UK Judge freezes $7.6m of Craig Wright’s assets after his loss in Bitcoin creator case

UK Judge freezes $7.6m of Craig Wright’s assets after his loss in Bitcoin creator case
Craig Wright's court costs will be settled in final judgment. Credit: Andrés Tapia
  • Craig Wright's assets frozen by UK judge.
  • Tornado Cash co-founder Storm seeks dismissal of US case.
  • Merkle fundraise said to value firm at $1bn.

Craig Wright’s assets frozen in Bitcoin creator case

A UK judge froze $7.6 million of assets belonging to Australian computer scientist Craig Wright to prevent him from evading court costs accrued in a recent case that found he was not “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the pseudonymous author of a white paper behind the creation of Bitcoin, as he had claimed.

On March 14, Wright lost an almost two-month legal battle with the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a Jack Dorsey-backed non-profit established to keep crypto technology free from patents.

According to court documents, the freeze ordered by Judge James Mellor is intended to account for COPA’s legal fees in light of Wright’s “history of default in relation to orders for the payment of money.”

Mellor also noted that Wright had transferred ownership of his shares in RCJBR Holding to Singapore-based DeMorgan on March 18.

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“Understandably, that gave rise to serious concerns on COPA’s part that Dr Wright was implementing measures to seek to evade the costs consequences of his loss at trial,” Mellor said.

Mellor said he plans to finish writing his judgment on the case, then hold a hearing at which “costs would be determined.”

Tornado Cash co-developer Storm files for dismissal

Lawyers for Tornado Cash co-developer Roman Storm filed a motion to dismiss a US criminal indictment alleging that he had assisted in money laundering and the violation of sanctions.

The charges concern allegations that Tornado Cash was used by the North Korean Lazarus Group of hackers to bypass sanctions and launder stolen crypto to help fund the country’s nuclear program.

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Co-developer Alexey Pertsev is currently on trial in the Netherlands on similar charges, DL News has reported.

Storm’s legal team argues that he was a developer who built software solutions to provide financial privacy, which the government had wrongly concluded made him “guilty of multiple criminal conspiracy charges.”

They contend that “building software solutions to provide financial privacy to legitimate cryptocurrency users” is not a crime, adding: “The Indictment is fatally flawed and should be dismissed.”

Merkle fundraise said to value company at $1bn

Merkle Manufactory, which develops software for decentralised social-media networks, has almost completed a funding round valuing it at about $1 billion, people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

Crypto investment firm Paradigm is leading the round for Los Angeles-based Merkle, the report said.

The start-up was co-founded by two former Coinbase executives, Dan Romero and Varun Srinivasan.

Romero confirmed in a social media post on Warpcast that Merkle was raising funds, but declined comment when asked by Bloomberg about the valuation. Paradigm also declined to comment.

Crypto market movers

  • Bitcoin is up 0.73% today at $70,221.50.
  • Ethereum is up 3.00% today at $3,612.18.

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