Verdict against self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor climbs to $143 million

Verdict against self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor climbs to $143 million

A representation of the virtual cryptocurrency Bitcoin is seen in this illustration taken October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su

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  • Judge adds $43 million to $100 million intellectual property verdict
  • Joint venture of computer scientists entitled to damages from 2013

(Reuters) – Self-proclaimed bitcoin creator Craig Wright is to pay another $43 million to a joint venture he co-created, adding to a $100 million verdict against him last year, a report said. a federal judge in West Palm Beach, Fla. ruled on Wednesday.

In December, a jury found that Wright had unlawfully seized intellectual property belonging to the joint venture with the late computer forensics researcher Dave Kleiman, W&K Info Defense Research. US District Judge Beth Bloom reward the additional $43 million in interest on damages incurred by W&K when it took control of the intellectual property in 2013 until the court’s final judgment.

Wright had argued that W&K should only be entitled to measured interest from October 2021, when the value of the intellectual property was highest, until December.

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Wright’s attorney, Andrés Rivero de Rivero Mestre, said in a statement that the award was still “only a fraction of the amount claimed by the plaintiffs” and does not affect the jury’s finding that Kleiman did not did not co-invent Bitcoin with Wright.

Lawyers for W&K said in a statement that the ruling, like the verdict, “sets historic precedent for cryptocurrency and blockchain.”

Kleiman’s brother sued Wright on behalf of his estate in 2018, alleging he stole intellectual property related to W&K’s blockchain technology as well as 1.1 million bitcoins.

According to court documents, bitcoin was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, who authored a white paper outlining the framework for what would become bitcoin. Wright said he was Nakamoto, which has been disputed.

Jurors awarded W&K $100 million for Wright’s conversion of its intellectual property, but cleared Wright of other claims, including theft and fraud, and found that W&K and Kleiman were not entitled to any disputed bitcoins.

Kleiman said in the lawsuit that the assets were worth more than $11 billion. Today, the 1.1 million bitcoins would be worth $43 billion.

The case is Kleiman v. Wright, US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, No. 9:18-cv-80176.

For Kleiman: Vel Freedman and Kyle Roche of Roche Freedman, Andrew Brenner, Steve Zack and Max Pritt of Boies Schiller Flexner

For Wright: Andrés Rivero de Rivero Mestre

(NOTE: This story has been updated with comments from Wright’s attorney.)

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