A lawsuit filed by Craig Wright to force Bitcoin developers to return the crypto-currency and modify the code may go to court, Reuters reported on February 3.
Craig Wright is suing 15 developers in an effort to’obtain 111,000 BTC worth $2.5 billion. Craig Wright was allegedly hacked several years ago, causing him to lose access to keys that would have allowed him to withdraw crypto-currencies from various addresses. (One of these addresses is believed to contain stolen funds related to the Mt. Gox hack, despite Wright’s claims.)
If Craig Wright wins his case, developers could be required to write software patches that would help his company, Tulip Trading, recover the full amount.
Craig Wright has been pursuing this action in the UK since at least February 2021. Although the case was dismissed last year, the U.K. Court of Appeal ruled today that developers can owe obligations to the owners of a blockchain. Judge Colin Birss ruled that Tulip has a “realistic argument“that the crypto-currency is entrusted to the developers and that they can be required to introduce a code that moves the owner’s bitcoin to a safe place.
James Ramsden, the attorney representing several appealing developers, said his clients are “incredibly nervous“. In addition to eventually having to pay money themselves, the outcome could also impact the development of blockchain on a large scale.
Craig Wright has had a tumultuous relationship with the crypto-currency community due to his claims that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudo inventor of bitcoin. Nevertheless, he was involved in bitcoin early on and has successfully leveraged this role in various legal cases. He has won some copyright cases, as well as technical victories and non-final losses in defamation cases.