Home NewsBitcoin Craig Wright Lied About Creating Bitcoin, Judge Confirms in Landmark Ruling

Craig Wright Lied About Creating Bitcoin, Judge Confirms in Landmark Ruling

by dave
5 minutes read

A UK judge has ruled that Craig Wright lied about being Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. The judge found that Wright forged evidence to support his claim. This decision stops Wright from bringing more lawsuits in the UK.

The Court’s Decision

On May 20, Justice James Mellor of the UK High Court ruled that Craig Wright had lied extensively and committed forgery on a grand scale. Mellor said Wright created false documents to support his claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto. “I am entirely satisfied that Dr. Wright lied to the Court extensively and repeatedly,” Mellor wrote. “All his lies and forged documents were in support of his biggest lie: his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.”

The Lawsuit

The ruling came at the end of a six-week trial. The lawsuit was brought by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a group of crypto companies. COPA wanted the court to declare that Wright is not the creator of Bitcoin. This would stop him from suing Bitcoin developers and others based on his claim.

Craig Wright’s Response

Wright did not respond immediately to requests for comment. However, he posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he plans to appeal the ruling.

Evidence of Forgery

During the trial, Wright faced documents that showed hundreds of indications of forgery. Despite his efforts to justify the abnormalities, the judge was not convinced. On March 14, the final day of the trial, Mellor delivered a rare snap verdict: “The evidence is overwhelming. Dr. Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.”

Impact of the Ruling

Paul Grewal, the chief legal officer at crypto exchange Coinbase and a member of COPA, said the ruling showed how unfounded Wright’s claims were. “Dr. Wright’s claims were shown not only to be false but utterly fanciful,” Grewal said. The decision has led Wright to drop multiple lawsuits connected to his claim of being the creator of Bitcoin.

Other Lawsuits Dropped

On April 11, Wright dropped an appeal of a lawsuit in Norway against crypto influencer Magnus Granath. Granath, known as Hodlonaut, had called Wright a “pathetic scammer” in 2019. Wright also dropped another lawsuit in which his company, Tulip Trading, accused Bitcoin developers of not helping recover a large amount of bitcoin allegedly lost in a hack.

Ongoing Cases

There are still three lawsuits where Wright accuses Bitcoin developers, and crypto exchanges Coinbase and Kraken, of violating his intellectual property rights over Bitcoin. These cases are affected by the COPA ruling but remain active for now, pending a possible appeal by Wright.

Effects on Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV)

The ruling also impacted Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), a cryptocurrency network created by Wright in 2018. BSV aims to follow Satoshi’s original design for Bitcoin. After the judge declared that Wright is not Satoshi, the price of BSV tokens dropped by 40 percent.

Global Legal Impact

The judgment means Wright cannot bring more lawsuits in the UK claiming he is Satoshi. Judge Mellor wrote that the ruling aims to stop Wright from threatening developers with copyright claims. However, the ruling is limited to the UK, so Wright might continue his claims in other countries.

James Marsden, a senior associate at law firm Dentons, explained that while copyright principles are similar worldwide, each country’s courts will analyze cases independently. This means Wright could still pursue his claims in other jurisdictions.

Funding for Wright’s Lawsuits

At trial, COPA alleged that Calvin Ayre, an online gambling tycoon, has been financing Wright’s lawsuits. Wright denied this. Ayre did not respond to requests for comment. In March, Mellor froze $7.6 million of Wright’s assets to prevent him from evading the costs of the trial. COPA is likely to receive a substantial sum in costs.

Future Legal Actions

Magnus Granath believes that Wright’s pursuit of being Satoshi depends on funding. Granath thinks the UK judgment makes further lawsuits futile, meaning it may be harder for Wright to get funding. COPA hopes the judge’s findings will discourage Wright from continuing his legal battles. “This was an extraordinary proceeding. It could not have sent a clearer message to Dr. Wright and anyone else paying attention,” said Grewal. “I’m not terribly worried about Dr. Craig Wright.”

The UK High Court’s decision that Craig Wright lied about being Satoshi Nakamoto and forged evidence is a significant development in the world of cryptocurrency. The ruling not only stops Wright from bringing further lawsuits in the UK but also impacts his credibility and future legal actions globally. The case highlights the importance of integrity and truth in the rapidly evolving field of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

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