On Monday, the highest stakes trial of Craig Wright’s life will continue, and despite mounting evidence against him, Wright believes he’ll win.
The Australian computer scientist, who backs Bitcoin fork Bitcoin SV, is being sued in London’s High Court of Justice by Coinbase, Kraken, Square, and MicroStrategy-backed Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA).
In addition to those transnational requests, COPA wants a few rulings unique to the UK. First, COPA has requested the High Court’s written permission for COPA members to use Bitcoin’s whitepaper without infringing on Wright’s intellectual property. Furthermore, they want the court to permanently enjoin Wright from asserting authorship of Bitcoin’s whitepaper or its copyright.
Craig Wright believes he is Satoshi Nakamoto
Despite a week of questions about Wright’s alleged forgeries and lies, he insists that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. Before the trial began, a dubious settlement offer made to COPA by Wright was rejected.
Defending himself at trial, Wright is confident he can counterargue COPA’s allegations that he forged and manipulated evidence of being Satoshi.
On Friday, the judge met with attorneys for both sides of the case in a private chamber. Apparently, there had been an issue with individuals involved in the case — including Wright — speaking with the media.
During last week’s proceedings, Wright had several emotional episodes, but while he admitted to telling a few people that he felt stressed, he swore that he didn’t leak any information about legal proceedings and only responded generically, so as not to appear rude.
The judge had a brief delay in opening proceedings for the day. While waiting, COPA’s legal team huddled for a rather intense discussion. One Craig Wright supporter thought they looked worried. Other observers said they smiled conspicuously.
Highlights from Day 5 of COPA v Wright
Once proceedings were underway on Friday, the focus quickly turned to technical details. As usual, Wright deflected blame for the alleged forgeries by claiming that other people wanted to frame him as a liar. As he had claimed in prior sessions, Wright continued to repeat on Friday that multiple people handled computer files without his permission.
Wright also answered COPA’s questions about the IP address of an old email to Bitcoin cheerleader Jimmy Nguyen. Wright denied responsibility for spoofing any IP address to email Nguyen, highlighting that the address geolocated to nChain, where Wright worked as chief scientist. The company obviously employed many workers and contractors besides Wright at that time.
Wright also objected to a characterization of Bitcoin predecessors HashCash and b-money as anything resembling a ‘blockchain.’ COPA says Wright referred to them as using a variation of blockchain. Wright clarified that “Blockchaining isn’t blockchain,” noting that Hashcash’s chain of blocks referenced email remailers, not a blockchain.
COPA questioned Wright about other altered documents. For example, COPA lawyers presented evidence that Wright had created many documents using fonts that didn’t exist in 2002 when Wright claimed he created a BlackNet document. On Friday, Wright admitted to seeing font type and size alterations while noting that other people might have made those modifications.
Wright couldn’t say with any certainty whether metadata might have changed to reflect modifications in the document or instances of someone saving a copy of a document.
Craig Wright makes fun of expert witnesses
Discussion of 97 files found on a BDO drive included the difference between server metadata like cached browsing history, versus metadata saved in an actual file. Wright explained away certain differences by calling a digital forensics expert a “tool jockey.” He also complained about not having access to evidence to run the tests he wanted.
Wright’s disparaging comments toward expert witnesses continued. He questioned whether they were qualified to use Citrix and VMWare tools. He went off on a tangent about somebody alleging that some of his patents were invalidated by his use of ChatGPT until a member of COPA’s team got him back on track.
Wright also said images of the BDO drive had been posted on X (formerly Twitter). He said any contradictory statements about a supposed hack or theft of the image were due to “hubris.”
He disputed whether experts had to use proprietary software, saying he could get similar software for three pounds on eBay.
Wright tries to win by blaming attorneys
He did admit to having disputes with attorneys over custody of some files, which were on servers that his attorneys took from his home to image (clone). He says the server files were in the attorneys’ custody for longer than it should have taken to conduct imagings — in fact, several years. In Wright’s words, attorneys also “changed their story” several times.
Wright also accused his opposition of modifying certain documents, including one that COPA alleges was a plagiarized whitepaper in which ‘TimeCoin’ replaced ‘Bitcoin.’
Another LaTeX document dated 2006 showed signs of having been created in 2016. Wright implied that his opposition might know who had access to his computer at the time but had “fled the country” due to an injunction against him.
Overall, Wright seems confident that he can win. However, COPA still has access to documents that could have been modified in ways that could undermine Wright’s arguments. In particular, the Bitcoin whitepaper, which is the centerpiece of this month’s litigation, was published in October 2008. If COPA can prove that Wright created lookalikes of that whitepaper in any subsequent date, it would be devastating for his argument that he is Satoshi, not Faketoshi.