Dr. Wright and the altered PDF

Much of the hysteria surrounding the recent court case with Dr. Wright vs Ira Kleiman has been shrouded in the controversy of the tulip trust. Up until now, I haven’t publicly stated my thoughts on much, because I haven’t had a solid opinion on much up until now. Here in this piece, I’m not going to mince words. I’m going to keep this short and succinct.

First let’s clarify some of the misconceptions. The outcome of the discovery process was an order by the judge that recommended the award to the plaintiff. This will be taken into consideration in the actual trial.

Enemies and haters of Craig Wright immediately hit social media and outlets with cries of joy as if the most wanted man in the world had just been captured. This overzealous response did not take into account that there was no judgement — but a court order.

At the heart of it all is the Tulip trust which Dr. Wright’s team argued was legitimate and held a large number of Bitcoin locked (both legally and cryptographically) until the year 2020. The judge seemed puzzled by the belief that the date on a generated PDF record of an email, should hold the identical date as the email.

The Tulip trust document can be found in an email which was sent in 2011. The discrepancy is displayed in the following two documents provided to the court. One with a 2014 date, and the other with the 2011 date.

What has been ignored is the original email in question. Clearly these records stem from an email. So why wasn’t the original email interrogated at all? I don’t know the answer to that question, but it most certainly should have been exhausted option — particularly, and especially given what is at stake here. Ah well, in any case, I have my hands on the original email. The original .msg file is on my machine and we are going to investigate this. So let’s open it.

A screenshot of a pdf of an email may tell you some things… But when you look at the email itself, you start to get a little more clarity. What we have here is an email sent on the 24th of June, 2011. Attached is the Tulip Trust document which we have all come to be familiar with.

Checking the email headers, every date stamp within there also matches up when you take into account the timezone differences.

So, let’s double click the Tulip Trust attachment and have a look at the contents…

That’s most definitely the Tulip Trust we are familiar with… so what about the dates associated with this file which is attached to the original email?

Okay what we have here is a very consistent date on the date that the PDF was generated. Remember once again, this is a PDF generation date, not the date the document was created… Now more interestingly also, the PDF Producer is PaperPort 12 which is a consistent version for the time period, and also, the PDF Version, falls consistently for a 2011 period.

After a thorough examination of all of this, we are left without a doubt, that had the court exhausted this avenue to identify the origins and validity of dates, it would have left no question as to the date origins and validity of this document. That simple discrepancy could have been quashed just by checking the original email.

A printout of a PDF of an email leaves a lot to be desired for. If tampering seems probable on some submission, then reverting to the source material is a no-brainer. We want to get to the truth of things after all… or do we?

Author’s side note:

Now, many people like to silence my voice because I have friendly standing with Dr. Wright. It’s true I do have a friendly standing… but if I thought he was a fraud, I can assure you this standing would be non-existent. I have never asked for, nor have I ever been paid for anything got to do with Craig. Calvin and CoinGeek don’t pay me for anything I write (they’ve tried to compensate for my efforts and I’m not interested). CoinGeek even published one piece where I was critical of both CoinGeek and Craig at one point — do you really think a paid employee would do that? Kudos to them for publishing, because they know that ultimately I want what is best for Bitcoin. You may not believe that some people actively like to push for a truth without any financial incentive, but some people actually do. And the truth is, that this central piece of evidence was disregarded in the discovery process.

Others have already tried to smear my name and have attempted to attack what they call “journalistic integrity.” And here’s a truth, if I was a journalist, this would be my career, and I’d be getting paid for it. My voice would be for sale — and it’s not.

Eli Afram

Bitcoin’s capacity to make the world better

The recent recommendation in the Ira vs Craig case, rewarding half the Bitcoin to Ira, stood firmly on the basis that the judge believed Craig had tampered with documents. Wright’s team claimed that some documents were hacked and maliciously modified.

