The Australian man who claimed to have invented cryptocurrency bitcoin has been ordered to hand over half of his alleged bitcoin holdings, reported to be worth up to $5bn.
The IT security consultant Craig Wright, 49, was sued by the estate of David Kleiman, a programmer who died in 2013, for a share of Wright’s bitcoin haul over the pair’s involvement in the inception of the cryptocurrency from 2009 to 2013.
Kleiman’s estate alleges Wright and Kleiman were partners, and therefore his family is entitled to a share of the bitcoin that was mined by the pair in that time. Wright denies there was a partnership.
A US district court in Florida on Tuesday ruled that half of the bitcoin mined and half of the intellectual property held by Wright from that time belongs to Kleiman.
One issue is it is not known exactly how much bitcoin Wright holds. It has been claimed that the Kleiman estate could get anywhere between 410,000 and 500,000 bitcoin, putting the value at between A$6.1bn and A$7.4bn as of Wednesday.
Wright claimed to the…