Who is Uyen T Nguyen, the Young Vietnamese Woman Involved in the Satoshi Nakamoto Court Case?
Earlier this year, it was revealed that the estate of Dave Kleiman was suing Craig Wright for $10 billion. The court case may involve the bitcoins that belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. It also involves a mysterious 26-year old Vietnamese woman named Uyen T Nguyen.
Uyen Nguyen is mentioned in several of the documents mentioned in the court case between Kleiman and Wright. Nguyen was involved with some of the disputed assets in the court case, for example, including one of the companies that was reportedly owned by Kleiman and Wright.
The court case claims that Dave Kleiman, a deceased computer security specialist from Florida, and Craig Wright, an academic and businessman from Australia, partnered with one another to build bitcoin in 2008 and 2009. The two amassed a fortune in bitcoin from early mining activities. That fortune, however, has never been shared with Dave Kleiman or his family.
Obviously, the names Dave Kleiman and Craig Wright pop up frequently in the court documents. However, a third name also pops up: Uyen Nguyen. Who is this person? What connection did she have with bitcoin – if any? Why is she involved at all?
Despite the fact that she may figure prominently in Satoshi lore and the history of bitcoin, a quick Google search will reveal limited information about Uyen Nguyen. We decided to dig deeper. Here’s what we found about the Uyen Nguyen mentioned in the bitcoin court documents.
Dave Kleiman and Craig Wright’s Disputed Bitcoins
To understand how Uyen Nguyen fits into this story, you first need to understand the dispute between Dave Kleiman and Craig Wright.
Dave Kleiman and Craig Wright purportedly mined hundreds of thousands of bitcoins during the early days of the bitcoin network. The two established a company to mine and hold those bitcoins.
That company was called W&K Info Defense Research, LLC.
Remember that name: it will be important later. The company’s listed address was Dave Kleiman’s house in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Dave Kleiman, who had been paralyzed for most of his adult life due to a motorcycle accident, died from MRSA in 2013. Despite the fact that he and Wright had mined millions of dollars’ worth of bitcoin, Kleiman died in squalor, surrounded by blood and feces in a house that had been foreclosed by the bank.
After Kleiman’s death, Wright reached out to Dave’s family with an interesting story. Wright contacted Kleiman’s 94-year old father Ira explaining that the two had created bitcoin together.
This is where things get controversial. According to the court case filed by the estate of Dave Kleiman (i.e. Dave’s family), Wright “concocted a scheme” to seize Dave’s bitcoins. The court case claims that Wright backdated documents, fabricated signatures, and committed other acts to seize Kleiman’s bitcoins.
It’s unclear how many bitcoins are disputed between Wright and Kleiman. As ArsTechnica reports, it could be 300,000 or 550,000 or 1 million, according to the lawyer representing Kleiman’s estate. If you connect the dots, it appear Satoshi’s bitcoins – the mysterious one million bitcoin owned by the first miner of the bitcoin network – are at stake in this court case.
How is Uyen Nguyen Involved with Any of This?
Up above, we mentioned that Dave Kleiman and Craig Wright had established a company together. That company, W&K Info Defense Research, LLC, purportedly held Wright and Kleiman’s bitcoins.
This is where things get interesting, and it’s where Uyen Nguyen gets involved.
Nearly a year after Dave Kleiman died in 2013, a woman named Uyen Nguyen listed herself as the formal registered agent for W&K Info Defense Research, LLC.
Then, 18 months later, Nguyen formally dissolved the company. You can view the corporate history of the LLC here.
A quick search of corporation registration information shows that Uyen Nguyen is a (now) 26-year old Vietnamese woman who previously operated a company called CO1N Ltd. That company, which lists an address in London, was incorporated on October 11, 2012 and dissolved on July 4, 2017. That company also operated under the names “Moving Forward in Business Limited” between October 2013 and January 2014 and “Design By Human Ltd” between October 2012 and October 2013.
Corporate registration documents list the nature of the business as “Business and domestic software development.”
A Craig Wright company is also listed as a Director of the company: Wright International Investments Ltd. was appointed as Director of CO1N Ltd. on April 2, 2016.
Meanwhile, Craig Wright himself is listed as a “Secretary” of the company, a position he held from January 3, 2014 to June 2, 2016.
Dave Kleiman is also listed. Dave Kleiman was director of CO1N Ltd. from October 14, 2012 to April 26, 2013.
Finally, we get to Uyen T Nguyen, who is also listed as a Director of CO1N Ltd.
CO1N Ltd. isn’t a huge mystery: it’s Craig Wright’s company. However, the connection Uyen Nguyen has with that company is more unclear.
Who is Uyen T Nguyen?
