We are yet to see a more intense crypto-centric case as the jury remain deadlocked for days as the court battle over 1.1 million BTC reaches a standstill.
Australian Craig Wright’s court case with the estate of his now deceased friend, David Kleiman has hit another dead end and could most likely end in a mistrial if the deadlock in the jury persists.
The ongoing case is over the legal rights to tens of billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC) mined by Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright’s argument is that he invented Bitcoin and he used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto during this development process of the digital asset.
This case began in 2018 when his associate’s estate sued him on the grounds that Wright and Kleiman were partners who had invented and mined Bitcoin together. On Wednesday 1 Nov at around 5pm UTC, the jury was deadlocked and issued this statement:
Unfortunately we cannot come to a conclusion and we cannot all agree on a verdict on any of the questions.
Fast-forward five hours later at 10pm UTC, they were still deadlocked, to the extent that they were issued the Allen charge and were set to return on Thursday. Court Reporter, Carolina Bolada from Law360 was giving the public these updates through a series of tweets.
Jurors were issued the Allen charge. Back they go.
— Carolina Bolado (@CarolinaBolado) December 1, 2021
Judge Beth Bloom issued this Allen Charge to instruct the jury to keep deliberating until reaching a verdict. Judge Bloom was categorical in her statement and said:
I suggest that you now carefully reexamine and reconsider all the evidence in light of the court’s instructions on the law.
However, despite the stern decision to issue an Allen Charge, if no verdict does not come to fruition, the judge could declare a mistrial.
The stakes in this case are as high as they can get, with both sides being at odds over the ownership of 1.1 million BTC mined at the time of conceiving the digital asset. By today’s BTC prices, 1.1 million BTC is worth $62,568,836,000. One thing that they are in agreement on is that Wright is Satoshi.
In court, one Ira – Kleiman’s brother – insisted that an oral agreement existed between Wright and Kleiman to mine BTC and develop its technology together. However, this agreement was broken by the former. Wright, on the other hand, claims that no such partnership existed and the most that Kleiman did was proofreading the Bitcoin Whitepaper since he was not a developer and could not debug the Bitcoin code.
Image courtesy of pixabay
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