Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Inventor To Pay $43 Million For Illegally Seizing Intellectual Property

Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin (BTC) pioneer, must pay $43 million to a joint venture he co-founded, according to a federal court in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, March 9.

Wright must pay an additional $43 million to a joint venture he co-founded, according to a judgement [PDF] issued by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom, on top of the $100 million judgment against him last year.

In December, a jury found that Wright had illegally seized intellectual property belonging to W&K Info Defense Research, a joint venture with late computer forensics specialist Dave Kleiman.

The extra $43 million in interest on damages suffered by W&K from the time he gained custody of the IP in 2013 until the court’s final ruling, according to the court’s final decision.

For his part, Wright claimed that W&K should be entitled to interest solely for the period from October 2021 through December 2021, when the IP’s value was at its peak.

In the Bitcoin and blockchain worlds, there is a precedent

W&K’s lawyers stated in a statement that the ruling, like the verdict, “sets a historical precedent in cryptocurrency and blockchain.” 

In 2018, Kleiman’s brother filed a lawsuit against Wright on his brother’s behalf, saying that Wright had stolen intellectual property relating to blockchain technology from W&K, as well as 1.1 million Bitcoin.

Satoshi Nakamoto, who issued a white paper detailing the architecture for what would become bitcoin, was the one who mined the cryptocurrency, according to court records. Wright has claimed to be Nakamoto, although this allegation has been debunked.

The jury, on the other hand, found Wright not guilty of any additional crimes, including theft and fraud, and determined that W&K and Kleiman had no claim to any of the disputed bitcoin.

Kleiman said the assets were worth more than $11 billion in the case. If the 1.1 million Bitcoins were mined today, they would be worth $43 billion.

Last year, Craig Wright filed a lawsuit against 16 Bitcoin developers in an attempt to reclaim Bitcoin valued at $5.7 billion at the time.

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