David Kleiman’s estate appeals Bitcoin verdict, says ‘Wright is wrong’

Protos Artwork Craig Wright Again
Listen to this article.

David Kleiman’s estate is appealing a verdict in its lawsuit against Craig Wright. 

The case arose after Wright claimed to have created Bitcoin using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto (a claim for which he has yet to provide evidence). 

Kleiman’s estate alleges that Wright stole hundreds of thousands of bitcoin (now worth tens of billions of dollars) from Kleiman. 

Ira Kleiman, the brother of the now-deceased David Kleiman, also claims that Wright stole intellectual property related to Bitcoin.

The origins of the disagreement come from a firm that the two men co-founded in 2011; W&K Info Defense Research LLC. At one point, Kleiman and Wright each owned a 50% stake in this firm, however, Wright now claims that Kleiman later agreed to transfer all of the company’s Bitcoin-related intellectual property over to him.

The Kleiman estate is seeking $200 billion in damages against Wright, of which they have received just $143 million. 

The trial took place in November 2021, and included 13 days of testimony and seven days of jury deliberations, before the judge and jury eventually ruled in Wright’s favor.

A Florida judge denied the Kleiman estate’s motion for a new trial in February, stating that Ira Kleiman’s claim that “Wright improperly discussed the relationship between the two siblings” was “unpersuasive and insufficient.”

The trial didn’t pass without a few bizarre moments.

The “Craig Wright case” is never closed

Craig Wright seems to enjoy both good and bad publicity and is no stranger to litigation from either side. As a side note, it is rumored that Coingeek founder and pro-BSV billionaire Calvin Ayre pays for Wright’s attorneys.

Unsurprisingly, Wright’s lawyers plan to dispute Ira Kleiman’s appeal, claiming that jurors awarded Kleiman’s estate a fair ruling. Wright made a dismissive comment about the appeal, saying simply, “Ira Kleiman is entitled to nothing.”

US courts have not yet set a date for hearing the Kleiman estate’s appeal of the verdict against Wright.

When did Wright go wrong?

Wright previously said that he once considered David Kleiman a “close personal friend.” However, he denies ever having a business relationship with him.

Wright also said that Kleiman only helped him clean up the grammar in the original Bitcoin whitepaper and never meaningfully contributed to Bitcoin’s code.

Read more: Bushido or Bushi-don’t: An expert critiques Craig Wright’s Samurai skills

The Kleiman estate remembers it differently

Ira Kleiman claimed that Wright previously referred to his brother as a business partner, but changed his version of events after the lawsuit was filed.

When Wright went public with his claim of being Satoshi, he initially convinced some well-known figures in the Bitcoin industry, including former lead developer Gavin Andresen and venture capitalist Roger Ver. 

Andresen later claimed that he made a mistake by publishing a blog saying that he believed Wright. He now admits the possibility that Wright “bamboozled” him, as despite staging numerous publicity stunts over the years, Wright has ultimately failed to provide any convincing proof that he controls Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin wallets.

Follow us on Twitter for more informed news.

Out now: the first four episodes of our ongoing investigative podcast series Innovated: Blockchain City.