MIAMI, FLORIDA – Judge Beth Bloom had sent the deadlocked jurors back into deliberations, with supplemental instructions, known as an Allen charge, to help facilitate a verdict by pressuring those in the minority. The juridical device, also called the “hammer charge”, is prohibited in twenty-two states because of its coercive nature and is described as a deceptive means “to browbeat the jury into submission” by detractors.
Bloom instructed jurors to “carefully reexamine and reconsider all the evidence”, and if the deadlock persisted, she could have decided to extend deliberations further or declare a mistrial. A hung jury, at this point, would likely slow the advancement of the multiple Bitcoin-related initiatives currently taking place, such as plans for Bitcoin-backed loans by Goldman Sachs and other global financial institutions, not to mention a largely under-the-radar stablecoin project by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in partnership with a “next generation, insured asset-backed cryptocurrency“, Bitcoin Latinum (LTNM) and its sister company, Monsoon Blockchain Corporation.
Billed as a “greener, faster, and more secure version of Bitcoin”, LTNM will seek to leverage the most widely adopted cryptocurrency on the planet to begin the integration of blockchain and smart contract models into the “Media, Gaming, Telecommunications, and Cloud Computing” sectors, together with the NSF, which is providing access to its Center for Cloud and Autonomic Computing (CAC) to fold these digital currency technologies into the American economy and to “secure the national defense“.
More high-profile, Bitcoin mainstreaming efforts have been making the news rounds of late, as well, like Jack Dorsey’s sudden departure from Twitter last week to dedicate himself full time to his digital payments platform, Block, formerly known as Square, which was among the first to offer Bitcoin transaction facilities to its merchants and one of the biggest FinTech companies to be granted a bank charter, placing it in a unique position to disrupt the entire commercial banking industry.
Dorsey’s move was accompanied by an international controversy involving pseudo-left alt-media figure, Glenn Greenwald, after it was revealed that his husband and federal congressman for the Partido Socialismo e Liberdade of Brazil, David Miranda, had accepted a private donation from the former Twitter CEO to renovate sports facilities in the country’s poorest neighborhoods. The news unleashed harsh criticism against the politician by his own party and base, directly calling the congressman’s civil service into question.
Greenwald, whose ties to Big Tech oligarchs are no secret, published a video on Peter Thiel-backed, YouTube rival Rumble, laying out the potential socialist virtues of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies on the same day. He joins a host of other celebrity journalists, monetizing their ostensibly anti-establishment viewpoints on either side of the political spectrum while marching together down the road to digital serfdom on blockchain-based, behavioral monitoring platforms like Rokfin.
Chelsea Manning, another hero of the interwoven left/right, post-Millennium political smorgasbord, recently teamed up with a Bitcoin privacy startup company backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Digital Currency Group (DCG) – two of the most influential players in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, writ large. As reported by Silicon Icarus, the former’s cryptocurrency capital fund, a16z, was managed by U.S. Justice Department’s lead investigator into Ross Ulbricht’s Bitcoin e-commerce site on the ‘dark web’ Silk Road and the Mt.Gox hack, while DGC, which is led by Barry Silbert, is one of the main vehicles for the global adoption of Bitcoin assets.
Dovetailing with Greenwald’s disingenuous excuses about why Silicon Valley should be assuming the functions of the Brazilian state, is the ongoing neo-colonial Bitcoin settler project in El Salvador, championed by the alt-right, overtly Libertarian factions of the political circus that surrounds the deployment of blockchain technology across the world. Led by the obnoxious antics of top Bitcoin evangelizer, Max Keiser and wife Stacy Herbert, many in the cryptocurrency media space are encouraging the establishment of Bitcoin colonies, prodding their followers to emigrate, and even offering tipson how to make the move.
The verdict that finally came down on Monday in Miami tacitly buttresses Dr. Craig Wright’s claim to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Legally, it undermines that claim. By finding that Ira Kleiman’s lawsuit failed to prove that the Australian computer scientist owes 1.1 Billion Bitcoin to his dead brother’s estate, the identity of Bitcoin’s real inventor remains shrouded in mystery and beyond the purview of the legal system, that would otherwise have the onus of determining the value of Bitcoin’s intellectual property, which in turn, would severely complicate the execution of so many Bitcoin enterprises.
As for the $50 billion worth of Bitcoin in Wright’s alleged possession, the decision to prove he is the creator of the world’s first blockchain-based, peer-to-peer digital cash system after all by moving the coins, continues to be at his sole discretion. With no court order requiring him to actually do so, the eccentric polymath can step right onto the stage and bluff the audience again before retreating behind the curtain to let Satoshi’s Kabuki theater go on.
