Wright, who faced the law after allegations he stole $10 billion from former business partner Dave Kleiman, must now pay his widow Ira half of that sum, or 500,000 BTC.
The payout, ordered by Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, will attract a tax rate of 40%, which Kleiman’s estate will have to pay.
Wright claims estate tax will force Kleiman to sell Bitcoin
While the Australian claimed he would not sell $5 billion worth of BTC on the open market, which could lead to a crash, the source of the additional $2 billion remains unknown.
The alternative, which he did not discount in an interview with fintech magazine Modern Consensus, would be for Ira Kleiman to pay in cash in return.
“Whoa! The estate tax is 40%. Unless Ira has $2 billion in cash, he will have to dump 2 million BTC to pay the taxes,” the interviewer exclaimed in the first exchange with Wright since the court order.
Wright’s response was uncharacteristically short.
“Yeah,” he said.
Based on thin Ayre?
The ruling brings to a head a debacle which has dragged on for years and involved an increasing number of third parties far removed from Wright and his entourage.
In the face of multiple claims of fraud on social media, Wright even began suing those who disagreed with his alleged proof he created Bitcoin. Those lawsuits came to nothing, while this week, those publicly supporting Wright’s original statements evaporated.
Only Calvin Ayre, the major supporter of Wright’s favored altcoin, Bitcoin SV (BSV), continued to argue he was Nakamoto.
“The judge ruled Craig and Dave are Satoshi. This is not accurate but its enough to have Craig accurately be referred to as Satoshi as he is saying and this will likely be appealed,” he wrote on Twitter.
Large numbers of responses then immediately dismissed the comments. United Kingdom-based entrepreneur Alistair Milne described Ayre’s words as flat-out lies.
“The US court *did NOT* rule that Wright/Kleiman were Satoshi Nakamoto. Anyone telling you otherwise is either insane or a liar,” he tweeted.
In what will be a source of personal satisfaction to Wright’s previous legal victims, meanwhile, one person present at the hearing concluded it was now not libellous to label him a fraud.
Citing testimony from Kleiman, Katie Ananina wrote in a digest of the proceedings:
“I now know the way to say #craigwrightisafraud and don't get in trouble. It's been said in a Federal Court.”
Ananina noted the judge also threw out Wright’s claim he would be able to prove he had access to the private keys bolstering his Nakamoto claim by January 2020.