Craig Wright claimed to be the brains behind cryptocurrency bitcoin, then Britain’s High Court called him a liar


Since the beginning of the digital cryptocurrency market, Bitcoiners around the world have been asking the question: Who invented the original Bitcoin?

It was a mysterious online personality with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto who first published an academic paper that became the blueprint for cryptocurrencies in 2008.

But the real identity of the author of that “white paper” titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System remains a mystery.

“Part of me thinks I would love to know that I've been a Bitcoiner for so long,” said Bitcoin consultant Chris Pavlesik.

“The other part of me thinks… it's better not to know. Because there's no leader. It's a faceless movement.”

Over the past few years, the names of Tesla entrepreneur Elon Musk and programmer-turned-drug-dealer Paul Le Roux have been thrown into the mix as potential Satoshi candidates.

Then, eight years ago, controversial Australian businessman Craig Steven Wright publicly claimed to be the brains behind Bitcoin.

“I was the main part of it (and) other people helped me,” he told the BBC in 2016.

“Some people will believe, some people won't, and to be honest, I don't really care.”

This announcement caused an uproar and several court cases followed.

Recently a consortium of crypto businesses filed a case in the UK High Court, seeking to establish whether Dr. Wright was the real Satoshi Nakamoto.

In a blistering decision handed down in mid-March, Justice James Mellor decided that Dr. Wright was not Satoshi and that he was not the inventor of Bitcoin.

A detailed decision is due to be published in a few weeks.

Leaving for London after ATO investigation

Craig Wright told the BBC in 2016 that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.,Supply: BBC,

Before fully committing to the crypto industry, Dr. Craig Wright worked in an accounting firm and later as an adjunct academic at Charles Sturt University.

In 2015, he was living in Sydney when the Australian Tax Office (ATO) began investigating his technology businesses.

In December that year, ATO officers raided his Upper North Shore home on suspicion of falsely claiming $3 million in tax deductions.

Dr. Wright denied the allegations of tax fraud.

“We've told the ATO everything, we've told them about the tax issues,” he said in 2016.

“Because no one understands Bitcoin very well… it's still an ongoing matter.

“We have lawyers who are negotiating how much tax I owe.”

That investigation was not resolved before Dr. Wright left Australia and settled in London.

Dr. Wright used his 2016 claim that he was the real Satoshi to promote another cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV). This initiative was supported by many of his wealthy supporters.

BSV is still active in the crypto exchange market. On its website, BSV says it is the “original Bitcoin blockchain.”

'Deliberately false evidence'

Black and white photograph of a man with a beard.

Podcaster Peter McCormack was one of those sued by Craig Wright for defamation.,supply,

Many in the industry suspected that Dr. Wright was the brains behind Bitcoin.

In response, Dr. Wright began suing some Bitcoin software developers for copyright infringement. He also sued bloggers and podcasters who called him out publicly.

One of the people Dr Wright sued for defamation was English podcaster Peter McCormack, who posted a series of tweets about Dr Wright in 2019.

A tweet from Peter McCormack.

A lawsuit was filed over a tweet by Peter McCormack.,ABC News,

“I had no idea it would be a five-year trial costing millions of pounds,” Mr McCormack told 7.30.

In the case against Mr. McCormack, the court decided that the tweets were defamatory, but the court also made damaging findings about Dr. Wright's conduct, and ruled that the evidence Dr. Wright presented was “deliberately false.” ” Were.

Because of those lies the judge awarded Dr Wright nominal compensatory damages of £1.

“He claimed he came (uninvited) to conferences but he wasn't invited in the first place,” Mr McCormack said.

“She essentially perjured herself, and so the judge gave her a judgment of £1, so it's the smallest judgment that can be given for someone in a defamation claim.”

Even though Mr. McCormack's case was seen as a partial success, the question remained: was Dr. Wright the real Satoshi?

'Intimidation, threats and threats'

In 2021, a consortium of crypto businesses known as COPA (Crypto Open Patent Alliance) filed a case in the British High Court against Dr. Wright.

The case sought to establish a final legal decision on whether Craig Wright was the real Satoshi Nakamoto.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey in front of a microphone

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was one of those supporting the High Court case against Craig Wright.,AP: Jose Luis Magana,

Some high-profile supporters of the case include Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who heads Block (a company that launched the Bitcoin cryptocurrency hardware wallet), and crypto exchange giant Coinbase.

Coinbase legal counsel Paul Grewal, who was previously vice president of Facebook, told 7.30 that the main goal of COPA is to prevent Dr. Wright from suing individuals and companies in the crypto industry.

“This is not just a campaign of litigation, this is a campaign of intimidation, threats and intimidation that has served to discourage good-faith actors from supporting Bitcoin and all the principles underlying it,” Mr Grewal said. “

During the 22-day trial, COPA's legal representatives claimed that Dr. Wright fabricated evidence to support his claim of being Satoshi.

A man wearing a green collared shirt is smiling.

Coinbase legal counsel Paul Grewal says the main goal of the case was to prevent Dr. Wright from suing people.,supply,

COPA alleged that he backdated Word files, reworded handwritten documents, deliberately altered PDF copies of the white paper so it looked like older versions, faked emails, and created ChatGPT with content. Prepared a hard drive.

Mr. Grewal was surprised by the proceedings.

He said, “As a judicial officer, I have never seen such a clear example of a scorched earth litigation campaign, relying on such fraudulent representations and forged documents.”

not satoshi

B marked gold coins.

The real inventor of Bitcoin remains a mystery.,Reuters: Dado Ruvik/Illustration,

Earlier this month, UK High Court Judge James Mellor said that the overwhelming evidence led him to conclude that Craig Wright did not write the white paper, that he was not Satoshi Nakamoto, and that Dr. Wright did not create the Bitcoin system. Created or initial software.

Mr. Grewal said that this decision has great importance.


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