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Vitalik Buterin calls out ‘fraud’ Craig Wright during Deconomy 2018

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has lashed out at Satoshi Nakamoto-claimant Craig Wright – calling the investor a ‘fraud’ during a question and answer session during a conference.

Written by Bryan Smith Published on

Satoshi Nakamoto-claimant Craig Wright recently found himself at the center of a $10 billion USD lawsuit, and now the academic has stepped into new and hotter waters as Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has labeled Wright a ‘fraud’.

Buterin and Wright both served as panelists at Deconomy; a roving blockchain forum devoted to covering the development of distributed economies. Witnessing Wright’s address at a panel entitled Bitcoin, Controversy over Principle – which explored some of the animosities and disagreements between leading proponents of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – Buterin began to live-tweet his thoughts on the address.

Continuing his coverage, Buterin outlined several apparent misconceptions issued by Wright, to several of which Wright elected to respond.

Ultimately, Buterin queried Wright’s fitness to answer questions on stage – responding to a statement by saying that“…so given that he makes so many (inaudible) mistakes, why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?” to audible cheers.

Friction

The spat has brought with it animosity between the two figures; Wright responded to the exchange in yet another tweet – surmising that “Vitalik has one issue… When we demonstrate what BCH can do, he knows that ETH will wither and die.”, to which Buterin accordingly replied “…but Craig Wright *is* crazy.”

Wright has previously faced criticism for the claim that he is Bitcoin’s pseudonymous author, Satoshi Nakamoto.  In 2015, a series of articles penned by Gizmodo and Wired outlined the possibility that Wright was the hand behind the Bitcoin white paper – and while Wright has never outrightly dismissed the claim, the businessman now faces a lawsuit over some 1,1 million BTC.

Wright now faces a lawsuit brought forward by Ira Kleiman on behalf of the estate of his brother, the late Dave Kleiman. Dave Kleiman has been similarly linked to Bitcoin’s origins and has also been thought to have been Satoshi Nakamoto.

At the heart of the lawsuit sits some 1.1 million BTC, which Ira Kleiman’s lawyers have valued for the purposes of the dispute at $10 billion USD. Court papers accuse Wright of orchestrating “a scheme against Dave’s estate to seize Dave’s bitcoins and his rights to certain intellectual property associated with the Bitcoin technology.”

While Wright’s presence – and claim of his work as ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ – remain a divisive factor in the wider cryptocurrency community, the academic’s exchanges with Buterin mark a new paradigm for the friction that first split Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

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Written by

Editor of CoinInsider. Technology journalist, podcaster, photographer and filmmaker. Hodling - BTC, NEO, ETH.@bryansmithsa