The lawsuit against Craig Wright, chief scientist at nChain who previously claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, was filed with the District Court of the Southern District of Florida on February 14. Craig is accused of illegally appropriating and storing more than 1.1 million Bitcoins (more than $10 billion). Plaintiff Ira Kleiman speaks on behalf of his deceased brother, the cryptographer Dave Kleiman, who, in the opinion of many, is associated with the birth of Bitcoin.
The role of Kleiman in the creation of Bitcoin surfaced on December 8, 2015, when the Gizmodo and Wired publications called the Australian businessman Craig Wright to be the possible Satoshi Nakamoto and simultaneously highlighted the role of Kleiman in work on the project. On May 2, 2016, Craig confirmed in his blog that he was Satoshi Nakamoto and acknowledged Dave's significant involvement. In the interview, he said that he was engaged in developing the Bitcoin code, and Dave helped write the white paper. When the Bitcoin community demanded additional evidence, Wright refused to provide it.
The lawsuit is not intended to find out if Wright is behind the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. "It is unclear whether Craig, Dave and/or both created Bitcoin. For reasons not yet completely clear, they chose to keep their involvement in Bitcoin hidden from most of their family and friends. It is undeniable, however, that Craig and Dave were involved in Bitcoin from its inception and that they both accumulated a vast wealth of bitcoins from 2009 through 2013," the document reads.
According to the case materials, Wright implemented a "scheme to seize Dave's fortune, his Bitcoins, and intellectual property rights associated with Bitcoin." According to the plaintiff's lawyers, "Craig forged a number of contracts under which Dave's assets went to Craig and/or to companies under his control. Craig changed the dates to earlier ones and put Dave's signature under them."
Dave and Craig met at the cryptographic forum in 2003. For many years, they communicated on topics of interest in cybersecurity, digital forensics, and future money. In 2007, they co-wrote a study on a mechanism for overwriting data on top of previous data on a hard disk, and around the same time, they began discussing peer-to-peer file sharing. It is known that in the early 2000s, Kleiman began to make entries in the private mailing lists of securityfocus.com and metzdowd.com, which united specialists in cryptography. And it was the users of metzdowd.com on October 31, 2008, who received a message from Satoshi Nakamoto in which he talked about working on an electronic money transfer system, where third-party mediation is excluded, and transactions are conducted directly between the participants. The letter contained a reference to a white paper, entitled: "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System."
Also, in its own investigation of September 2015, Gizmodo reports an email that Wright sent to Dave in March 2008, a few months before the Bitcoin white paper was first posted on metzdowd.com. "I need your help editing a paper I am going to release later this year. I have been working on a new form of electronic money. Bit cash, Bitcoin . . . You are always there for me Dave. I want you to be a part of it all." This passage is cited in the lawsuit. Later, at the end of 2008, Craig wrote to Dave again "I need your help. You published my paper, and now I want you to help me develop this idea." As reported in the lawsuit, over the next few months, Craig and Dave worked together on the Bitcoin system. On January 12, 2009, Craig, Dave, and two other developers sent one another Bitcoin transactions, which were recorded on the blockchain. On Thanksgiving Day in 2009, Dave informed his brother Ira that he had created "digital money" together with a "wealthy foreigner."
As for Kleiman's future life, in 2012, he, along with his friend and colleague Patrick Page from the Sheriff's Department of Palm Beach County, founded a computer forensics company, Computer Forensics LLC. The third partner in Computer Forensics was another friend of Dave, Carter Conrad. Neither Page nor Conrad knows if Dave was behind Bitcoin's creation, but both of them expressed confidence that he had all the necessary skills and the circumspection needed to keep it a secret. According to Gizmodo, Conrad often described Dave as "compartmentalized," meaning that he "stored" all parts of his biography separately, giving access to each of them only to those directly involved in a specific segment of his life. And Page, most often, used the word "ingenious" in relation to Dave.
According to friends, Kleiman always wore a USB flash drive on his neck, and it is there that Satoshi's fortune could have been stored. Page claims that the flash drive was transferred to Dave's brother Ira, who declined to comment on this for the record. "If you tell me that Dave's computer stores a million dollars, I will not even bother to get them. It will be a waste of time," Page said, meaning that Dave was very reliable in protecting his data. Page and Conrad recall that Dave used 40 and 50 digit passwords and his home wireless network was so secure that, as Page admits, it was difficult for him to work in it.
Kleiman was found dead at his home in Palm Beach in 2013. According to official data, the cause of death was golden Staphylococcus, which he was actually infected with, but also, according to a report from the Bureau of Forensic Medicine of Palm Beach County, his body was found to be decaying. There was blood around him with traces of wheelchairs (Kleiman was tied to it after a motorcycle accident in 1995); around it were shattered bottles of alcohol, a loaded pistol, and a bullet hole was found in the mattress. After Dave's death, Craig published an emotional video on his YouTube channel, saying "I'm so proud that I knew Dave Kleiman. I'll miss you, Dave. You were my friend, and I will miss you."