You may have been following the news lately and heard a lot about Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin. Satoshi is reputed to possess the keys to a Bitcoin wallet worth millions. One man claims he has those keys and that he is in fact the mysterious person behind all the rumors and speculation. Now he has found himself at the center of a court battle which could ultimately have the power to crash the Bitcoin market.
The Saga of Craig Wright
Ever since Bitcoin made its appearance in 2009 people have been trying to guess the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the name given to Bitcoin’s founder. There has been general agreement since the very beginning that Satoshi Nakamoto is an alias. Most believe it is the name that was chosen by a group of developers that created Bitcoin.
In the past ten years several people have claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Most of the claims are easily disproved, but there is one person making the claim today who could actually be the creator. His name is Craig Wright. Wright is an Australian computer scientist. He was first outed as Satoshi Nakamoto by two magazines/websites, Wired and Gizmodo. This started a tumbling of dominoes that lead us to where we are today.
Craig Wright is at the center of a court battle over the Bitcoin that resides in the wallet belonging to Satoshi Nakamoto. Some have claimed that Wright is only participating in a scam and going along with the theories of Wired and Gizmodo. Wright’s claims were taken seriously enough that he was sued by the estate of Dave Kleiman, a man that Wright stated helped in the development of Bitcoin. In a lawsuit filed in Florida the Kleiman estate sued Wright for the rights to Satoshi’s Bitcoin wallet.
The wallet of Satoshi Nakamoto is thought to contain Bitcoin worth as much as $5,118,266,427.50. The lawsuit has taken many twists and turns. As of January 2020 it is still playing out in the court system. Wright has claimed he will deliver the keys to the wallet once they have been received from another mysterious figure, a bonded courier. He has also claimed the keys are missing. No one knows for sure who holds the keys to Satoshi’s wallet.
What Will Happen if Satoshi’s Wallet is Emptied?
Those who have been watching the court drama in Florida unfold include those who are curious about cryptocurrency as well as hardcore investors who wonder what will happen to the crypto market as a result of the case’s outcome.
The wallet or holdings of Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to be close to one million Bitcoins. As of this writing there are two distinct possibilities:
- Someone, perhaps Craig Wright or maybe someone else, holds the keys to the wallet which contains Satoshi’s Bitcoins.
- The keys, and therefore the Bitcoins in Satoshi’s wallet, have been lost.
For the purposes of this article we will assume that an individual does indeed have the keys to the vast treasure of Bitcoin, but it is worth mentioning a few reasons that lend weight to the opinion that the keys are lost.
For starters, if someone does indeed have the keys to the wallet then why didn’t they at least sell part of the tokens during the Bitcoin bull market in 2017? Bitcoin was nearing a value of $20,000. Selling a mere portion of the tokens in the wallet would have made anyone rich enough to walk away from everything and live the life of a king. Yet, none appear to have been liquidated.
One also has to ask themselves how a group of individuals could willingly agree to sit on a stash of Bitcoins this large for ten years. It is impossible to get a small group of people to agree on what to have for lunch, much less to agree on what to do with a billion dollar fortune. At some point wouldn’t the dissent between the group members have been noticed? Surely one of them would have come forward.
We’re left with the possibility that someone does indeed have the keys to Satoshi’s wallet. That means there is also the possibility that they will cash out at some point. When they decide to do so there is a possibility that the value of Bitcoin could be destroyed within a few hours. From thousands of dollars to a less than a penny in a day. It’s a doomsday scenario.
There is a fixed supply of Bitcoin. The number is 21 million. Satoshi is believed to hold 1 million, or 5 percent of the whole. That means that Satoshi could flood the market whenever he wishes to do so. Let’s compare it to a rare baseball card. Suppose you buy a very rare card of Babe Ruth for $10,000. When you buy the card there are only three such cards known to be in existence. Then, someone goes cleaning out Uncle Bob’s attic after he passes way and finds 100 of the same card in perfect condition. The scarcity of your card is now gone, and so is a large part of the value.
As long as those cards from Uncle Bob stayed off the market you were okay. The minute they made their appearance your investment sank. The same thing could happen when a large number of Bitcoin is dropped on the market.
As you can imagine this gives the person or persons behind the Satoshi Nakamoto name a lot of power. They basically hold more than the key to Satoshi’s wallet. They hold the key to the very existence of Bitcoin.
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