The Times: ‘Who is the real Satoshi Nakamoto? Scientist fights to prove he’s bitcoin creator’

Four cases remain on hold until the High Court’s ruling in the January hearing on what has been termed “the identity issue” — whether or not Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. That case has been brought by the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) — a group of tech firms founded by the financial services company Block, owned by Dorsey — which alleges that the development of new technology is being hampered by Wright’s claims to be the inventor of bitcoin.

Last month Wright was dealt a painful blow in the case when Mr Justice Mellor ruled that the court could hear arguments that dozens of documents put forward by Wright purporting to show the development of bitcoin might be forgeries.

As part of their argument that Wright has a history of forging documents, the Copa team will allege that a PhD thesis submitted by Wright to Northumbria University in 2008 was heavily plagiarised from two 1990s works by an academic.

Dorsey said last week that he had “witnessed first-hand the challenges and legal obstacles that bitcoin developers face”.

He added: “These talented individuals are shaping the future of finance and technology, and they deserve the freedom to innovate without the constant threat of legal action. By providing legal support, we can help them focus on what really matters: building technologies that will create a better future for all of us.”

Dorsey is also funding the defence in a case brought by Wright’s Tulip Trading Ltd company, via the “bitcoin legal defence fund” he set up in 2021.

Wright, for his part, is being backed by the gambling billionaire Calvin Ayre. The Canadian, who founded the online betting site Bodog, is the son of a drug-dealing pig farmer and was once on the run from the US authorities over an alleged illegal gambling operation. He pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanour charge in 2017.

Read the full article at the Times



Crypto Open Patent Alliance Details 50 Instances of Forgery of Craig Wright’s Key Reliance Documents

On October 31, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) filed its amended particulars of claim  in its lawsuit with Craig Wright to include 50 detailed allegations of forgery of Wright’s key reliance documents.  

A central issue in the COPA case, which will go to trial in January 2024, is whether Wright is really Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. In the lawsuit, Wright relies on a trove of documents he claims establishes his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto. COPA’s amended particulars of claim now include detailed allegations that 50 of those documents have been forged. 

In early October, COPA filed a request to amend its particulars of claim in light of evidence that the documents Wright relies on to establish his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto “have been altered and/or tampered with,” including  documents that Wright “has identified [as] his ‘reliance documents’, namely those on which he primarily relies in support of his claim to be Satoshi, among others” and that he is personally responsible for the tampering.

On October 24, following a full-day hearing into the issue, the judge granted COPA’s application to amend to add 50 pieces of evidence to support its claim that Wright tampered with key documents. In his decision, the judge noted, “[t]his  application to amend was vigorously resisted by Dr  Wright,” and that COPA’s allegations that Wright presented forged documents in support of his claim “were and remain serious allegations, akin to fraud.”

Moreover, the judge concluded that “COPA should have the opportunity not just to challenge the authenticity of those (and other) documents, but to press the essential feature of their claim:  that Dr Wright’s claim to be Satoshi is fraudulent and, consistently with that, the documents he relies upon in support of that claim have been forged. This is the reason why I reject Dr Wright’s  argument that these amendments are unnecessary: they represent the essential core of COPA’s case.”

On October 31, COPA filed its amended particulars of claim which included detailed allegations  evidencing 50 separate instances where Wright presented forged documents in support of his claimed identity as Satoshi Nakamoto. 

All 50 pieces of evidence of forgery can be seen in full in the amended particulars of claim. They include: 

  • A printout of a journal article concerning a historical figure called “Nakamoto”, purportedly downloaded on January 5, 2008, and annotated by Wright by hand in his own handwriting in terms associating himself with that historical figure “Nakamoto” (ID_004019). 
  • “Bitcoin: SEIR-C Propagation models” which purports to be precursor work to the Bitcoin White Paper dated December 12, 2008 (ID_000550).
  • Dr. Wright’s LLM Dissertation proposal purportedly made to Northumbria University (ID_000199)
  • Several documents purported to be precursor research and writing for the Bitcoin Whitepaper (e.g., ID_000227) 
  • Emails purportedly sent to Dave Kleiman (e.g., ID_001317)


Among the evidence noted as reasons for allegation of forgery include:

  • Metadata showing the documents that Dr. Wright claims were written in 2008 were edited with software (Grammarly, MathType,, Code2Flow) and fonts (Calibri Light and Nirmala UI) that didn’t yet exist (e.g., ID_000525, ID_000227, ID_000260, ID_000536, ID_000554).
  • Metadata showing that Satoshi Nakamoto’s name had been replaced with Wright’s name on the Bitcoin White Paper, by editing it around 2019 using Adobe software (e.g., ID_000538).
  • Edited text to refer to Bitcoin in the future tense “to make the document appear as if it was created at a time before Bitcoin was created” (e.g., ID_000227).


