Courts Will Begin Seizing Bitcoin This Year Without Using Private Keys, According to Craig Wright

Courts Will Begin Seizing Bitcoin This Year Without Using Private Keys, According to Craig Wright

Craig Wright is no stranger to controversial statements. Now, Wright argues that courts will soon begin seizing Bitcoin if court orders request it. What’s more, Wright also says that this will not require the use of private keys.

Wright: The first BTC seizure by courts will occur this year

This news broke on February 26th, when well-known Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack published screenshots of Wright’s claims on Twitter. The two screenshots, available below, indicate that Wright believes courts genuinely have the tools to confiscate Bitcoin.

According to Wright’s messages, seemingly from the MetaNet Slack message community, courts will soon begin to seize Bitcoin. Moreover, Wright argues that this will happen through miner and node cooperation.

As such, Wright suggests that courts will not need private keys to carry out Bitcoin seizures. Instead, courts will require miners to cooperate – and courts can also, according to Wright, mandate code patches.  Wright’s comments leave little for the imagination:

Bitcoin’s unconfiscatability is one of its major benefits

One of Bitcoin’s biggest advantages, and crypto in general, is that the currency is unconfiscatable. Specifically, there’s no foolproof way to extract a private key or seed phrase from someone in a police investigation. 

Although suspects can choose to surrender their crypto, for example in exchange for a lesser punishment, it is not technically possible to “confiscate” crypto. In order to reorganize a blockchain, a person would need to control a large part of the network’s hash rate.

However, it is extremely doubtful if Wright’s prediction will actually come true. It is far from certain that miners would comply with court orders to alter the very nature of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Could people get stolen crypto back?

Wright also began asking for firms that have lost Bitcoin over the years. For example, this includes exchanges that have seen hacking attacks. Moreover, Wright also said that he wants people to “get their money back” in 2020.

“Does anyone have a list of companies who have “lost” Bitcoin. Quadriga, MtGox etc […] and any frozen funds[.] I want to help ensure that people get their money back starting this year. You see, Bitcoin is easily confiscated, easily returned to the owner[.]”

As such, it seems that Wright wants to use this supposedly upcoming “power” for good, in returning cryptocurrency funds. Nevertheless, it seems odd that someone who claims to be Bitcoin’s “creator” doesn’t see that this fundamentally contradicts cryptocurrency’s nature.