Craig Wright is taking legal action to recover $3.5bn of “stolen bitcoin”


Fresh from our inboxes on Wednesday:

Law firm ONTIER LLP announced today on behalf of Tulip Trading Limited (TTL), a Seychelles company of which Dr. Craig Wright is to initiate groundbreaking lawsuits against a number of Bitcoin developers.

They remind us as if we need to remind that:

Dr. Wright is the inventor of Bitcoin, who set out his vision for the digital currency in his famous white paper under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Of course! You continue (carry center of gravity):

The defendants in this action are the developers for BTC, BCH, BCH ABC and BSV. The action will, for the first time, examine the nature and scope of the legal obligations that developers are given and owed as a result of the control they exercise over their respective blockchains.

In February 2020, Dr. Wright was hacked by unknown people and encrypted private keys at two addresses containing significant amounts of Bitcoin from TTL were stolen. These assets were and are owned by TTL. The theft is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Cyber ​​Crime Department of the Regional Organized Crime Unit in south-east England.

As set out in the Letters Before Action released today, TTL urges developers to allow TTL to regain access to and control of its Bitcoin, as it is subject to both illicit and fiduciary duties to Bitcoin owners due to the high levels of power and control they have over their respective blockchains owe English law.

The value of the claim at today’s market prices will be more than £ 3.5 billion.

If all of this makes little sense to you, it is because this case is quite strange and complex, even to Craig-Toshi himself. What he claims is that a year ago someone managed to hack into their computer and access the private keys to the addresses of two Bitcoin wallets that held more than $ 3.5 billion at current market prices ( albeit much less than those on the market a year ago, given Bitcoin’s recent strong rally).

But Wright doesn’t go after the hackers. Oh no that would be too easy. Wright takes action against the developers of Bitcoin, just like the people who write the code. Bitcoin cash (BCH); Bitcoin Cash ABC; and, bizarrely, even Bitcoin SV, which is its own Bitcoin branch (yes, there are multiple Bitcoins these days).

This is not because he believes the developers are the ones who stole his Bitcoin, but because Bitcoin was “designed to work within the law” so that illegal activity could be reversed. In other words, Wright believes the idea that the blockchain underlying Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies should be “immutable” – what could well be called a USP – is wrong. While he doesn’t believe the developers are to blame, he is taking legal action against them because he believes they can return the coins that he says were stolen from him – i.e. making the blockchain. . . changeable.

We’re not entirely sure how many developers he is targeting with his case, but for Wright to be successful, more than 50 percent of the nodes running the various blockchains would have to agree to reverse the transactions for those stolen bitcoins . So does Wright think the system is far more central than we think?

The whole thing seems pretty strange. We asked why this $ 3.5 billion worth of crypto was only kept in just two wallets as it posed some security risk, and Craig replied:

Do you put your stock certificates in 100 places? The tale that Bitcoin is outside the law has to end. The Bitcoin White Paper defines the ownership, not the holding, of keys. Ownership is not about secrecy. The security risk is minimal when you consider that Bitcoin is an recoverable asset that can be proven to be returned to the owner.

We should also point out that his PR also told us:

NB: Please note that personal views on Dr. Wright should not tarnish the fact that rejecting his stand on this matter enables you, and your disclosure, to directly condone crime.

So here we have held back from the kind of crime-fighting that we normally would.

Related links:
Bitcoin’s Lien – FT Alphaville