Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin, appeared at a hearing on Friday where he told a Florida court that he may have lost access to his Bitcoin fortune. Wright was called to testify, defending himself against charges brought by his former business partner’s estate that he stole billions in Bitcoin and intellectual property.
Bloomberg reports that during his appearance at a federal court in West Palm Beach, Wright reaffirmed that he’s the creator of Bitcoin but failed to comply with the court’s order: to produce a list of all his early Bitcoin addresses.
Wright’s critics who doubt that he is Satoshi Nakamoto have pointed out that the creator of Bitcoin would have access to the addresses and would be able to move the early-mined Bitcoin as proof.
The Australian scientist says he entrusted his former partner, David Kleiman, who died in 2013, with a critical piece of information. Since his passing, Wright claims he is unable to comply with the court’s order and says he may never be able to access the Bitcoin, currently valued at an estimated $10 billion.
“At times choking back tears, Wright told the judge that he is Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the cryptocurrency’s creator in 2009, and that Dave Kleiman, whose estate is suing him, was tasked with covering up Wright’s tracks, so people wouldn’t find out he was Satoshi.”
“I brought in Dave because he was a friend and he knew who I was and he was a forensic expert and I wanted to wipe everything I had to do with Bitcoin from the public record.”
Wright says he wanted to distance himself from Bitcoin due to its early reputation as a tool for criminals and lowlifes, facilitating everything from drug dealing to the distribution of child pornography.
In earlier filings, Wright stated that he was unable to produce his Bitcoin holdings because they were in a blind trust.
Despite Wright’s legal troubles, he’s pushing forward with his mission to creating a decentralized marketplace in South America using Bitcoin SV (BSV), supported by Wright, which promises to be faster, cheaper and more reliable than the original Bitcoin.
Supporters say that BSV is everything Satoshi originally envisioned.
“We want to see a South America where people can sell everything they have for as much as they can so that their families can get an education, so that their children can live better.”
On June 20th, Wright was recognized as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, in Bogotá, Colombia where state officials presented him with a proclamation at the Expo-Bitcoin International 2019, an event dedicated to educating people about Bitcoin SV. Wright was officially introduced to the Council of Bogotá as Satoshi, and spoke about his vision for a global economy.