The threat itself came from the claim that Mr Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin – and that he holds billions of dollars worth of the benchmark cryptocurrency. Mr Wright even sued people who refused to acknowledge him as the original bitcoin creator.
But the clock turned when he himself got sued for being 50 per cent Satoshi. Ira Kleiman, brother of late Dave Kleiman who allegedly helped Mr Wright mint the first batch of bitcoin, accused him of stealing Dave’s share of 1 million BTC.
The US court found Mr Wright guilty. It ordered him to pay half of the BTC – valued about $5 billion at the time of judgment – back to Mr Ira. Mr Wright told the court that he and Late Mr Dave had locked that bitcoin in a complicated trust. He said he could not retrieve the cryptocurrency anymore.
However, in an interview he gave later to Modern Consensus, Mr Wright kept theorizing what Mr Ira could do if he gains access to 1 million BTC.
“They might have to convince Ira not to dump it,” he told the interviewer. “I can’t convince him not to dump it. Ira has to do what Ira has to do. And it wouldn’t have been me. And I don’t need it. He does.”
Not a Penny Paid to Ira Kleiman
Mr. Wright never refuted the existence of the trust that apparently holds 1.1 million BTC. Nevertheless, he is adamant about not having any access to the “private keys” to those coins.
With a court order hanging by his neck, the market doubts that Mr. Wright might sell whatever bitcoin he currently holds (supposedly a large amount). He proclaimed after the court’s ruling against him that Mr. Ira alone could tank the bitcoin market by $2-3 billion.
“If you’d left me alone, I would have sat on my f*cking money and you wouldn’t have to worry,” Mr. Wright said. “And the biggest whale ever has to dump because he has to pay tax. It’s not a transfer. Florida has an estate tax. Trust me. This is not an outcome I would have liked.”
But to this date, Mr. Wright has not paid a penny to either Mr. Ira nor his legal counsels – as ordered by the US court. In the last hearing held on December 18, Mr. Wright’s lawyers played offense with Mr. Ira, questioning how he managed to pay $400,000 in cash for his home right after his brother’s demise.
Bitcoin Fortune and Dump Under Rugs
When Mr. Wright threatened to crash Bitcoin to $1,000 in November 2018, it appeared as he had a huge stash of the cryptocurrency. But since the court ruling, he is not making such threats.
In his latest interview with Bloomberg, Mr. Wright said he does not want to dump his Bitcoin fortune because the move “would hurt many people in the industry.”
The sum of all events leaves the market with two potential outcomes: Either Mr. Wright has about $3 billion worth of Bitcoin or he doesn’t. If the controversial Satoshi has the money, he is bluffing about not having them. And if he does not have the money, he is straightforwardly lying.
The conclusion narrows down to one thing: that $3 billion-dump is not going to happen, after all. One bear at a time!