Craig Wright headphone Satoshi Nakamoto
Bitcoin,  People

Judge to Wright: Reveal Tulip Trust III contents by Valentine’s Day

Lawyers claim the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto shouldn’t be allowed to shut the third in his Russian nesting-doll scheme of Tulip Trusts away from public eyes

On Wednesday a judge in the Craig Wright case agreed to seal the “Tulip Trust III”—a document that may lead to a $10 billion bitcoin fortune—until Valentine’s Day.

The courts have given Wright until Feb. 14 to propose redactions to the latest in a series of trusts that he has said hold the keys to Satoshi Nakamoto’s 1.1 million bitcoins. That’s assuming Wright is actually the creator of Bitcoin, as he claims and many, many others doubt.

Russian Matryoshka nesting dolls with red roses
Is Tulip Trust III the last of Craig “I’m Satoshi” Wright’s links to $10 billion in bitcoins? We’ll find out on Valentine’s Day.

On Feb. 4, lawyers for Ira Kleiman told the court Wright was wrong to mark the Tulip Trust III as “confidential,” and objected to the nChain chief scientist’s attempt to seal it from public eyes.

Wright is being sued for half of that fortune and half of the Bitcoin intellectual property by the adopted brother of his deceased partner, Dave Kleiman. Ira Kleiman’s lawyers “do not believe the Tulip Trust III document should be sealed, but believe Craig should be afforded the opportunity to propose redactions to the Court,” said Velvel Freedman in the filing.

The nesting doll trusts

Kleiman’s lawyers have been having one heck of a time trying to track down where this fortune even is and who controls it. In one of the most recent document dumps, Wright turned over 400 documents to the lawyers suing him for a $10 billion bitcoin fortune.

(We go back and forth with this number as the price of BTC changes but today that is a little more the amount demanded in the original lawsuit! At press time, 1 BTC=$9,625 x 1,100,111 = about $10.6 billion.)

Wright has long claimed that the fortune is tied up in the “Tulip Trust”—a complicated cryptographic scheme that kept him from accessing it until Jan 1, 2020, when a “bonded courier” was scheduled to arrive with the keys. He said that happened—a few days late—but it’s unclear if Wright actually received the information needed to unlock the Nakamoto fortune. 

However, further prying led lawyers on a Russian Matryoshka nesting doll-type scheme where the keys to the fortune get turned over to another trust (Tulip Trust II) and then another after that (Tulip Trust III).

The Kleimans have argued that Wright cannot claim these dealings are private and should be sealed if he does not control them. Basicallly, if he controls this system, they want info on it. If Wright does not control this system, then he can’t claim that releasing the documents are an invasion of his private information.

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart—who is overseeing discovery and has fined Wright more than $650,000 for his courtroom antics and delays in filing documents—gave him until Feb. 11 to respond to that argument. 

Then on Feb. 4,  Judge Beth Bloom, who is hearing the case, gave Wright 10 days to propose redactions to the Tulip Trust.

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Brendan Sullivan is a writer, producer, and author of the memoir Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives. Disclosure: he owns cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter.