In a crowded and overheated courtroom on Monday, Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) presented evidence that Craig Wright is pretending to be Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
The London High Court case stars Wright in the role of defendant for a change. COPA members Coinbase, MicroStrategy, and more are suing to stop Wright’s litigious spree against Bitcoin developers.
Led by a grant from Jack Dorsey, COPA alleges that Wright not only failed to produce conclusive evidence of his identity, but also made errors in his alleged forgeries. Wright will appear in court throughout the week to make his most public conviction that he is, in fact, Satoshi.
Wright’s flopped evidence
On the opening day, COPA presented evidence that Wright has made factual errors in his arguments. The 54-year-old claimed that he wrote the original Bitcoin whitepaper in LaTeX — but experts testified that whoever wrote the whitepaper did it in OpenOffice. Typographical binary codes within the PDF were cited as evidence.
COPA also alleges that Wright’s supposed “2007 time capsule” contained documents that were added, modified, or deleted in September 2023. Wright knew how to “roll back” his computer’s clock to make it look like the files were created in 2007, COPA argued, but failed to scrub the evidence.
Wright was further accused of relying on ChatGPT to forge documents when pressed for time. These alleged forgeries have played a role in his other lawsuits, like Kleiman v. Wright. Presiding judge Bruce Reinhart wrote in 2020, “Craig Wright has produced forged documents in this litigation… I have previously found that Dr. Wright gave perjured testimony in my presence.”
Trolling the legal troll
Wright attempted to terrorize his most vocal critics, COPA argued, by continuously filing lawsuits against those who questioned his claims. Founding members have funded COPA to give defendants in his cases — often Bitcoin developers — the resources needed to fight back in court.
In the UK, a defendant is often required to prove that the statements were true to successfully defend against a libel case. Despite these high hurdles, Wright has often had difficulty gaining traction in UK court cases. For example, he won an award of only £1 in his case against Peter McCormack, who accused Wright of being “a liar” and “a fraud.”
However, McCormack came out on top when the UK’s Supreme Court rejected Wright’s appeal, saying that there was no “arguable question of law” to do so.
Wright similarly filed a case against Roger Ver. However, a judge tossed that case on the grounds that Wright was “forum shopping” — a common tactic for plaintiffs looking for a friendly jurisdiction.
Even with his failures in court and alleged document forgeries, Craig Wright does not want to give up on his claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. “I conceived Bitcoin, and I unveiled it to the world,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter) a few weeks ago. “However, in BTC, they’ve torn it asunder. I’ve chosen to forsake BTC because I won’t allow it to exist in a grotesque form, both in its physical embodiment and its underlying connotations.”
Wright will be simmering in an overcrowded courtroom until February 13, defending his right to sue more Bitcoin developers.