Eight years before the motorcycle accident that would leave him paralyzed from the waist down, David Kleiman received a commendation by then Secretary of the Army and former Virginia congressman, John Otho Marsh Jr., praising the 20-year old Army helicopter technician for delivering “outstanding results”. He would be awarded the Army Achievement Medal and named Soldier of the Year, auguring a promising career in the armed forces.
His story becomes somewhat convoluted from this point on, with a clichéd narrative of a bright young man who traded in his dog tags for a badge to join the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) and pursue his passion for law enforcement, until a meeting with fate changed his life. In most mainstream accounts of David’s life, his interest in computers and technology is painted as more of a hobby than a profession, that only became an obsession after a car struck the 28-year old off duty officer in 1995 and confined him to a wheelchair.
However, it is clear that Kleiman was already involved in cybersecurity work by 1990, when he was fresh out of the military and more than a decade before he would take a job as the Chief Information Security Officer for a Florida-based company called Securit-e-Doc, where it is claimed that he developed a Windows-based encryption tool called S-Lok, used at NASA, the U.S. Treasury, the Office of the Inspector General, and the US Marshalls Office.
“Dave Mississippi”, as he was called due to the daisy chain of certification acronyms that were listed after his name, was a computer forensics expert with deep ties to the national security state and federal counter terrorism outfits, in particular – a combination of skillsets that dovetailed quite curiously with Otho Marsh’s quite long and significant, if largely ignored, career in U.S. politics, intelligence and cyberlaw.
In 1996, the FBI created the InfraGard Association, which is a “public sector private sector co-venturer” sponsored by the Bureau to “aggregate individuals from certain vertical markets particularly technology, other infrastructure, utilities, telecom, people from the private sector”, according to testimony by one of Kleiman’s future business partners, who would meet the ostensible Bitcoin co-developer at an InfraGard event in Miami several years prior to the formation of their company in 2012.
Kleiman is identified as InfraGard’s Sector Chief for Information Technology in a 2007 publication by an NSA-approvedcomputer forensics certification organization, and was likely recruited to the domestic federal law enforcement agency’s group long before then. Whether or not Kleiman was already working with the FBI by the time he began exchangingmessages in 2004 with other cybersecurity experts on the mailing list where the Bitcoin whitepaper would be first published four years later is unclear.
What is indisputable is that the FBI has played an integral part in the Bitcoin story from the start, and as the agency’s two-year investigation into the Silk Road dark web marketplace demonstrated, the digital currency’s much-touted immunity from confiscability is more legend than fact. Five years after Craig Wright purportedly asked Kleiman in an email to co-author the Bitcoin whitepaper, federal agents seized hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin as a result of the Silk Road raid, making the size of the FBI’s Bitcoin holdings among the largest in the world, second only to the 1.1 billion just adjudicated to Craig Wright by a Miami jury.
Even the crypto riches Kleiman’s brother has been searching for are in the hands of the FBI, according to Wright himself, who has stated that the creator of the PBSO’s Computer Forensics Lab lost most of his digital fortune as a result of the Justice Department’s prosecution against the founder of a cryptocurrency exchange based in Costa Rica called Liberty Reserve, where Wright claims David had placed much of his treasure.
Smoke and Pixels
Was David Kleiman a computer genius who helped create an alternative kind of money, that could ostensibly bypass government control – a government he had served for most of his adult life? That scenario calls for more of the same kind of endless intrigue and mystery that continues to swirl around the creation of Bitcoin, and which never seems to lead anywhere.
When Kleiman’s decomposing body was found in his Palm Beach home in 2013, the scene described is right out of a Martin Scorsese film. Empty liquor bottles strewn across the shit-stained floor, a loaded gun and a bullet hole in his mattress. The cause of death was eventually determined to be health complications from MSRA – a staph infection, which afflicted him for many years. None of it made much sense.
In an email reported by Gizmodo dated 2011 and addressed to Wright, David supposedly reveals his misgivings about the entire affair. “I think you’re mad and this is risky,” Kleiman writes, and then proceeds to express his commitment to “what we are trying to do”.
The aura of illegality surrounding Bitcoin seems to pop up here and there, but has so far left one man unscathed. Craig Wright keeps accumulating victories in court, though ownership of Bitcoin’s intellectual property rights remain elusive. A fact that seems to not bother Wright at all, despite the potential windfall such recognition would entail. Indeed, no one has done more to keep the origins of Bitcoin secret more than Craig Wright, himself.
The Australian technologist, who has been credited as the inventor of the first online casino has repeatedly failed to offer any direct evidence that he is the creator, or at least the true owner of Satoshi’s Bitcoins, which he could do by simply moving the digital assets from their current address. After Monday’s verdict, his attorneys ‘confirmed’ that their client’s intention was to give the tens of billions of dollars-worth of Bitcoin to charity.
“Most people just don’t realize just how much is being done in Bitcoin,” Wright stated in a 2015 interview, confidently adding that “it will probably stay that way for quite a while.”