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Walls Close In On "Satoshi" In COPA Trial
Wright was found to have faked large amounts of evidence, including early versions of the Bitcoin white paper.
Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed inventor of Bitcoin, is locked in a battle in the UK courts with the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA). It's not going well.
Background To The Case
Wright is suing a number of Bitcoin Core developers and major crypto companies (including Blockstream, Coinbase, and Block), claiming that they violated his copyright of Bitcoin's white paper, as well as the Bitcoin file format and Bitcoin's blockchain database. The non-profit organization Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) is representing the defendants. Following a delay last year, the trial was set for February 2024.
Just before Christmas, the judge allowed Wright to submit a further tranche of documents in support of his claims: A strategy that turned out to be giving him enough rope to hang himself. Wright says that the documents were discovered on old USB drives dating back to 2007, and contain LaTeX files used to create the Bitcoin white paper.
However, the case fell apart after it became clear that Wright had yet again faked the "evidence". One of the most noteworthy findings was that he had used ChatGPT to create an early version of the Bitcoin white paper. A deleted file was recovered, which contained the tell-tale text: "Certainly, here’s the LaTeX code for Section 7, which covers Recommendations."
Following these revelations, Wright has proposed a settlement offer. He would relinquish database rights and copyright claims, and grant an irrevocable license to entities operating the technologies.
However, the settlement ultimatum came with a number of conditions, including admitting that Wright really is Satoshi. COPA has until the end of the month to make a decision, but has already stated they are not interested.
Wright appears to be wriggling, but COPA will not let him off the hook that easily. Given the history of the case, and his previous cases, it's not hard to see why.
Legally, Wright faces some big problems. He has repeatedly been found to have faked documents. His actions and claims have also inflicted extreme damage on those he has sued, even when he has not won.
Peter McCormack, a British Bitcoin podcaster who was sued for defamation by Wright after McCormack claimed he was a fraud, described some of the immense damage done by the case against him.
Two months before my trial and before we found the fabricated evidence, it looked like I would lose.
I held multiple calls with my lawyers bankruptcy team. Craig’s costs would have wiped me out - £5m ish.
My business assets - football club, podcast etc… would have been force sold to pay the court order. Craig himself could have ended up owning them. All my possessions would also have been sold.
I would have been able to retain living in my house for a year as I have kids, allowing time to find new rental accommodation at which point my house would have been sold.
This outcome would have destroyed my income and everything I had built up.
Twice I was admitted to hospital with stress induced SVT episodes.
These psychopaths are willing to destroy peoples lives with no care for the impact to either the person being sued, their children and wider families.
The crypto community is split by Wright. A small but highly vocal minority believe he is Satoshi, and that BSV is the "real" Bitcoin. The rest believe he is a charlatan who has repeatedly claimed to be Bitcoin's creator, without any hard evidence, and left a trail of destruction in his wake as he seeks to enforce his claims in the courts. That majority is out for blood, and they might be about to get it.
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