Tulip Trading made ‘deliberately false claim’ of BTC ownership, Bitcoin Core developers argue

Around 111,000 bitcoins were allegedly lost in a 2020 hack


alfredhofer/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Tulip Trading must prove that it owned the bitcoins allegedly lost during a 2020 hack, a new application with the UK’s high court argues. 

Tulip Trading, a holding company created by Craig Wright, filed a lawsuit arguing that 12 Bitcoin Core developers had a “fiduciary duty…to recover the Digital Assets for it upon [Tulip Trading] asserting that it is their rightful owner.”

Tulip Trading sought to have the court declare it as the rightful owner of the bitcoins (BTC), while also pushing for the developers to let it access the bitcoins through a “backdoor” in the Bitcoin Core software, or ensure a transfer of the bitcoins to an address that has accessible private keys.

Documents claim that some of the developers “are no longer contributors to the Bitcoin Core software and some have ceased being contributors due to the burden of these proceedings.”

Around 111,000 bitcoins were allegedly lost in the attack, leaving the valuation of the bitcoins at around 4.5 billion euros, according to the court documents. 

Lawyers for the developers argue that Tulip Trading made a “deliberately” false claim of ownership.

In addition, “Wright’s case proceeds on the basis of a fundamental mischaracterisation of how Bitcoin works. Bitcoin is an open-sourced software project and the developers that contribute to it form part of a voluntary community of contributors that changes over time.”

The defendants seek to have Tulip Trading prove that it did own the bitcoins, arguing that proving the address ownership would save months of court proceedings. 

Last year, a judge ruled that developers did not have a fiduciary duty to help Wright access the addresses containing bitcoins.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495M in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.


The SEC has signaled a timeline to issuers that could lead to a July 23 launch for the ETH funds, people close to the process told Blockworks


PayPal has unequivocally made a name for itself as a crypto adopter among fintech giants


Also, a look into how the highly-debated SAB 121 could end up shaking out for crypto custodians


Vance, an Ohio Republican, is largely seen as crypto-friendly


Plus, all the world is green as prices across the crypto space rally, with solana reaching a nearly two-week high


Investors add to crypto positions after “turnaround in sentiment due to lower-than-expected CPI,” CoinShares research head says