Australian scientist who claims he created Bitcoin takes court action to recover $5.7BILLION of the cryptocurrency
- Craig Wright claims he wrote Bitcoin’s foundational technical document
- He claims he lost his ‘key’ to his 111,000 Bitcoins when computer was hacked
- Has launched action to recover $5.7 billion of the cryptocurrency
- A defendant has labelled computer scientist’s claims as ‘bogus’
An Australian computer scientist who alleges he created Bitcoin has launched court action to secure $7.25 billion of the cryptocurrency he says he owns.
In a London High Court case that was promptly labeled “bogus” by one defendant, Craig Wright is demanding that 16 developers of the cryptocurrency allow him to retrieve around 111,000 Bitcoin held at two digital addresses that he does not have private keys for.
Wright alleges he lost the encrypted keys when his home computer network was hacked in February 2020. Police are investigating.
Wright, has alleged since 2016 that he wrote Bitcoin foundational white paper – which first outlined the technology behind the digital assets – under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.
The claim is hotly disputed.
Craig Wright says he wrote Bitcoin’s foundational technical document under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, but lost access to his 111,000 Bitcoin when his computer was hacked.
The Australian, who is autistic and lives in Britain with his wife and two of his three children, alleges in his latest lawsuit that developers have breached their duties to act in the best interests of the rightful owner of globally-traded assets.
‘Our client has always maintained that he created Bitcoin to operate within existing laws and that in the event of loss or theft, where legitimate ownership can be proven, the developers have a duty to ensure recovery,’ said Paul Ferguson, a partner at law firm Ontier, which is representing Wright.
The case is being brought against the developers of four networks – Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), Bitcoin Core (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (ABC) – at addresses in continental Europe, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, a court filing seen by Reuters showed.
One of the defendants, Peter Todd, said he and others were not involved in day-to-day network development, that Wright had not proven his ownership and that Bitcoin should not be subject to “arbitrary seizure.”
‘As this very case shows, if we allow people to get coins seized and reassigned by court order, that puts your coins at risk of being stolen by abuses of those fallible processes,’ he said by email.