Self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig Wright is in settlement talks with the estate of Dave Kleiman, which is suing him in a bombshell $10 billion lawsuit.
Both the Kleiman estate and Wright have asked the judge for a 30-day extension of all case deadlines to facilitate their settlement talks, according to a September 17 filing in Florida federal court.
“The parties have been engaged in extensive settlement negotiations and have reached a non-binding agreement in principle to settle this matter,” according to the joint motion.
Both the Kleiman estate and Craig Wright underscored that “reaching a final binding settlement agreement” is in both of their best interests.
An unexpected turn of events
The ten billion-dollar lawsuit was first launched over a year ago when Ira Kleiman, Dave’s brother, sued the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin for allegedly defrauding the Kleiman family of their rightful claim to 1.1 million bitcoins following Dave Kleiman’s death in April 2013. Those bitcoins are now worth more than $11 billion.
On August 27, Judge Bruce E. Reinhart recommended that 50 percent of Wright’s Bitcoin holdings mined prior to December 31, 2013 be awarded to the estate of Wright’s former business partner Dave Kleiman.
In his ruling, the judge slammed Wright, saying he had lied, committed perjury, and falsified documents to hide the bitcoin stash that he and Dave Kleiman had allegedly mined together.
Three days after Reinhart’s ruling, Wright indicated that he planned to challenge it in court. It seems he might have had a change of heart.
This isn’t surprising since both Judge Reinhart and federal district judge Beth Bloom (who’s presiding over the lawsuit) said they found Wright “not credible” in a number of instances.
Mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto remains
Wright has repeatedly claimed that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. Proponents of Wright, such as Calvin Ayre, used the lawsuit as evidence that he was part of the team that created Bitcoin.
Additionally, the Kleiman estate acknowledged in its lawsuit that Craig Wright and/or Dave Kleiman could be Satoshi and could have invented Bitcoin when they started working on it in 2008.
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And according to records from the 2018 lawsuit: “It is unclear whether Craig, Dave, and/or both created Bitcoin. It is undeniable, however, that Craig and Dave were involved in Bitcoin from its inception and that they both accumulated a vast wealth of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013.”
But last month Judge Reinhart made no judgment to whether Craig Wright is Satoshi. And with settlement talks now in motion, he likely never will. The search for Satoshi continues.