Another Court Case Fails to Unravel Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto Mystery | Bitcoin

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? The mysterious inventor of bitcoin is a renowned figure in the cryptocurrency world but his true identity is unknown.

However, British blogger Peter McCormack was certain of one thing: the answer is not Craig Wright.

For years, Wright, an Australian computer scientist, claimed he was Satoshi, the pseudonymous author of the 2008 white paper behind bitcoin.

Wright’s claim that he is the inventor of the digital asset – he first sought to prove he was Satoshi in 2016, months after his name first appeared – has led to a series of legal battles, some of which are ongoing.

One of them came to a pyrrhic conclusion in London this week, when it was discovered that McCormack had seriously damaged Wright’s reputation by repeatedly claiming he was an impostor and not Satoshi.

But Wright, 52, was awarded nominal damages of £1 after a High Court judge ruled he had given ‘deliberately false evidence’ to support his defamation claim.

For cost reasons, McCormack did not offer a defense of truth – where the defendant in the case attempts to show that the allegations are substantially true – as Judge Chamberlain ruled that a claim made in a video chat on YouTube was defamatory, while a series of tweets repeating allegations of fraud were deemed to have seriously damaged Wright’s reputation.

“Because he [Wright] put forward a deliberately false case and presented deliberately false evidence until days before trial, he will only recover nominal damages,” the judge wrote.

McCormack’s defense, moved to a much narrower basis, was that the video and tweets did not seriously damage Wright’s reputation. Wright claimed his reputation was badly tarnished by the tweets because he was disinvited from 10 conferences, which meant that academic papers due to be presented at those events were not published.

McCormack presented evidence from conference organizers that disputed Wright’s claims. Those allegations were later removed from Wright’s case at trial in May.

The judge was scathing. He said: “Dr. Wright’s original case of serious harm and supporting evidence, both of which were maintained until several days before the trial, were deliberately false.”

Wright, who lives in Surrey and is chief scientist at blockchain technology company nChain, said he brought the case “not for financial reward, but for principle and to get others to think about it.” twice before trying to attack my reputation”.

And the court cases keep piling up. Wright has other cases pending in the High Court. He brought a defamation action against a Norwegian Twitter user, Marcus Granath, who also accused the Australian of being a fraud. Granath recently failed in its bid to have the case dismissed.

Wright is also suing two cryptocurrency exchanges in a case that argues that a digital asset called Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), which he backs, is the true descendant of the whitepaper.

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (Copa), a non-profit organization that supports cryptocurrencies, is seeking a declaration from the High Court that Wright is not the author of the white paper. His case claims that Wright tampered with evidence produced to support his claim that he is Satoshi. Wright, who denies Copa’s claims, failed in his bid to have the case expunged last year.

There have been more legal back and forths before that. In 2020, Wright lost an attempt to sue Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin backer, for calling Wright a YouTube fraud after a judge ruled the proper jurisdiction for a lawsuit would be the United States. United. A year later, Wright won a copyright infringement lawsuit against the anonymous operator and publisher of the website for publishing the white paper. Wright won by default after the publisher of, which goes by the pseudonym Cobra, refused to come to his defense.

In the United States, Wright won a case in December that spared him from having to pay billions of dollars in bitcoins to the family of David Kleiman, a former business partner. Kleiman’s family had claimed that he was a co-creator of bitcoin with Wright and therefore they owed half of the 1.1 million bitcoins “mined” by Satoshi.

The case was closely watched in the hope that if Wright lost, he should have moved those bitcoins – seen as the sword-in-the-stone test that would prove Satoshi’s true identity. These coins are now worth $25 billion (£21 billion) at the current price of around $23,000 and are powered by the bitcoin blockchain, a decentralized ledger that records all bitcoin transactions.

Satoshi published on October 31, 2008 the founding text of the cryptocurrency – Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System – and communicated by e-mail to the first adherents of the currency before disappearing in 2011.

Carol Alexander, professor of finance at the University of Sussex’s business school, claims Wright could prove he is Satoshi by using the so-called private keys – a secure code comprising a hexadecimal string of numbers and letters – which will unlock access to bitcoins.

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“The only way for Wright to prove he’s SN would be to make a transaction with some of the original bitcoin,” she said.

Wright is adamant he won’t, saying private keys don’t prove ownership or identity. There are few other Satoshi candidates. In 2014, a Japanese-American man, Dorian S Nakamoto, was named by Newsweek as the creator of bitcoin and quickly denied any connection to the digital currency. More informed speculation has focused on Nick Szabo, an American computer scientist who designed BitGold, considered a conceptual precursor to bitcoin. But he too has denied claims that he could be Satoshi.

Meanwhile, Judge Chamberlain left open a question that remains unanswered. “Satoshi’s identity is not among the issues I have to determine,” he said.

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