of these technologies can take us excites the imagination to all kinds of impossibles becoming possible.
Craig Wright, a computer scientist, claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin. Not many people in the cryptocurrency arena believe that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. But whether Craig Wright is or is not or was one of the original inventors of Bitcoin was not critical to the jury deciding whether the Bitcoin in question belongs all to him or half to his alleged business partner.
Craig Wright and a man named David Kleiman had a business partnership of some kind but whether it was related to the creation of Bitcoin was the question. Back in April of 2013, Kleiman passed away. Kleiman’ s family claims that Kleiman and Wright were very close friends and had co-created Bitcoin through a partnership. Kleiman‘s estate sued Wright for half of the bitcoin as well as some other intellectual property rights.
Wright on the other hand agreed that he and Kleiman were friends and even had a business venture but that their business partnership was unrelated to Bitcoin.
The number of Bitcoin Kleiman’s family is saying Wright owes Kleiman’s estate is one-half of 1.1 million bitcoin. To own 1.1 million bitcoins you would have had to be a very very early adopter of bitcoin or had been around at or closely after the inception of Bitcoin in 2008.
Kleiman died in 2013. In 2013, bitcoin was trading at between $13 to $1100 per bitcoin.
As of my writing of this article today, 1 Bitcoin trades at $51, 303.16; there are 1.1million bitcoin basically on trial in this Florida lawsuit. That valuation per bitcoin makes these 1.1 million bitcoin worth over $50 billion dollars.
Now that’s half a Bitcoin worth fighting for.
But a Florida jury determined that Wright did not owe half of the 1.1 million in bitcoin to Kleiman’s estate.
No one may never know who actually created Bitcoin and maybe that was just what the actual inventor(s) intended. Craig Wright, however, gets to claim sole right to all the 1.1 million in bitcoin.
And hopefully his attorneys had the foresight to take some of their attorneys' fees on bitcoin contingency.
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