Editor’s note: This story was updated on May 21 to include Craig Wright’s response.
Bitcoin SV’s billionaire benefactor Calvin Ayre was the first to reveal Satoshi claimant Craig Wright denied moving 50 BTC from a long-dormant address thought by some to belong to the Bitcoin founder.
On Wednesday, an unknown party moved 50 Bitcoin (BTC) — roughly $486,000 worth — from an address containing coins mined barely one month after the launch of the Bitcoin mainnet in 2009.
But in a Twitter response to Blockstream’s Adam Back, Ayre said it had nothing to do with Wright. The Satoshi claimant later released his own statement on May 21:
These coins are not my personal coins and I did not move them and as I have mentioned before I have no intent of dumping BTC or otherwise touching trust assets.
The address in question, 17XiVVooLcdCUCMf9s4t4jTExacxwFS5uh, is among 16,430 others in a preliminary list associated with the Kleinman v. Wright case.
Wright has denied in court he has access to the private keys to the addresses. If he said he moved the 50 BTC from a wallet in the final submitted list, logically he’d be in trouble. And if someone else moved the coins, that would indicate the address does not belong to him, again leaving him in a potentially sticky legal situation.
But confusing matters, there are three different lists of addresses that have been submitted (as this Reddit post attempts to explain).
Wright released a statement overnight to claim the list filed in August 2019 “was compiled as an exhaustive record of addresses that would most likely incorporate trust holdings” but not submitted to the court as evidence of his Bitcoin holdings. He claims to have submitted a final list on January 14 which reportedly contained only 16,404 addresses.
That document remains under court-ordered seal, but I can confirm that the address from which yesterday’s transaction originated was not included in the final list that was submitted to the court.
The judge has questioned Wright’s credibility on more than one occasion.
Bitcoin price falls 5%
The movement of 50 BTC from the dormant wallet had many in the crypto community asking whether Nakamoto himself was back.
The wallet address is not one associated with the Bitcoin creator, but the 11-year gap in activity still caused a 5% drop in BTC price — from the $9,700s to $9,400s — when the news broke.
BTC price falling ~5% after news of Satoshi coin movement
Wright’s denial should stem any fears he’s about to sell off a large amount of Bitcoin. In 2018, he posted an ominous warning on Slack, explaining in detail how he’d be selling a “large volume of BTC” around the time of a halving that would tank the price.
Others in the crypto community, however, are highly skeptical the tokens belong to either Nakamoto or Wright. Blockstream founder Adam Back thinks if the real Satoshi were to liquidate some of his holdings, he would choose a more anonymous address.