Is this Australian billionaire the inventor of Bitcoin?

·2-min read
Bitcoins and Dr Craig Wright speaking on stage at a cryptocurrency conference.
Dr Craig Wright claims he is the inventor of Bitcoin. (Source: Getty)

Craig Wright is an Australian computer scientist who owns 1.1 million Bitcoin, equivalent to around $71 billion (US$50 billion), and he claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin.

Wright just won legal proceedings in the United States against the family of a deceased business partner.

The family claimed it was owed half of the massive cryptocurrency fortune - worth tens of billions - but a US court ruled Wright could keep the entire amount.

Now, the crypto world is waiting to see if Wright can prove he is the creator of Bitcoin, as he has claimed.

Let’s take a look at how we got here, and why we don’t know if Wright invented Bitcoin or not.

Who invented Bitcoin?

Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto - the name used by the person, or persons, who developed Bitcoin and authored the Bitcoin white paper.

As part of the original implementation of Bitcoin, Nakamoto is also credited with devising the first blockchain database.

Nakamoto is not the real name of the person, or team, responsible for creating Bitcoin and so the identity is not truly known.

However, the 1.1 million Bitcoin that Wright owns are among the first that were created through mining, and it is presumed they can only be owned by someone involved with the crypto from the beginning.

Wright first claimed to be Nakamoto in 2016, and today’s ruling has given some legitimacy to these claims.

What was the lawsuit?

The family of David Kleiman sued Wright for half of the multi-billion-dollar Bitcoin fortune, claiming the two formed a partnership to create Bitcoin in 2008 and 2009.

The suit alleged the two worked together, under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, to create Bitcoin.

However, a jury in Florida rejected those claims, ending the high-profile case around the identity of Nakamoto.

Now, the crypto world is looking to Wright to confirm he is the creator of Bitcoin. Many have been sceptical.

The 1.1 million Bitcoin have been untouched since their creation so some have been calling on Wright to transfer a small fraction to another account to prove ownership.

Wright said he would prove his ownership if he won at trial.

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