Lawyers for a pro-BTC advocacy group are cross-examining the pro-BSV Craig Wright in London’s High Court. During his second day of testifying as a defendant, Wright attempted to bat away a barrage of legal questions, often claiming that he was set up to look like a liar.
The conversation focused on edited computer files that Wright has presented over the years as evidence of his claim to be anonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
The Coinbase, MicroStrategy, and Jack Dorsey-backed Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) filed a lawsuit against Wright on February 5 alleging that many of the documents that he has submitted are intentional forgeries. Regarding certain documents, even his own expert witness agrees.
Nevertheless, as the world learned from Tuesday’s courtroom session, Wright still protests his innocence by claiming that other people — via Reddit, forums, email, unauthorized computer access, or otherwise — forged his computer files to frame him as a cheater.
In the case of one document submitted by Wright in 2019, he claims that Bitcoin developer Greg Maxwell edited it in 2016 somehow knowing that Wright would use it years later to claim that he was Satoshi.
Crypto Open Patent Alliance v. Craig Wright
The authenticity and provenance of computer files are the focus of this lawsuit and belie Wright’s claim that he’s Satoshi. If Wright loses this lawsuit, COPA could gain an injunction preventing him from suing Bitcoin developers again in London — Wright’s preferred jurisdiction due to favorable treatment of plaintiffs regarding legal fees and burden of proof standards.
The stakes are equally high for Bitcoin’s developers, who are essentially fighting for their right to work on Bitcoin without needing to defend themselves in court.
Despite these high stakes, some of those present at the High Court thought Wright dressed inappropriately for yesterday’s hearing. “Those shoes are offensive,” someone in the courtroom said.
Wright initially fooled some people, like Gavin Andresen and Roger Ver. Andresen later admitted that he “could have been fooled” during his deposition in the Kleiman v. Wright case while Ver called Wright a fraud, which led to Wright filing an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit against him.
A setup, a scam, a frame job against Craig Wright
Predictably, Wright denied almost all of COPA’s allegations of personally forging or falsifying documents.
For example, COPA zoomed in on a document with irregularities, such as misaligned characters printed on one document. Occasionally, Wright acknowledged that a document was edited, but again, he almost always claimed that someone else made those edits to make him look bad.
Presiding Judge Mellor acknowledged the allegations of forged documents during the opening statement, saying Wright “should consider himself extremely lucky” to get to make his case at all.
Wright denied plagiarizing anything used as legal evidence.
In the courtroom, Wright also became emotional when challenged and became increasingly agitated while on the stand. He claimed to be “better with code than words.”
COPA presents even more forgeries
COPA’s legal team showed evidence that a BlackNet document contained formatting that did not exist until 2007, even though Wright claimed (and allegedly edited metadata showed) that it was created in 2002. The experts also found evidence that Word 2015 was used to create it. This document could represent Wright’s alleged tampering with his computer clock to backdate documents.
COPA presented more evidence of tampering in emails sent using Outlook. COPA pointed to poorly formatted “From” headers that someone manually re-timestamped in July 2020. Wright denied using Outlook at all.
Throughout Tuesday’s session in London’s High Court, Wright repeatedly denied that he submitted documents were personally forged or plagiarized. In some cases, he tried to explain away their peculiarities with technical or social context. In other cases, he claimed a grand conspiracy or setup intended to make him look like a liar by his enemies.
Within the overcrowded, stuffy, and emotionally charged courtroom, he became agitated when presented with expert evidence that seemed to indicate that he was faking evidence of his identity. Nevertheless, Wright has only himself to blame for a high stakes, High Court battle. Indeed, it’s Wright himself who set the stakes this high.
Wright has sued various Bitcoiners throughout history for billions of dollars apiece with almost all of his lawsuits centering on his claim to have created Bitcoin. In this month’s High Court lawsuit, he must finally prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto to avoid an injunction from further litigation as plaintiff in London.