As COPA noted in its amended particulars of claim, “[s]ince 2016, Dr Wright has been very actively promoting his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto and has been devoting considerable effort to that claim. It is likely that documents personal to him which bear signs of having been altered since that time to give support to his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto were altered by him, at his direction or at least with his knowledge. The fact that numerous documents have been altered with this apparent purpose since 2016 is consistent with him creating an evidential trail to provide false support to his dishonest claim.

Read the Full Amended Particulars of Claim, including the Schedule of Dr Wright’s Forged Documents

Law360: Bitcoin ‘Inventor’ To Face New Forgery And Fraud Allegations

“A London court on Tuesday granted a Californian nonprofit organization permission to add allegations of forgery, fraud and document-tampering to its existing case, which claims that computer scientist Craig Wright is not the creator of bitcoin.

The High Court ruled that Crypto Open Patent Alliance — an industry body representing cryptocurrency organizations that are challenging Wright’s claims — could amend its case against the Australian computer scientist over his claims to be the pseudonymous inventor of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

The amendments expand the alliance’s allegations to include claims that Wright has not only lied about creating the digital coin but that he has tampered with the documents to support his claim.

COPA’s updated claim alleges that a digital forensic analysis of documents, which Wright relies on to prove that he is Nakamoto, suggests that the evidence has been altered or tampered with.

“It is also to be inferred that the purpose of these acts was to create documents that would be deployed to prove that Wright is Satoshi,” the alliance states in its amended claim.

Judge Mellor also ruled that COPA could target no more than 50 allegedly altered documents to allay Wright’s lawyer’s concerns that the amendments could add hundreds of forgery allegations just months ahead of trial.

The trial, scheduled to begin on Jan. 15, is the culmination of several spats over how to determine whether Wright is the true inventor of bitcoin.

COPA achieved a partial win in the lead-up to trial earlier in October by successfully arguing that Wright should have to turn over extra evidence — such as documents that demonstrate whether he shared his draft versions of the white paper with any other individuals — before the trial begins.

An alliance spokesperson said that the organization “is pleased that it will have a full opportunity to expose the falsity of Wright’s claims at trial.”

Read the Full Article on Law360

Law360: Bitcoin ‘Creator’ Loses Bid To Block Evidence In£4.5B Claim

“Bitcoin’s “inventor” failed on Wednesday to block evidence used by 10 developers to support their allegation he is fraudulently suing them for£4.5 billion ($5.4 billion) of the cryptocurrency he claims he is trying to retrieve after being hacked.

High Court Judge James Mellor refused an attempt by Craig Wright, who says he is the pseudonymous cryptocurrency creator Satoshi Nakamoto, to block parts of a witness statement that refers to legal and quasi-legal findings, rejecting the computer scientist’s argument that it was an “unsubtle attempt to vex” him.

Tulip had asked Judge Mellor to throw out passages from a written statement to the court by Enyo Law LLP partner Tim Elliss that referred to alleged judicial findings from courts in Australia, the United States, Norway, and the U.K., along with an Australian Tax Office investigation. The witness statement was made to support a bid for a preliminary trial to determine whether Tulip Trading owns the relevant bitcoin and whether the claim was made fraudulently — which would mean it could be dismissed as an abuse of process.

“The fact that so many different judges in different jurisdictions have formed such a consistent view of Dr. Wright’s dishonesty and propensity for forgery and fabrication is damning and plainly relevant,” Elliss said in the statement, according to the judgment.

Judge Mellor ruled that the passages should be kept in the statement because it would not breacha rule established in the 1943 case Hollington v. Hewthorn that factual findings by earliertribunals cannot be used in later civil proceedings as they are considered to be opinion evidence. Judge Mellor said he was swayed by arguments from Sebastian Isaac KC of
One Essex Court ,counsel for the developers, who had said the judgments could be admitted as evidence that thereis a “genuine issue” for the court to consider.

“For most of the hearing I confess I was inclined to accede to [Tulip Trading’s] application and strike out the [passages], not only on the ground of inadmissibility but also irrelevance,” Judge Mellor said. “However, having reflected…the stronger [Isaac’s] case on ownership and fraud is, the greater the reason to order a preliminary issue.”

Read the full article on Law360

Law360: Bitcoin ‘Creator’ Tries To Block Evidence In £4.5B Claim

“Bitcoin’s self-proclaimed “inventor” sought to throw out evidence used by 10 developers of the cryptocurrency in English legal proceedings to support their allegation he is fraudulently suing them for £4.5 billion ($5.4 billion) of bitcoin he is trying to get back after being allegedly hacked.