One of the difficulties of this trial is the sheer volume of data. On one hand, when one team is asked to hand everything over, you hand everything you have over. You don’t go through every document and analyse for tamperings – there’s no time for that. Nonetheless, the judge deems that if you provide documents, the onus is on you to ensure the veracity of the contents. This is a valid position.

The ultimate truth of the forged documents may never really be known. All we can do in our current system is have a judge or jury rule on what they perceive to be the truth. Much of what is in law is (particularly in the absence of hard evidence) often subjective. It is on what we are inclined to reasonably believe or reasonably reject. Cases that are in the absence of hard evidence often introduce incredibly polarizing opinions. Take for example the recent case against Cardinal Pell who is now a convicted pedophile. This case was based on the testimony of one person (the victim). The judge and jury in that case found that the victim’s account was “believable”, and this was sufficient to lock the cardinal up. The lack of hard evidence provided an outlet for public divide on the matter, with notable Catholics and commentators doubting the judgement. The jury in that case conclusively decided that Pell was guilty.

Wright’s team claimed the doctored documents were a result of a hack, but they did not produce hard evidence to back up this claim.

Hard evidence is hard to come by. This is an unfortunate aspect of many trials. It is for the judge and jury to determine who is right and who is wrong, and to rule accordingly. I like to believe they usually get it right. Sometimes they get it wrong.

Interestingly, a new Northwestern University study found that one in eight juries are making the wrong decision – by convicting an innocent or acquitting the guilty.

The point of this piece isn’t to say whether Craig did, or did not. Not at all. And it’s not to dilute a judgement, and it’s not to question the veracity of the law. It is to bring to light, an ever-present problem within the system, that by the account of many studies, exists.

So I present the question: How different would this discovery process had been if Bitcoin SV’s MetaNet had been around for the last two decades (presuming technology was there).

The metanet world will be vastly different to today’s world. It will be a world where countless devices all around the world are hooked up to the blockchain, autonomously feeding and giving data. Where all future food deliveries are managed on-chain, and where vertical farms make their supply orders automatically. Robots will drive major ecosystems. Such changes are already happening… just think about lights-out factories. Human responsibilities are moving towards creating, building and automating. The every day routine jobs, are quickly becoming a thing of the past. And much of that change is irrespective of the blockchain. But when all these devices interact on chain, you have a single truth system, where every entity owns its own data.

One of the key take-aways of the Metanet is that everything that is of value is recorded on-chain. When records, workflows and movements are recorded immutably on-chain with time-stamped precision you have a very different set of proceedings in court.

First let’s go to the question where the judge asked if Craig wrote the Bitcoin whitepaper, to which Craig and the Plaintiff agreed Craig is the author. However, in a metanet world, Craig would have had the associated key, and would be able to prove with significant weight that he did so.

But more importantly, questions regarding the legitimacy of documents would effectively be practically non-existent. In a metanet economy, where data has direct value, not only would hackers be dis-incentivized from modifying a record (since the original will always exist on-chain), but even if they tried, the original could easily be recalled and used with potent effect, dismissing the fraudulent document.

Bitcoin SV is building an honest system. A system of traceability and accountability. Whether Craig did or didn’t, the truth would be concrete in a metanet world. 

Encrypted key frames from CCTV could record the presence or absence of an individual in a specific place to acquit or convict them. Encrypted crime-scene photos could be uploaded the very moment they are taken on a tablet and uploaded, making tampering of original evidence near impossible. This world is being built right under our noses, and there are a number of applications being built already that are offering this sort of transparency. Here’s a very recent one called Tape Recorder: LINK – which uses an interesting method to record script attestations, promoting transparency.

Not only does the metanet help in providing an ultimate truth to a dispute, it also goes quite someway to discourage would-be hackers and criminals. Accountability indeed reshapes people’s behaviour for the better. However, your privacy continues to remain your privacy, as you choose to encrypt your data. All this data then, lives not on Facebook’s servers, not on Google’s servers, and certainly not on Apple’s servers, but on the blockchain that remains decentralized, and where only you have the key to unlock YOUR DATA.

The metanet world is a better world. Bitcoin SV is building this world.

