ABC: Craig Wright claimed to be the brains behind cryptocurrency bitcoin, then Britain’s High Court called him a liar

“Eight years ago, controversial Australian businessman Craig Steven Wright publicly claimed to be the brains behind bitcoin. “I was the main part of it [and] other people helped me,” he told the BBC in 2016.”Some people will believe, some people won’t, and to tell you the truth, I don’t really care.”

The announcement sparked uproar and was followed by several court cases. Recently a consortium of crypto businesses mounted a case in the UK High Court, which sought to establish whether Dr Wright was the real Satoshi Nakamoto. In a bombshell ruling delivered in mid-March, Justice James Mellor decided that Dr Wright was not Satoshi and that he wasn’t the inventor of bitcoin.

Many in the industry doubted Dr Wright was the brains behind bitcoin.

In response, Dr Wright began suing some bitcoin software developers for copyright infringements. He also sued bloggers and podcasters who called him out in public.

In 2021, a consortium of crypto businesses known as COPA (Crypto Open Patent Alliance) mounted a case in the British High Court against Dr Wright. The case sought to establish a final legal judgement on whether Craig Wright was the real Satoshi Nakamoto.

Paul Grewal, Coinbase’s legal counsel, who was formerly vice-president of Facebook, told 7.30 COPA’s main goal has been to stop Dr Wright from suing individuals and companies in the crypto industry.

“This has not just been a campaign of litigation, it’s been a campaign of intimidation, bullying, and threats that have worked to discourage good faith actors who support bitcoin and all the principles underneath it,” Mr Grewal said.

During a 22-day trial, COPA’s legal representatives claimed Dr Wright produced forged evidence to support his claim to be Satoshi.

COPA alleged that he backdated word files, reproduced handwritten documents, deliberately altered PDF copies of the white paper to make it look like earlier versions, faked emails, and produced a hard drive with material created by ChatGPT.

Mr Grewal was astonished by the proceedings.

“As a judicial officer myself, I’ve never seen such a clear-cut example of a scorched earth litigation campaign, relying upon such fraudulent representations and forged documents,” he said.”

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