I am Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and I’m delighted to pay £70million in damages to prove it, says Craig Wright

AN Aussie scientist who claims to be the creator of Bitcoin says he's "relieved" to pay the family of his dead business partner £70million in damages.

Craig Wright, 51, says he created the cryptocurrency under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and now insists a court case proves he is telling the truth.

That's because the jury in Miami, Florida, decided that the computer genius, from Brisbane, did NOT owe the family of David Kleiman half of his alleged 1.1million Bitcoins worth nearly £53billion ($70bn).

Kleiman's relatives insist the pair were close friends and co-created Bitcoin through a partnership.

Instead, the jury did award £70m ($100m) in intellectual property rights to a joint venture named W&K Info Defense Research between Wright and Kleiman – who died in 2013 aged 46.

The award was a fraction of what Kleiman's lawyers were asking for at trial.

Andres Rivero, Wright's lawyer, said: "This was a tremendous victory for our side."

Wright said: "I have never been so relieved in my life."

The computer scientist, who has Aspergers syndrome and reportedly only sleeps four hours a night, says he created Bitcoin on his own – a claim which has drawn scepticism in the wider crypto community.

He said he felt vindicated and that the jury's verdict proved he was Nakamoto – a claim he first made in 2016.

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“The jury has obviously found that I am because there would have been no award otherwise, and I am," he said.

However, a lawyer for the Kleimans, Devin Freedman, also praised the verdict calling it “a historical precedent in the innovative and transformative industry of cryptocurrency and blockchain.”

He said: "Many years ago, Craig Wright told the Kleiman family that he and Dave Kleiman developed revolutionary Bitcoin based intellectual property.

“Despite those admissions, Wright refused to give the Kleimans their fair share of what Dave helped create.”

All Bitcoin transactions are public and the mysterious creator of the currency's fortune has remained untouched since its creation.

Members of the crypto community have called for Wright to move some of the coins into another account to prove he is the owner.

'TREMENDOUS VICTORY'

Wright and his lawyers have insisted he will prove his ownership and donate a part of his Bitcoin fortune to charity.

The case tried in federal court in Miami was highly technical, with the jury listening to explanations of the complex workings of cryptocurrencies as well as the murky origins of Bitcoin.

Jurors took a full week to deliberate, repeatedly asking questions of lawyers on both on how crypto works as well as the business relationship between the two men.

Bitcoin's origins have always been shrouded mystery.

In October 2008, during the height of the financial crisis, a person or group of people going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper laying out a framework for a digital currency that would not be tied to any legal or sovereign authority.

Mining for the currency, which involves computers solving mathematical equations, began a few months later.

The name Nakamoto, roughly translated from Japanese to mean "at the centre of", has always been regarded as a pseudonym.

In 2016, Wright provided technical "proof" to the BBC, The Economist and GQ, which consisted of a demonstration of the verification process used in the very first Bitcoin transaction.

'PROOF'

But The Economist claimed "such demonstrations can be stage-managed” and reported Wright refused to make the proof public and to provide other assurances.

He then posted an apology on his blog stating that he no longer had the “courage” to continue the process of proving his identity.

Wright subsequently appeared in Netflix documentary Banking on Bitcoin and once again claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto in what he said would be his final filmed interview.

While there has been plenty of speculation about Nakamoto, there is one person who’s adamant he definitely isn’t the cryptocurrency pioneer.

Japanese-American man Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto said he had never even heard of Bitcoin.

In 2014, the computer engineer living in Los Angeles County denied that he was the shadowy force behind the infamous cryptocurrency.

It soon emerged that scientist Hal Finney, who was the recipient of the first Bitcoin transaction, lived a "few blocks" from the seemingly-oblivious Nakamoto.

Forbes journalist Andy Greenberg attempted to interview Finney at his home – despite Finney battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The terminal disease rendered the crypto-community enthusiast "locked" in his body and unable to speak or move his muscles.

Crypto can be riskier than other investments because they are volatile and speculative – their price often rising and falls very quickly, sometimes seemingly for not reason.

Many cryptocurrencies have a short track record, making them difficult to understand and predict.

This type of investment is also not protected by the regulator which means you have no protection if things go wrong.

The risks of buying with cryptocurrencies

Investing and making a purchase in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is risky .

Their value is highly volatile and City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has warned investors should be prepared to lose all their money.

Investing in cryptocurrencies is not a guaranteed way to make money.

You should also think carefully about making purchases with a cryptocurrency.

For example, Bitcoin has had wild price fluctuations in recent months and the price can change on an almost hourly basis.

The price of a Bitcoin was at $40,258 on January 9, according to Coindesk, but fell to $34,214 just three days later.

That's a 15% drop.

These price swings are risky for a business as you could sell an item for a Bitcoin at one price and the value may drop soon after, leaving you with less money from a sale.

Similarly, the price of Bitcoin has soared by more than 21% since the start of this week so it can be hard for a shopper to get an accurate idea of the price of an item if its value changes on a daily basis.


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