Craig Wright Ties Himself Up in Knots Over Tulip Trust

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Craig Wright has begun 2020 in ignominious fashion after the ‘bonded courier’ who was supposed to magically arrive at his doorstep with the keys to the Tulip Trust, unlocking 1.1 million ($7.87 billion), failed to do so. Knowing that he was about to get lampooned once more for his claims, Wright began rowing back on his predictions in the lead up to the non-event, contradicting earlier statements about his levels of access.

Spring Fails to Come Early for Wright

The existence of the Tulip Trust, which Wright claims was set up by himself and former partner Dave Kleiman in 2011 to look after the 1.1 million BTC they mined in Bitcoin’s early days, has been a source of hot debate. Judge Bruce Reinhart, who last year ruled that Wright hand over half the bounty to Kleiman’s estate, made no bones about the existence or not of the trust, after trying his best to get Wright to prove its existence:

I completely reject Dr. Wright’s testimony about the alleged Tulip Trust, the alleged encrypted file, and his alleged inability to identify his bitcoin holdings. Dr. Wright’s story not only was not supported by other evidence in the record, it defies common sense and real-life experience. Dr. Wright’s false testimony about the Tulip Trust was part of a sustained and concerted effort to impede discovery into his Bitcoin holdings.

The Scientist Who Doesn’t Write Things Down

Wright claims that the whole business of accessing the trust is fiendishly complicated, with the main problem being that the man who likes to be known as nChain’s Chief Scientist says that he didn’t bother writing down the addresses that held the 1.1 million because, according to a recent Coingeek article, things were different back then:

…the public address system widely used in Bitcoin today was not how he designed Bitcoin to work in the beginning, and that is partly why he did not keep in 2009 and 2010 any list of public addresses for the Bitcoin he mined into his companies in those years.

Sure, of course. 1.1 million, which you allegedly created, and you didn’t write down where you kept it? Some scientist. According to Wright, the coins were locked up tight until January 1, 2020, when he would receive, like Moses receiving the ten commandments, the keys to unlock the monster wallet. However, rather like a cult leader whose doomsday predictions don’t pan out, he had a line ready:

As I’ve explained in court proceedings, I believe I will receive information in January 2020 that will enable us to identify coins I mined into my companies in 2009 and 2010, but cannot be certain that all of that information will in fact arrive. I have not said the private keys to those coins would become available, or if so, actually used, in January 2020.

Ah, so he never actually promised access to the fund? Of course, of course, our mistake. Except…

I could have tanked the market anytime in the last 10 years and ran away laughing. I didn’t.

Hmmm, rather odd to boast about tanking a market while simultaneously denying you have the means to do it. It’s a shame there’s no precedent for this. Except…

As Judge Bloom recently noted in denying Dr. Wright’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Dr. Wright has taken directly conflicting factual positions at different times during this litigation.

Ah, that makes sense. Phew. For a minute there we were worried we trusted him.