Court Documents Show Craig Wright’s 1 Million Bitcoin Stash May Actually Belong to Mt. Gox
Court documents show that Craig Wright claims to have mined over one million bitcoins in the early days of the bitcoin network. However, it has been revealed that a significant number of those bitcoins are Mt. Gox’s bitcoins, including some in control of the Mt. Gox bankruptcy trustee.
The news was first spotted by Trustnodes back in February. Trustnodes analyzed the court documents and found the wallet addresses were linked to Mt. Gox.
Mt. Gox once handled over 80% of bitcoin transactions during its height in 2013 and 2014. Then, in 2014, the exchange imploded when it was revealed that Mt. Gox was actually bankrupt. Over $350 million of bitcoins had been hacked or had gone missing from the exchange. Users lost bitcoins. Creditors lost their investments. The court case is ongoing today in a Tokyo courtroom.
That court case is separate from the one involving Craig Wright. Craig Wright, who has claimed to be the man behind Satoshi Nakamoto, claims to have mined over one million bitcoins during the early days of the bitcoin network in 2009/2010.
Wright, however, didn’t mine the bitcoins on his own: he partnered with a computer security specialist from Florida named David Kleiman. The two formed a company and ownership of the mined bitcoins purportedly belonged to that company. Kleiman later died of natural causes, while Wright allegedly kept the bitcoin stash from Kleiman’s family. Now, Ira Kleiman – the brother of the deceased Dave Kleiman – is suing Craig Wright over the dispute. The estate insists that Kleiman was involved during the early days of bitcoin and that Wright owes Kleiman’s estate bitcoin.
The court documents revealed during Craig Wright’s case have provided surprising evidence about Wright and his connections to Satoshi Nakamoto.
Early in the court case, it was revealed that the disputed bitcoins between Wright and Kleiman, for example, totaled 1.1 million bitcoin – the same amount purportedly mined by Satoshi during the early days of the network. In the first year of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto mined the vast majority of blocks on the network, allowing him to amass a fortune of bitcoins – presumably around one million. The court documents seem to reinforce that fact, suggesting that Wright may indeed by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoins have been locked up since the early days of the network. They haven’t moved. There are over one million bitcoins sitting on the bitcoin blockchain owned by Satoshi Nakamoto that have never been transferred.
Nevertheless, the court documents may suggest that those bitcoins aren’t actually Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoins, nor do they belong to Craig Wright or Dave Kleiman. Instead, court documents show that the bitcoins belong to the now-defunct Japanese bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. Here’s how Trustnodes explained their findings:
“According to court documents filed by Ira Kleiman, brother of David Kleiman – who has shown contracts and trust documents that were seemingly shared with him by Craig Wright – Wright has claimed in bitcoin backed mortgage contracts and other schemes hundreds of thousands of bitcoins that are known to be in the possession of the now bankrupt exchange.”
The Bitcoin Addresses In The Court Documents Are Directly Connected To Mt. Gox
Trustnodes analyzed the wallet addresses mentioned in the court documents. The wallets contain hundreds of thousands of bitcoins – similar to the amount purportedly mined by Satoshi in the early days. However, these bitcoins appear more connected to Mt. Gox than to Satoshi Nakamoto.
“A brief check of these addresses reveal they belong to MT Gox as has now been proven. Taking the very first address above at A (a), we’ll call it 12hR, we can see it shows funding of 334k bitcoin in 2011. That was directly funded by none other than the infamous MT Gox address from a proof of solvency gox did in 2011.”
We know this address belongs to Mt. Gox because blockchain detectives connected it to the exchange in 2014. At that time, it was revealed that the address still held 200,000 bitcoins – even after Mt. Gox had declared bankruptcy. Mt. Gox later admitted that they owned the address, and the bankrupt exchange was forced to send the bitcoins to the bankruptcy trustee.
The second address, meanwhile, was also directly funded by a Mt. Gox address:
“Looking at the second address mentioned above, 12C, this is directly funded by the 1AY gox address, which is derived from the proof of solvency 424 address. Again, both admitted and proven to be owned by Mt Gox.”
There’s a third address posted in the court documents. Craig Wright allegedly claims that address is held in escrow. However, that address was funded by one of the four known Mt. Gox addresses. As Trustnodes explains, the address
“is in fact very familiar to bitcoiners who were around the gox collapse because it makes part of a blockchain maze that was then dis-obfuscated.”
The bitcoins in that address were sent “through a mixing of sorts by the trustee”, but it’s still clear they belong to Mt. Gox.
Craig Wright “Has No Ownership” of the Bitcoin Addresses “Whatsoever”
Ultimately, Trustnodes concludes their investigation by stating that Craig Wright has no ownership of the bitcoin addresses posted in the court documents. The addresses in the documents do have lots of bitcoins – or they once did – but those bitcoins came from Mt. Gox – not from Satoshi Nakamoto’s early mining activities.
“…some careful tracking of these addresses on the blockchain shows there can be no doubt whatever they belong to MT Gox and Craig Wright has no ownership of them whatever.”
Trustnodes goes on to explain that, based on the court documents, there’s no evidence that Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman have any bitcoins:
“Moreover, the filed claim by Kleiman contains no evidence that David Kleiman owned any bitcoin or that Craig Wright does so. The entire document and all evidence relies solely on claims of ownership by Craig Wright without any concrete proof.”
The information above was first revealed back in February as the Craig Wright court case was just becoming public. However, the information has taken on new importance as the year has gone on. As controversy rages within the BCH community, the debate over Satoshi’s real identity continues.