- Craig Wright has distanced himself from personally owning the Bitcoin in the Tulip Trust
- Wright issued the statement the day after ₿50 from an alleged Tulip Trust wallet was accessed and moved
- Calvin Ayre said Wright did not move them, then called a story that quoted him as being “mostly likely…wrong”
Craig Wright has distanced himself from owning the 1.1 million Tulip Trust Bitcoin that he has claimed he mined with former business partner Dave Kleiman. Wright’s denial of personal ownership comes after ₿50 was sent from an alleged Tulip Trust wallet on Wednesday in a move that could end up putting him in legal jeopardy. Wright has long claimed to be Bitcoin’s creator and to have mined the Bitcoin with Kleiman, but he yesterday tried to sidestep any legal problems arising from it by stating that claims he personally owned the mined coins are “a malicious falsehood” and “defamatory in nature.”
Tulip Trust Address Accessed
As part of his court case against the estate of Dave Kleiman, Wright was repeatedly asked by Judge Reinhart to produce the list of Bitcoin addresses to which he and Kleiman had mined Bitcoin in its early days – the addresses that formed the Tulip Trust. After claiming that he couldn’t possibly complete this task, Wright eventually did produce a list of the thousands of Tulip Trust addresses on threat of financial sanctions in 2019.
Among the addresses Wright listed as being part of the Tulip Trust was 17XiVVooLcdCUCMf9s4t4jTExacxwFS5uh, which it must be remembered that Wright claimed he wasn’t able to access after the much-vaunted bonded courier failed to arrive in January this year. This was the wallet that was emptied on Wednesday, which immediately raises the question of who did the emptying – if it was Wright, this would mean he was lying about not having access to the wallet, and if it wasn’t him then he could have been lying about it being in his control in the first place. Either eventuality puts him at risk of a charge of perjury in his case.
Lapdog Ayre Barks Up For Wright
With Wright no longer on social media, it fell to his lapdog Calvin Ayre to offer confirmation or denial of Wright’s involvement in the moving of the coins. Ayre duly obliged, stating that “I just spoke with him and Craig confirmed not him.” If we are to believe Ayre, then there are two options left – either Wright intentionally misled the court by providing false addresses, or the wallet was hacked and the coins moved. There has been no evidence yet to back up the hack theory, suggesting that the coins were accessed legally by the owner.
Interestingly, the day after stating that Wright didn’t move the coins, Ayre seemed to recant the statement when he responded to a piece by Cointelegraph regarding what he had said:
they mostly likely are wrong in this coverage.
— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) May 21, 2020
Wright Rushes to Distance Himself from Coin Ownership
With questions now arising about Wright’s claims to have owned the coins, he has seemingly rushed to distance himself from the Tulip Trust addresses and essentially threatened legal action against anyone who dares suggest otherwise:
This is a clear and obvious attempt by Wright to distance himself from the coins he has fervently claimed to have mined for so long, and in doing so attempt to avoid the potential legal connotations that could follow. What we can be sure of is that the Kleiman estate’s legal team will be all over this development and will be keen to leverage it to try and prove that Wright has been less than honest in his declarations to the court (this wouldn’t be the first time).
As for who actually moved the coins, if it wasn’t a hacker and it wasn’t Wright then we can assume that the genuine owner of the wallet decided to move the coins on, either to realize the gain or to make a point. The coins have been split up and sent to multiple Bitcoin addresses, meaning that unless the person comes forward to identify themselves we will likely never know who reopened this particular Pandora’s box eleven years after it was created.