What Bitcoin Did Podcast host Peter McCormack has prevailed against dubiously self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright in the UK’s supreme court. The High Court of Justice denied Wright’s bid for an appeal of his loss against McCormack after a three-judge panel ruled that Wright’s appeal did not sufficiently specify an “arguable question of law.”
McCormack had been fighting the lawsuit against the BSV promoter for half a decade. He previously alleged that Wright committed libel while also highlighting the Australian businessman’s various failures to provide convincing evidence of his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
In an earlier chapter of their legal saga, Wright had won damages of a paltry £1 ($1.27). Far more importantly, however, the presiding judge in that case wrote that Wright presented false evidence.
COPA alleges forgeries by Craig Wright
During the McCormack lawsuit, Wright disputed that he forged evidence — principally to defend the credibility of that evidence for his use in other lawsuits. For years, Wright has sued Bitcoin developers, most of whom are backed by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA). Members, including Coinbase and Kraken, argue that Wright forged critical documents that he has presented as evidence while suing them.
The Jack Dorsey-funded group is countersuing Wright. Its allegations of Wright’s forgeries are outlined in a 38-page court filing. These allegations include the claim that Wright produced a file as evidence in court that compiles into a lookalike Bitcoin whitepaper with carefully edited yet misplaced pixels.
COPA members are not alone in their complaints about Wright forging documents. US Judge Bruce Reinhart said unambiguously, “Craig Wright has produced forged documents in this litigation. I have previously found that Dr. Wright gave perjured testimony in my presence.”
Wright also claimed to have created a time capsule of Bitcoin-related documents in 2007. However, COPA computer experts claim that some of those documents had been edited in 2023. They say Wright also failed to completely edit the files’ timestamps — even though he knew how to reset his computer’s internal clock back to 2007 while making those edits.
He was also allegedly caught using ChatGPT to forge some documents.
Craig Wright offers settlement to COPA, immediately declined
Under the weight of more and more evidence from COPA members, Wright’s posturing has become slightly less confident. Indeed, he offered an oddly-worded settlement with a one-week expiration, however, COPA declined the offer, telling Law360 reporters that it “comes with loopholes that would allow him [Wright] to sue people all over again.”
Wright frequently faces uphill battles in his libel cases against well-known figures in the crypto industry. He lost his case against his one-time ally Roger Ver. Wright also gave up on his case against Vitalik Buterin. In recent years, he has focused most of his litigation in the UK which, compared to the US, has lower standards for proving libel and favorable treatment of attorneys fees for non-winning plaintiffs.
Even when Wright wins, he rarely gets what he wants. For example, bitcoin.org still hosts the Bitcoin whitepaper. Wright filed a copyright for the original Bitcoin whitepaper published on October 31, 2008. He then used that copyright claim as the subject of a legal claim against the current owner of the Bitcoin.org domain, known only as Cobra.
Because the pseudonymous owner did not reveal their identity to defend against Wright’s case, Wright won a default judgment. A judge ordered Cobra to remove the Bitcoin whitepaper from Bitcoin.org.
Cobra never took it down. The developer also made a cranky tweet about a DDoS attack against Bitcoin.org that occurred shortly after the ruling.
In the wake of McCormack’s win, COPA is up next with hearings in three cases due to open in February. The Jack Dorsey-led group will do its best to banish the patent troll for good.