- The owner of the Bitcoin wallet starting 1Feex has been urged to prove their ownership or risk losing some of the contents
- Investment company Tulip Trading Limited has claimed it owns the wallet and had access to it stolen in 2020
- The end result could mark the first time a blockchain has been intentionally compromised by developers
Tulip Trading Limited, a Seychelles-based investment firm headed by a man known for lying in court during a trial, in 2019 has challenged the owners of a famous Bitcoin address to identify themselves or they will claim ownership of its contents. Australian man Craig Wright, who also has a 2006 conviction in Australia for contempt of court, claims the coins were stolen from Tulip Trading Limited when access to the 1Feex wallet containing them was lost in a billion dollar hack in February 2020. The company has challenged anyone who has a claim over the wallet to come forward or they will embark on a process of reclaiming the 79,958 BSV coins in the wallet by developer intervention on the blockchain, marking a watershed in blockchain history.
Biggest Crypto Hack of All Time Spurred Reclaim Effort
Mr Wright claims the stolen BSV coins were part of a haul of over one billion dollar’s worth of cryptocurrency taken from him by elite hackers who disabled three separate alarm systems to gain entrance to his house, planted a pineapple internet interception device and used it to steal two cryptocurrency wallets and the access to them. They also wiped 37GB of cloud data for no apparent reason.
Mr Wright reported the theft to the police, who have never made a public comment about the case, or ever appealed for information from the public, which is surprising given that such a complex crime would have required multiple individuals around and in the house.
The supposed theft of the wallets has fortuitously allowed Mr Wright to practise a theory he came up with in 2019 – that blockchains are not immutable, and that court orders can force developers to move coins. This, of course, flies in the face of the entire concept of a blockchain and, had his attempt been successful, would have seen developers be held accountable for redistributing inaccessible coins, providing ownership could be proved through a court order, leading to utter chaos in the crypto world.
Bitcoin Association Agreed to Implement Notary Tool
Thankfully for developers everywhere however, Mr Wright lost the court case, with the judge considering it so devoid of merit it didn’t even make it to trial. Still, the Bitcoin Association, which promotes Mr Wright’s BSV project, nevertheless settled with Tulip Trading Limited out of court and agreed to implement a notary tool, with the express purpose of allowing Mr Wright to claim his BSV back.
However, with no court order affording him de facto ownership of the wallets in question, Mr Wright has been forced to acquire what the Bitcoin Association, who will presumably rule on the matter, calls a “document of comparable force” to a court order in order to prove ownership. Tulip Trading Limited did this yesterday, taking out a full page advert in the Financial Times where it warned anyone who believes they have a rightful challenge to ownership of the two wallets to come forward within three months or Tulip Trading Limited will assume theoretical ownership of the wallets involved:
From today’s Financial Times… this is the “lost my pendrive in a boat accident” version of Mr. Craig Wright (self-proclaimed Satoshi). pic.twitter.com/Y91fMAK3lk
— Leon (@Trader_Le0n) June 30, 2022
Tulip Trading Limited claims it bought the 1Feex wallet in 2011, although the paperwork backing up the claim was proved to be fraudulent in court in 2021, with pro-BSV outlet Coingeek noting that the supposed purchase order from that time “contains some inaccuracies”.
1Feex Wallet Tied to Mt. Gox Hack
Many people of course know the 1Feex wallet as belonging to the person who hacked Mt. Gox in 2011, with Mr Wright claiming that he bought the wallet in February 2011 but that the coins weren’t “delivered” until the following month, right at the time that the same amount of bitcoin was being drained from Mt. Gox. Incidentally, the exchange that Mr Wright says he bought the 1Feex wallet from in 2011 doesn’t appear to have offered Bitcoin services until 2013.
The 1Feex wallet of course contains the same amount of BSV and BCH as BTC given the way that forks work, and it is this BSV that Mr Wright is trying to get his hands on. Mr Wright has borrowed millions of dollars worth of BSV from casino empresario Calvin Ayre to fund his lawsuits, which is no doubt the driving force behind his desire to ‘reclaim’ these coins.
Mr Wright is clearly hoping that the efforts to flush out the true owner of the 1Feex wallet will fall on deaf ears (after all, this person might be prosecuted for hacking Mt. Gox) and that Tulip Trading Limited will use this as “comparable force” in their attempts to convince the Bitcoin Association to give the green light to the miners to use the freshly developed notary tool to freeze the BSV in the 1Feex wallet and issue Mr Wright 80,000 fresh BSV.
Whether the Bitcoin Association, which remember settled with Mr Wright even though it didn’t need to, will accept these conditions remains to be seen. If it does however, then this will represent the shattering of the illusion of immutability on blockchains, although of course this will only apply to blockchains that do not have adequate decentralisation.
Tulipp Trust Could Face Legal Battle
Mr Wright could face a legal battle over the contents of the Mt. Gox wallets, with victims potentially having a legal channel to question him over the accuracy of his claims that he didn’t hack Mt. Gox and only happened to buy the wallet at the same time.
Incidentally, almost two and a half years after access to the wallets was allegedly stolen by this highly experienced and well-equipped gang, they have not moved one coin of any denomination out of it. This is surprising for a number of reasons, especially considering the risk involved and that such operations don’t come cheap.
Should Mr Wright persevere and win access to ‘his’ BSV coins, it will represent an extremely fortunate turn of events. Three years ago he borrowed millions of dollars in BSV to fund a legal spree, and at the same time began suggesting that court orders could be used to move coins from addresses illegally removed from the owners’ possession.
Less than a year later, the biggest cryptocurrency theft of all time occurs on his property, giving him the chance to obtain a court order to get those exact same coins back, managing to overcome the fact that the evidence supporting the purchase is fraudulent. Then, after losing the case, he is still favoured with the opportunity to reclaim 110,000 BSV thanks to a pliant defendant, meaning he can pay off his bill after all.
Sometimes luck really is on your side.