Disclaimer: The original Modern Consensus interview on which much of this article was based has been found to contain several inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Please be advised that the numbers — particularly the threat of a $2 billion BTC dump — are not necessarily factual. As of August 28, we have updated this piece to reflect that reality.
Australian computer scientist and self-proclaimed Bitcoin (BTC) inventor Craig Wright, said that the estate of his former colleague will have tax issues with Bitcoins that they won from him in court case.
Wright, who was sued over allegations that he stole $10 billion from former business partner Dave Kleiman, must now pay his brother Ira half of that sum, or 500,000 Bitcoins.
The payout, ordered by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, will attract a federal estate tax rate of 40%, which Kleiman’s estate will have to pay, according to Wright.
Wright claims estate tax will force Kleiman to sell Bitcoin
While the Australian claimed he would not sell $5 billion worth of BTC on the open market, which could lead to a crash, the source of the additional $2 billion remains unknown. The alternative, which he did not discount, would be for Ira Kleiman to pay in cash in return.
“Whoa! The estate tax is 40%. Unless Ira has $2 billion in cash, he will have to dump 2 million BTC to pay the taxes,” the interviewer exclaimed in the first exchange with Wright since the court order.
Wright’s response was uncharacteristically short.
“Yeah,” he said.
Based on thin Ayre?
The ruling brings to a head a debacle which has dragged on for years and involved an increasing number of third parties far removed from Wright and his entourage.
In the face of multiple claims of fraud on social media, Wright even began suing those who disagreed with his alleged proof that he created Bitcoin. Those lawsuits came to nothing, while this week, those publicly supporting Wright’s original statements evaporated.
“The judge ruled Craig and Dave are Satoshi. This is not accurate but its enough to have Craig accurately be referred to as Satoshi as he is saying and this will likely be appealed,” he wrote on Twitter.
Large numbers of responses then immediately dismissed the comments. United Kingdom-based entrepreneur Alistair Milne described Ayre’s words as flat-out lies.
“The US court *did NOT* rule that Wright/Kleiman were Satoshi Nakamoto. Anyone telling you otherwise is either insane or a liar,” he tweeted.
In what will be a source of personal satisfaction to Wright’s previous legal victims, meanwhile, one person present at the hearing concluded it was now not libellous to label him a fraud.
Citing testimony from Kleiman, Katie Ananina wrote in a digest of the proceedings:
“I now know the way to say #craigwrightisafraud and don't get in trouble. It's been said in a Federal Court.”
Ananina noted the judge also threw out Wright’s claim he would be able to prove he had access to the private keys bolstering his Nakamoto claim by January 2020.