Eli Afram

Dr. Craig Wright responds to Kleiman case’s ruling by U.S. federal magistrate

A hearing in the Kleiman v. Wright case has concluded in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Monday with Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart recommending that half of the Bitcoin mined by Dr. Craig Wright before December 31, 2013 should be awarded to the Kleiman estate, along with half of intellectual property (IP) rights of Craig Wright prior to December 31, 2013.

As expected, sensational articles have already been written about the court ruling, but it’s important to remember that Magistrate Judge Reinhart issued a recommendation to the District Court judge (the assigned trial judge for the case), and even if adopted by the District Court judge, it is not a final judgement. There is still a long way to go – including a possible trial – before the matter is resolved.

Reinhart’s recommended ruling applies to the lawsuit filed by Ira Kleiman on behalf of Dave Kleiman’s estate. The case, which began in 2018, sued Dr. Wright for $10 billion worth of Bitcoin, claiming that Wright was after Dave’s BTC holdings. Monday’s event was the conclusion of an evidentiary hearing on discovery disputes in the case (in particular, whether Wright was able to comply with a court order requiring him to list Bitcoin he had mined, or whether he was unable to do so as he explained to the court). The full issues in the case will not be decided until other proceedings, and ultimately trial in March 2020.

Dr. Wright was asked to provide a list of public addresses for Bitcoin he mined before December 31, 2013, but because of the complicated details of the Tulip trust and also a technical solution he asked Kleiman to implement to make the mined Bitcoin unavailable to Wright’s family trust until at least January 2020, information related to such mined Bitcoin are intentionally not available to him until at least January 2020. Magistrate judge Reinhardt did not find Wright’s explanation to be credible.

The magistrate judge is not, however, referring the case for civil or criminal contempt. Instead, the magistrate judge elected to recommend issue sanctions in the case, which include determining that Wright was part of a “Satoshi partnership” with Kleiman in the beginning of Bitcoin, and is recommending a finding that Kleiman’s estate is entitled to half of the Bitcoin mined by Wright and half of Wright’s intellectual property (presumably related to Bitcoin, but this awaits the court’s written order to clarify) up to and including December 31, 2013.

In response to the court’s ruling, legal counsel for Dr. Wright provided the following response to CoinGeek:

The hearing before the magistrate concerned requests for information that Dr. Wright was ordered to produce but explained that he could not provide at this time. Dr. Wright disagrees with the magistrate’s ruling about those discovery issues, as well the basis for the magistrate’s findings regarding his ability to provide the information requested. Dr. Wright also believes the remedies recommended by the magistrate are extreme and disproportionate to the discovery dispute. This is not a final judgment in the case, and Dr. Wright intends to take steps available to him to continue to vigorously defend the claims asserted against him by Ira Kleiman.

In an interview with Modern Consensus, Dr. Wright confirmed that he is willing (if the court’s findings stand after a complete trial, disposition and any necessary appeal of the case) to “hand over $5 billion in BTC.”

The judge won’t rule on whether I’m Satoshi. But the partnership is. So when Dave Kleiman passed, the partnership transferred to Ira,” Dr. Wright told the news outlet, adding that the court recommendation doesn’t affect Bitcoin SV (BSV). “BSV, it won’t. But the judge ordered me to send just under 500,000 BTC over to Ira. Let’s see what it does to the market. I wouldn’t have tanked the market. I’m nice.

But because the court ruled that Ira Kleiman “inherited” $5 billion, he may have to dump some US$2 billion in BTC to pay estate tax, according to Dr. Wright, who noted:

Everyone wants to hate on me. This is the result. If you’d left me alone, I would have sat on my fucking money and you wouldn’t have to worry. And the biggest whale ever has to dump because he has to pay tax. It’s not a transfer. Florida has an estate tax. Trust me. This is not an outcome I would have liked. I own a lot of BTC. Dave should have owned 320,000 and I should have had 800,000 and now it’s 50/50. At the end of the day, that’s not a good thing for BTC.