Some Clarifications After Kleiman v Wright Day 2

The second day of the Kleiman v Wright civil trial has ended, and the third day is about to begin. While much has already been said, new evidences presented, arguments made and refuted, and three witnesses finished giving their testimonies, there are still some essential aspects about this historic Bitcoin trial where up to $65 billion is at stake that need to be clarified, especially for those who have not followed the events leading to this day.

First, there is a need to definitively state that Kleiman v Wright is all about determining if Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous author of the Bitcoin white paper, is Craig Wright alone or is a partnership between Wright and his friend David Kleiman. At this point, there is no doubt that Wright is Satoshi. The multi-billion-dollar question is, “Does the pseudonym represent only one or is it a partnership between two people?”

Ira Kleiman, David Kleiman’s brother, filed the lawsuit as an attempt to demand up to 50% of the 1.1 million BTC, worth about $70 billion at present, that Wright owns. The plaintiff is asserting that W&K Info Defense Research, LLC was a firm partnered by Wright and David Kleiman, which was used to program and promote Bitcoin, as well as mine the 1.1 million BTC in Wright’s possession, and that Kleiman was cheated of his BTC by Wright.

On the other side, the defense is arguing that there is no operating agreement that can act as legal evidence that David Kleiman is a business partner in W&K and that the actual partner in that firm is not Craig Wright, but his then-wife Lynn Wright. Kleiman and Craig Wright are very good friends, and they did co-author a cyber security white paper, but it was not the Bitcoin white paper that was first published in 2008.

“Craig’s people are again, standing up tall, ‘We’re here to work. We’re here to tell the truth, and the truth is aggressive, the truth is maybe inconvenient, but it is the truth. And ultimately, there is no evidence of a partnership. W&K was not incorporated until 2011, and that’s the end of the stpry. Nobody ever said anything about W&K before this certain date,’” Kurt Wuckert Jr., one of four journalists allowed to be inside the courtroom to cover the trial, summed up the defense’s arguments.

And last, it is also important to note that Lynn Wright has a separate lawsuit against Ira Kleiman. Even if Ira Kleiman wins this case, the BTC settlement will be handed over to W&K as part of its assets. Kleiman will not be able to get his hands on a single BTC unless Wright, the official fiduciary partner of W&K, distributes it. And this will be determined in the probate case that will happen after this Kleiman v Wright trial is over.

Day 2 of Kleiman v Wright has seen alleged Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos being discredited by the defense as being “just a well-paid public speaker” who has not mined a single Bitcoin, David Kleiman’s best friend and actual business partner Patrick Paige admitting to Kleiman not mentioning Bitcoin to him at all when they supposedly talked about everything; and lead BTC developer Gavin Andresen stating in his deposition that he thinks the proof that Craig Wright is Satoshi that the former has shown to him in the past may be fraudulent.

According to Judge Beth Bloom, the historic Bitcoin trial will end before Thanksgiving; but after the second day, the trial could still swing both ways. There is still no way to actually predict the outcome of this dramatic courtroom battle.

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