The limited information we have about Uyen T Nguyen comes from sources like corporation registration records – like the list of officers for CO1N Ltd. seen here.
That list of officers reveals that Uyen T Nguyen is a Vietnamese national born in August 1992.
Nguyen was listed as the Director of CO1N Ltd. from October 12, 2012 to June 1, 2016.
Ngyuen lives in the United States. The corporation registration documents list an address in El Monte, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. The United States is also listed as Nguyen’s country of residence.
Other listed directors off the company, by the way, include Bryan Anthony Thornton, CFS Secretaries Limited, and Panopticrypt Pty Ltd. Craig Wright is also listed two more times under different addresses (one in London and one in Sydney, Australia).
What does all of this mean?
ArsTechnica did a little more digging into Nguyen:
“Uyen Nguyen is a now-25-year-old Vietnamese woman who appears to be connected to an address in El Monte, California, a Los Angeles suburb. She was listed as a director of a UK-based company called CO1N, which was founded in October 2012 and dissolved in July 2017. Both Kleiman and Wright are also listed as officers there. (Ars has sent a letter to the El Monte address in an attempt to reach Ms. Nguyen.)”
The ArsTechnica report, however, features no additional information about Uyen Nguyen.
The Court Case Claims Uyen Nguyen Owns 650,000 BTC and Lent Them to Craig Wright
First, let’s make it clear why Uyen Nguyen may be an important figure in the whole Satoshi Nakamoto / Craig Wright / Dave Kleiman lawsuit drama: the court documents of Kleiman v. Wright claim that Uyen Nguyen owns bitcoin addresses that collectively hold 650,000 BTC.
Nguyen reportedly lent those bitcoins to Craig Wright – for an unclear reason.
The problem is that the addresses mentioned in the court documents don’t appear to be legitimate. A ground-breaking WizSec security study showed that the addresses mentioned in the documents belong to Mt. Gox, random bitcoin whales, and early miners – they don’t belong to Nguyen or Wright.
Here’s how WizSec feels about Nguyen after conducting plenty of research into her alleged bitcoin addresses:
“Effectively, Wright/Nguyen seem to be claiming to have robbed MtGox.”
Either Wright and Nguyen claim to have robbed Mt. Gox and now own bitcoins associated with Mt. Gox. Or, random rich bitcoin addresses are listed in the court documents and those addresses have no real connection to Wright and Nguyen.
WizSec adds that Wright and Nguyen have a Mt. Gox connection:
“Speaking of MtGox, both Wright and Nguyen had accounts there: #433804 and #465042 respectively. Wright registered and used his account for a bit in order to buy bitcoins in April 2013, which he later withdrew and sent a few thousand dollars' worth to Nguyen, and a few hundred dollars' worth to the 1933ph… above (possibly an attempt to make a blockchain connection). Nguyen's account was registered later in 2013; its only BTC deposits are from Craig Wright. By any standard both of these accounts are small and unremarkable compared to most big bitcoiners.”
Again, this doesn’t reveal much more information about Uyen Nguyen.
We Might Have Video Footage of Uyen Nguyen
The first mention of Uyen Nguyen appeared online two years ago, well before she was mentioned in the Kleiman v. Wright court case.
That’s when online Satoshi researchers noticed that Nguyen was listed as a Director of two companies connected to Wright and Satoshi: Nguyen was listed as a Director of W&K Info Defense Research, LLC as well as CO1N Ltd.
You can see one of the first /r/bitcoin threads discussing Nguyen here. It got limited attention at the time.
Buried in that thread, however, was a comment from /u/aqa123 with a link to a Vimeo video. At 9:20 of that video, a Vietnamese lady interjects Wright.
“Nguyen is of Vietnamese origin, the person in the video has an East Asian accent. She also talks to Wright with a great deal of authority like shes in the know.”
You can view the Vimeo video and decide for yourself here.
In that same thread, one Redditor had a zany theory about how Nguyen was part of Wright’s new life:
“And we are wondering about a 24yo Vietnamese girl that pops up as Director in his companies during 2013-2014 (and the beginning of a whole new level of fraudulent behaviour). Just an educated guess – but I'd be betting step-daughter.”
The theory is neat, but Wright’s wife is from Singapore – not Vietnam.
Nguyen was also outspoken when Wright’s Satoshi claim first appeared online in 2016.
Conclusion: Who is Uyen Nguyen?
Uyen Nguyen is a (now) 26-year old Vietnamese woman who is connected with Craig Wright in some way or another. She has served as a director of two companies associated with Wright and has possibly appeared in videos with Wright.
Despite her connection to Wright and the (possible) Satoshi Nakamoto bitcoins, there’s limited information about Nguyen available online.
The mystery remains unsolved – for now. But we’ll update you with more information about Uyen Nguyen when it becomes available.