20.01.2021

Craig Wright ‘in Discussions’ to Settle Multi-Billion-Dollar Court Case

Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled in late August that Wright must turn over half of his bitcoin holdings and intellectual property from before 2014 to Kleiman’s estate.

Craig Wright, the Australian entrepreneur who controversially claims he is Satoshi Nakamoto, is moving to settle a case that looks set to cost him billions in bitcoin.

The case has been ongoing since 2018, when Ira Kleiman – the brother of Wright’s late business partner Dave Kleiman – sued for $10 billion, claiming that Wright was trying to seize Dave’s bitcoin holdings.

Now, before that decision is finalized, Wright has lodged a filing with the Southern Florida district court requesting more time to negotiate a settlement with the Kleiman estate.

Filed on Sept. 17, the document states:

“The parties are currently engaged in good faith settlement discussions. To that end, Dr. Wright and Plaintiffs respectfully request a 30-day extension of all discovery and case deadlines to facilitate these discussions.”

It goes on to elaborate that “extensive settlement negotiations” have been carried out and that the parties have come to a “non-binding agreement in principle to settle this matter.” The negotiation of the agreement is ongoing, and the two sides are currently hashing out the terms and details.

Saying that a settlement is in the interest of both parties, Wright’s legal representative requested that the court allow the 30-day extension. It would also allow Wright to cut off further deadlines in the case, such as expert witness disclosures. He further plans to oppose Judge Reinhart’s sanctions order on Sept. 24.

The Kleiman estate supported the request for more time to finalize the settlement.

During the case, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart did not find Wright to be credible, and did not make a finding on whether or not Wright is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s creator.

Crypto Advocate Brian Quintenz Will Step Down From CFTC Role by October

Commissioner Brian Quintenz, who sponsored the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) and advocated for self regulation in the crypto industry, will leave his post by late October.

Quintenz’s statutory five-year term ends this month. The longtime crypto advocate will not seek renomination and plans to stay on until his successor is appointed, he announced Tuesday in a statement. The departure was first reported by Bloomberg.

It was a period that ran parallel to the resurgence of the TAC.

One month after his confirmation in August 2017, Quintenez became sponsor of the CFTC’s mostly dormant Technology Advisory Committee that had, in his opinion, largely failed to keep pace with technological change in part by meeting just twice in the previous three years.

“Crucial and fascinating questions need to be explored and answered,” he said at the time about many tech initiatives including blockchain. “Distributed ledger technology is on the verge of creating a sea change in contract design, reporting and settlement.”

The Quintenz-sponsored TAC proceeded to form DLT and virtual currency subcommittees and began meeting regularly to consider stablecoins, virtual currencies, DLT market infrastructure, and crypto custody.

“I’ve been particularly honored to sponsor the CFTC’s Technology Advisory Committee, where we’ve had the opportunity to explore the extraordinary technological renaissance transforming our financial markets,” Quintenz said in a statement.

His term ends a few months before that of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Hester Peirce. Like Quintenz, Peirce has advocated for the crypto space.

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