The Kleiman vs Wright lawsuit has kicked off in Miami, with an interesting twist right from the start.
Kleiman’s family lawyer Vel Freedman in a recent interview with Wall Street Journal claimed that they are in possession of physical evidence that would prove Bitcoin was co-created by two individuals revealing that Kleiman always carried a military-grade thumbnail that could contain key information regarding the case.
Ira Kleiman, the plaintiff, claims his late brother David – a fellow computer expert and longtime friend of Wright’s – was the co-creator of Bitcoin and is entitled to a share of a trove of bitcoin currently valued at $66 billion.
Kleiman vs Wright
The court battle is for $64 billion worth of Bitcoin stored in a wallet belonging to pseudo-anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright claims to be the sole creator and therefore the owner of the wallet while the Kleiman family claims it was co-created by both the business partners.
“We believe the evidence will show there was a partnership to create and mine over one million Bitcoin,”Vel Freedman, Kleiman family lawyer
Craig Wright has been called “Faketoshi” by many in the Bitcoin community for his obsession (but so far inability) to prove he is the real creator of Bitcoin.
The crypto community believes all he has to do is sign the original wallet with the private key, however despite Wright claiming at the start of the lawsuit that he would produce the private key soon, to date he has failed to do so. If he was to do this simple task, then the whole charade would be over in an instant, and Wright would finally be able to claim the mantle of Satoshi.
But he hasn’t… and this is the strongest evidence yet that, whilst he may well have been involved in the creation of Bitcoin, he was not working alone.
Plaintiff Kleiman takes the stand – and Claims there are 2 Satoshis
Ira Kleiman told the jury that he first met Wright in February 2014, about a year after his brother’s death, when Dave Kleiman’s friend Patrick Paige forwarded Ira an email from Wright (dated Feb. 12, 2014) discussing their alleged partnership to mine bitcoin.
A day after receiving Paige’s email, Ira reached out to Wright asking for more information about his brother’s purported involvement in the creation of bitcoin:
“Can I ask you if Dave played a part in writing the original PDF under the Asian alias?” Ira Kleiman wrote to Wright, in an apparent reference to Nakamoto’s seminal bitcoin white paper. “I have no interest in public attention from it. I just think that it would be cool if David played a part in creating something so incredible.”
The court then heard about two months of communication between Ira Kleiman and Wright, where the two discussed the role Wright claimed he and Dave played in the bitcoin’s creation.
“I had math skills and some coding that frankly was crud (better than some, but really),” Wright told Ira Kleiman in an email dated March 7, 2014. “Dave could edit his way through hell and back. I am not a team player. I am a terrible boss and a slave driver, but with Dave I was far more … Satoshi was a team.”
But in April 2014, the relationship between Ira Kleinman and Wright appears to have begun to sour.
Ira Kleiman showed the jury an email he received on April 15, 2014, from Andrew Miller, an employee of the Australian Tax Office, about Dave Kleiman’s estate.
Ira Kleinman told the jury that, through Miller’s email, he learned for the first time that Wright had sued W&K in an Australian court and that Wright told Australian authorities he had paid Dave Kleinman’s estate 40 million Australian dollars to “fund the projects” of W&K.
In the email, Miller asked Ira Kleiman a series of questions about W&K, including whether he was aware that Wright had taken legal action against the company in Australia, or that Dave Kleinman’s estate had purportedly received a bond worth 40 million Australian dollars from Wright to fund W&K’s projects.
Miller’s email also said there was a settlement agreement for the transfer of property from W&K to an entity owned by Wright, and that a then-21-year-old Vietnamese woman named Uyen Nguyen had been appointed director of W&K. Miller asked Kleiman if he had instructed Nguyen to accept the settlement agreement.
Kleiman told the jury that, at the time of Miller’s email, he was not aware of W&K and had never met or heard of Nguyen. He also said that the estate had received no money from Wright or any related entities.
On April 23, 2014, Kleiman reached out to Wright by email for answers. ”I feel like there are discrepancies in the contracts between you and W&K, such as Dave’s signature, his resignation, transfer of all accountable value, Uyen’s role of director, BAA projects, etc…I do believe we need to remedy the lopsided contractual exchange,” Kleiman wrote.
“From these documents, it appears clear to see a systematic transfer of assets out of W&K back to you. Up until April 15, I was a complete believer in what you were telling me,” Kleiman wrote in another email to Wright. “But you never mentioned any of the actions you were taking against W&K prior to contacting us.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs showed the jury a contract allegedly signed by Dave Kleiman on April 2, 2013 – 24 days before his death – that gave Wright control of W&K’s assets.
The signature shown to the jury – crisp and slanted – differed vastly from prior signatures of Dave Kleiman’s, such as the one shown from his will, where he signed with a large, looping “D” followed by a scribble.
“That’s not my brother’s signature,” Ira Kleiman told the jury, referring to the signature on the contract.
Later that month, on April 29, 2014, Miller wrote another email to Kleiman, asking him to confirm the veracity of a contract from March 2014 filed with the ATO by Wright.
“It suggests that you acquired $10,500,000 worth of shares in an Australian company ‘Coin Exch’ Pty Ltd. Were you aware of this, and if so, in what form did you pay this share of capital?”
Kleiman told the jury he never bought shares of Coin Exchange.