Bitcoin’s Origin Story Gets a Little More Complex With Possible Lawsuit

March 2, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

The knowledge of just who exactly created bitcoin to begin with, and set off a massive cavalcade of cultural changes that are still playing out to this moment, was once something of a mystery. At least, until May 2016, when Craig Wright claimed to be the man behind Satoshi Nakamoto. Now, Wright may have a bigger problem on his hands: a challenge to his legacy and a $10 billion lawsuit in Florida.

The lawsuit is being staged, reports note, by Dave Kleiman’s brother; Kleiman has been acknowledged by Wright himself as being a figure in bitcoin’s development going back to its earliest days. Wright managed to convince many of his status as bitcoin’s creator—including both Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis—his intent to bring out cryptographic proof of the claim was scuttled after a major media press.

There were earlier reports that suggested that the cryptographic keys that connected Craig Wright to a known online identity of the Satoshi identity were potentially backdated, which suggested a hoax. Where those reports went subsequently, however, is unclear, though the lawsuit suggests some points. The lawsuit accuses Wright of using both backdated documents and forged signatures to land not only billions of dollars in bitcoin, but also intellectual property rights that were held jointly, reports suggest, by both Wright and Kleiman. With this lawsuit, any connection between Wright and Satoshi may be about to buckle.

So with a lawsuit in the wings and a whole lot of doubt on Wright’s story, what does this mean for the rest of us? The likely answer: very little. No matter who Satoshi Nakamoto actually is, his—or maybe even her—produce is let loose upon the world. We have it now, and we’ll likely be using it for some time to come. The value of bitcoin won’t change that much either way, and its usefulness doesn’t change much either.

Granted, that 11-figure lawsuit is going to shake something up one way or another, but for the rest of us, it doesn’t matter much if Satoshi Nakamoto is Craig Wright, Dave Kleiman, or Shirley Temple. The coin is out, and it’s changed the world in a lot of ways.