Craig Wright Told to Reveal Bitcoin Addresses or Face Contempt

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Craig Wright, the man who is taking to court those who decry his assertion that he is Bitcoin’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, could face jail if he doesn’t disclose all his Bitcoin addresses as part of a separate case against the estate of former business partner Dave Kleiman over the ownership of 1.1 million BTC. The southern district court of Florida has thrown out Wright’s argument that finding these addresses would be too difficult, and has ordered him to produce them or face a contempt of court charge, which can result in a fine or even jail time.

Complying With Court Order “Unduly Burdensome” for Wright

Wright was supposed to deliver “a sworn statement identifying the public addresses of the 1,100,111 bitcoin and 821,050 bitcoin” that form the focal point of the Kleiman case by Saturday, June 15, as well as a list of his BTC holdings as of December 31, 2013, but he did not comply with this order, claiming that it would be, in the court’s words, “unduly burdensome” for him to do so.

The court order to reveal the associated addresses was initially issued in March, but Wright has tried to stifle the request at every step, stating that a number of third parties hold parts of the encryption keys needed to access the necessary information. His arguments have however been met with short shrift by the court:

He (Wright) has not explained why he cannot obtain, and has not obtained, the necessary keys from these third parties. At this point, the record before the Court fails to demonstrate that Dr. Wright cannot through reasonable diligence comply with the Court’s March 14th Order. The Court will allow the parties to develop a full evidentiary record before it decides whether sanctions are warranted.

Wright Close to Losing

Stepehen Palley, a lawyer who has been following the case, said of this development that “Wright is close to getting sanctioned and losing”, and that settling out of court might now represent Wright’s best option. This would be a blow to the man who, when this case is finished, is due to face two more court cases regarding his assertion that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. This chastening experience however may serve to dent his confidence somewhat and make him realize that there are some people whose eyes he can’t pull the wool over.