Bitcoin,  People

Craig Wright to Judge: ‘bonded courier’ gave me keys to Satoshi Nakamoto’s 1,100,111 bitcoins

If Craig Wright really is Satoshi Nakamoto, the documents he turned over in court today will prove it.


Craig Wright informed a judge today that the “bonded courier” he has long claimed would bring him the keys to Satoshi Nakamoto’s fortune and the right to bear the bitcoin creator’s name has arrived.

In a notice of compliance filed with the court on Jan. 14, Wright’s attorneys wrote: “Dr. Wright notifies the Court that a third party has provided the necessary information and key slice to unlock the encrypted file, and Dr. Wright has produced a list of his bitcoin holdings, as ordered by the Magistrate Judge, to plaintiffs today.”

Wright is being sued by the estate of his late partner, Dave Kleiman, for half of a cache of 1,100,111 bitcoins (worth about $9.6 billion) believed to have been mined at the beginning of the Bitcoin blockchain by its creator, the pseudonymous Nakamoto.

Wright’s claim to be Nakamoto has been widely denied, and one of the main arguments has been his inability to access this bitcoin cache. He has long claimed the private keys to those bitcoins were locked in an encrypted document known as the Tulip Trust. He said those keys would be returned to him by a “bonded courier” this month.

Where’s the rest?

The lawyers for Ira Kleiman were not impressed with Wright’s filing.

The list of bitcoin public addresses Wright provided “is simply a list of 16,404 addresses, Velvel Freedman and Kyle Roche said in their court filing. “Craig, however, did not provide any information on the bounded courier, the company he/she worked for, when he/she came, or the message delivered.”

With each bitcoin block creating 50 bitcoins at the time, that would account for 820,200 bitcoins. At current prices, that’s around $7.2 billion.

In a second motion filed on Jan. 14, Freedman and Roche asked the court for a 90-day extension in order to depose Wright, among others.

They also got right down to their opinion of Wright’s character, saying “he has engaged (and appears to be continuing to engage) in conduct that has made it difficult to obtain discovery related to these core claims. To be more direct, Craig has forged documents, submitted false Declarations and perjured himself in open court—all in an effort to prevent the truth from being revealed.”

Skeptics unconvinced

Nor is Wright’s filing enough to satisfy his many skeptics.

“The evidence against csw being Satoshi is overwhelming,” cryptocurrency analyst and Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan told Modern Consensus via Telegram. “Frankly, he’s been caught out on so many lies and actively falsifying evidence that he’s lost all credibility.”

As of 7:20 p.m. today, Wright-backed Bitcoin SV (or Satoshi Vision) is up 116% against the U.S. dollar in the last 24 hours, according to Messari’s Real Volume. The price of BSV had already nearly doubled before the news of Wright’s court filing dropped, leading to a great deal of speculation and suspicion earlier in the day, even though cryptocurrency prices were up across the board.

Given the news this evening, that is “certainly suspicious,” Greenspan said. However, he pointed out that BSV’s “liquidity is low, so it doesn’t take too much volume to pump.”

Attorney Steven Palley, who has been following the case closely, espoused roughly similar views.

“I’m not saying that the list is or isn’t authentic,” he said in a tweet. “I am saying that this is a guy who two federal judges have basically called a liar and he just opened a new Pandora’s box of discovery. So it may not end well.”

Clearly referring to the price of BSV, Palley added: “Also, gotta wonder about some market timing issues, no?”

(Updated on Jan. 14 with new image and links, bitcoin price and links, Kleiman lawyer’s comments and Palley tweets.)

(Updated on Jan. 15 to clarify bitcoin addresses turned over by Wright.)

Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson owns no cryptocurrencies.