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Self-Described Bitcoin Creator Must Pay $100 Million in Suit

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Australian computer scientist Craig Wright

A jury found that Craig Wright did not owe half of 1.1 million bitcoins to the family of David Kleiman.

Credit: Marta Lavandier / AP

The Australian computer scientist who claims he invented bitcoin was told by a U.S. jury to pay $100 million in damages over claims that he cheated a deceased friend over intellectual property for the cryptocurrency.

Jurors in Miami federal court took about a week to reach the verdict Monday (December 6), following about three weeks of trial. The jury rejected most claims against Craig Wright and the outcome probably won't resolve the debate over whether Wright is the mythical creator of the peer-to-peer currency, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The brother of Dave Kleiman, a computer security expert who died in 2013, alleged that the late Florida man worked with Wright to create and mine bitcoin in its early years. The plaintiffs claimed Kleiman's estate was entitled to half of a cache of as many as 1.1 million bitcoins worth some $70 billion, which are thought to be held by Satoshi.

Some cryptocurrency investors see Wright as a fake, and years-long litigation in Florida has done little to quiet the skeptics. Wright has declared many times in court that he invented bitcoin. Had the jury's verdict gone against Wright, that would have forced to him to produce the Satoshi fortune. To some observers, that would have been the true test. 

Wright said he won't appeal the verdict.

From Bloomberg
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