Craig Wright suffered a computer hack that cost him a £3.5 billion theft, and now he wants to sue Bitcoin’s developers to recover the stolen cryptocurrencies.
This was announced by the law firm Ontier LPP, which oversees Tulip Trading, of which Craig Wright is the owner.
The legal action actually also extends to the developers of BCH, BCH ABC and BSV.
It all starts with the theft which dates back to February 2020. The lawyers explain that Craig Wright’s personal computer was hacked, and bitcoin that were contained in two addresses and belonged to Tulip Trading Limited were stolen. The lawyers argue:
“These assets were, and continue to be, owned by TTL”.
“TTL is requesting that the developers enable TTL to regain access to and control of its Bitcoin on the grounds that they owe Bitcoin owners both tortious and fiduciary duties under English law as a result of the high level of power and control they hold over their respective blockchains”.
Craig Wright’s lawsuit against Bitcoin developers may be a lesson learned
Craig Wright had around 111,000 bitcoin stolen at the time, which are now worth £3.5 billion. The aim of the lawsuit is to somehow “force” the developers to return the BTC to their original address.
Craig Wright, a note explains, which also calls him the “inventor of Bitcoin”, does not believe the developers are at fault in what happened, but believes they can still resolve the issue.
“Our client always intended Bitcoin to operate within existing laws, notwithstanding the original ethos of independence he envisaged for the digital currency.
We assert there are identifiable legal obligations attributable to those who develop and control Bitcoin. As a victim of theft of some serious magnitude, Tulip Trading is seeking recovery of its access to and control of its digital assets from those in a position to remedy its loss. The fact that someone has stolen Tulip Trading’s digitally-held private Bitcoin keys does not prevent developers from deploying code to enable the rightful owner to regain control of its bitcoin. A ruling in Tulip Trading’s favour will have considerable implications for others who have lost access to their Bitcoin or had coins stolen”.
Basically, the case could be set to become a milestone in cryptocurrency theft cases.
The address linked to Mt. Gox
The case opens a window on another symbolic cryptocurrency story, which is the failure of Mt. Gox. In fact, one of the two addresses that were allegedly robbed and that lawyers say belong to Tulip Trading, allegedly contains 80,000 bitcoin from Mt. Gox. As early as June 2020, someone noticed this coincidence, including Riccardo Spagni of Monero, and it was said that Craig Wright had hacked Mt. Gox on the basis of a conversation in which Mark Karpeles spoke of a transaction (the one involving the 1Feex address) from Tulip Trading in which 80,000 bitcoin were stolen from the exchange, which went bankrupt in the following years.
Craig Wright had taken a position on the matter in a statement:
“I agreed to purchase the bitcoin in the 1Feex address in late February 2011 and it was transferred into that address on 1 March that year. The full amount of the Bitcoin, which is now owned by Tulip Trading Limited, remains in that address today”.
Not only that, Craig Wright also pointed out that, at least until June 2020, there was no investigation into that address and Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy, nor did Mt. Gox ever seek to recover those 80,000 bitcoin. Nor did the liquidators ever make any such claims. What’s more, he added, it had been known since at least 2018 that he owned that address. He concluded:
“If anyone, including the liquidators of Mt Gox, wishes to assert ownership over the bitcoin in the 1Feex address then they should come forward and the identity of the rightful owner to the bitcoin can be determined by the appropriate judicial authorities. Anyone with such a claim should contact my English lawyers, SCA ONTIER LLP”.