Hello and welcome to this week's Overbit News. In our first news of the day, a judge ruled on Monday that self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright is not required to give half of his claimed $50 billion Bitcoin fortune to the brother of his late partner, Dave Kleiman.
Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic computer scientist who invented Bitcoin, was ordered to pay Ira Kleiman $100 million in ambiguous intellectual property rights from a company he and his partner founded, W&K Information Defense Research, and W&K claims to own one key piece of intellectual property: Bitcoin itself.
It was commonly speculated that Satoshi Nakamoto mined 1.1 million Bitcoins in the early days of the Bitcoin blockchain when mining was cheap and straightforward, and if Wright truly controls Bitcoin's intellectual property, he could (theoretically) control a large number of blockchains. Many of them, including Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, are "forks" of the core Bitcoin network.
The trial did not debate who was the genuine creator of Bitcoin, but rather whether Mr Kleiman was entitled damages for difficulties relating to their joint involvement in the corporation known as "W&K." Rather than attempting to prove Wright's identity, the trial proceeded on the legal presumption that he was really Nakamoto. Wright stated that his private keys were encrypted using "Shamir's Secret Sharing", which divides a password into multiple "key slices," and that he did not know all of them. And he was told that a mysterious "bonded courier" would deliver them to him on January 1, 2020, but the courier never arrived. The trial proceeded as anticipated after the deadline passed.
Bitcoin is still trading below $50,000 in turbulent weekend trade as we begin our next story of the week. Earlier in the day, the world's largest cryptocurrency fell more than 2% as it attempted to reclaim the $50,000 mark. On Saturday, prices were around $43,000, down from $57,000 early Friday morning. The broader market took a risk-off stance on Friday, causing bitcoin to plummet sharply.
Fears about the impact of the omicron Covid variation on the current economic recovery drove all three major averages to close in the red on Friday, resulting in weekly losses. This selling spilt over into cryptocurrencies, with no apparent cause for the sudden drop across the board.
"It looks like somebody likely got hit with a margin call yesterday and thus was 'forced' to sell," said Matt Maley, equities strategist at Miller Tabak, making the case that this crash isn’t a sign of a decline but just a freak accident, and "The Bitcoin market is much more "thin," on weekends, which likely exacerbated the decline."
Regardless, the new selling contributes to Bitcoin's recent losses. On November 26, the cryptocurrency fell to a seven-week low of around $54,000 and was legally categorised as being in a bear market. Maley went on to suggest that the level at which Bitcoin settled on Sunday — approximately $50,000 — is significant since it is below the trend line drawn from the July lows.
Regardless of market conditions, the global crypto environment grows each month.
That’s it for this week’s edition of Overbit News, thanks for reading and we’ll see you next week!