Craig Wright Is Not Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Judge Declares

Craig Wright Is Not Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto, Judge Declares

A judge in the UK High Court has declared that Australian computer scientist Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, marking the end of a years-long debate.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” said Justice James Mellor, delivering a surprise ruling at the close of the trial. “First, that Dr. Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin white paper. Second, Dr. Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in the period 2008 to 2011. Third, Dr. Wright is not the person who created the Bitcoin system. And, fourth, he is not the author of the initial versions of the Bitcoin software,” he said.

The ruling brings to a close a six-week trial, in which the Crypto Open Patent Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of crypto companies, asked the court to declare that Wright is not Satoshi on the basis that he had allegedly fabricated his evidence and contorted his story repeatedly as new inconsistencies came to light. “After all the evidence in this remarkable trial, it is clear beyond doubt that Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto,” claimed Jonathan Hough, legal counsel for COPA, as he began his closing submissions on Tuesday. “Wright has lied, and lied, and lied.”

In the last five years, Wright has used his claim to be the creator of Bitcoin to bring multiple lawsuits of his own against developers and other parties he has accused of violating his intellectual property rights. COPA is seeking an injunction that would prevent Wright from further brandishing the claim. “We are seeking to enjoin Dr. Wright from ever claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto again and in doing so avoid further litigation terror campaigns,” says a COPA spokesperson, who asked to remain nameless for fear of legal retaliation from Wright.

The parties will have to wait a month or more for a formal judgement to be published, detailing the specific findings and forms of relief Wright will be required to submit to. The judgement will “be ready when it’s ready and not before,” said Mellor.

Until the snap ruling, the trial appeared as if it would end less with a bang than a whimper. The courtroom, packed out for the opening week, was by the end only half-full. One onlooker, who had in the waiting area introduced himself as Satoshi Nakamoto, nodded off to sleep in the public gallery, chin resting on chest. Not even Wright was in attendance.

In a closing address that ran for six and a half hours, Hough drove home the extent and degree of Wright’s alleged acts of forgery, his failure to provide incontrovertible proof of his Satoshi claim, and the inconsistencies in his telling of the Bitcoin origin story.

To illustrate its point, COPA homed in on a handful of specific instances of alleged forgery. That included one forgery Wright is said to have committed mid-trial, whereby he allegedly fabricated an email between himself and his previous legal representatives in an attempt to paper over a contradiction in his previous evidence. In the witness box, Wright claimed the email was spoofed by a third party trying to undermine him. But Hough rejected the explanation, calling it a “parody.” The incident “speaks volumes about Dr. Wright’s preparedness to lie, forge documents in support of his lies, then add ever more outlandish lies in support of the coverup,” Hough told the court.


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