Dr. Craig Wright, who asserts he is the pseudonymous creator of the cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto, urged High Court Judge James Mellor to throw out parts of a witness statement relied on by the cryptocurrency developers that refer to legal and quasi-legal findings because they are irrelevant or are not used properly.

Tulip is bidding to strike out passages in a written statement to the court that rely on alleged judicial findings from courts in Australia, the U.S., Norway, and the High Court, along with quasi-judicial findings of the Australian Tax Office, according to Tulip’s written argument.

Sebastian Isaac, the defendants’ counsel, argued that his clients were entitled to rely on the evidence for their argument that Wright is prima facie knowingly suing them for dishonest reasons while relying on forged documents.

“In most cases that would not be a prospect, because the claimant is not someone with a long track record of fraud and forgery,” Isaac said. “Dr Wright (and therefore Tulip Trading) know that they are not and have never been the owners of the digital assets,” Isaac added in court filings. “This claim is pursued deliberately on the basis of that falsehood in order to seek to use legal proceedings before this court as a means of grabbing an enticing US$4.5 billion pot.”

Read the Full Article at Law360


Developer Defendants Claim Tulip Trading Case is Fraudulent in Preliminary Issue Application

On July 11, attorneys defending 12 Bitcoin Core developers in a lawsuit brought by Tulip Trading filed a preliminary issue application with the UK High Court. The application argues the claim brought by Tulip Trading is fraudulent and that the issue of whether Tulip Trading in fact owns the bitcoin it has sued on should be resolved before any further steps are taken. If the English High Court agrees, Tulip Trading will be required to prove that it owned the bitcoins it alleges were stolen before the lawsuit can proceed. 


Tulip Trading is a Seychelles-based holding company created by Craig S. Wright that alleges it lost 111,000 BTC during a hack of Wright’s home computer network in 2020. The following year Tulip Trading brought a suit against 12 Bitcoin developers alleging that they have a fiduciary duty to introduce a backdoor into the Bitcoin Core client to allow Tulip Trading to take control of billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin that it claims to have owned and lost. 

The 111,000 BTC in question were held in two addresses—12ib7 and 1FeeX—and there is no evidence that Tulip Trading or Wright ever controlled these addresses. The 1FeeX address contains millions of dollars worth of bitcoins associated with the 2014 hack of the Mt. Gox exchange

The Preliminary Issue Application

The preliminary issue application is a mechanism for bifurcating the case against the Bitcoin Developers such that Tulip Trading must prove that it once owned the 111,000 bitcoins it claims to have lost before a judge considers the question of whether Bitcoin Core developers owe a fiduciary duty to users of the Bitcoin network. The preliminary issue application argues that Tulip Trading cannot prove this basic fact and as a result the case against the Bitcoin Core developers should be dismissed. As noted in the application:

Tulip Trading Ltd accepts that it must establish that it owns the Digital Assets in order to obtain the relief it seek. It cannot do so because it never owned the Digital Assets and has commenced this claim fraudulently and in reliance on fabricated documents. This is of a piece with the historical conduct of the individual behind Tulip Trading Ltd, Dr. Craig Wright. Dr. Wright has a long history of fraud, forgery, and dishonesty (including in court proceedings in this jurisdiction and internationally). He has been shown to be a thoroughly dishonest individual and it is the position of the [defendants] that these proceedings are an attempt by Dr. Wright, through Tulip Trading Ltd, to use the English courts as an instrument of fraud. These are plainly serious allegations and they are not made lightly.”

The basic request from the developer defendants in the preliminary application is that Tulip Trading should be required to prove that it owned the bitcoins in the 12ib7 and 1FeeX addresses since this was its justification for bringing the lawsuit in the first place. The application makes the case that spending “seven to ten days” of court time to settle the issue of whether Tulip Trading ever owned the bitcoins in question would save the courts “eight to ten weeks” of time and costs proceeding to a full trial that was brought on fraudulent evidence. If the court grants the preliminary application and still decides to proceed to a full trial, it wouldn’t result in any increase in time or costs because the court would have had to consider this issue during the trial anyway. 

The evidence in support of the 35-page preliminary issue application provides a wealth of detail about why the defendants believe that Tulip Trading’s claim is fraudulent. The primary arguments are quoted directly from the evidence: 

A History of Fraud

As noted in the application, “Dr. Wright has a long and documented history of fraud, forgery and reliance on deliberately false evidence in legal and regulatory proceedings in this jurisdiction, Australia, the United States and Norway.” The application quotes several judges overseeing lawsuits previously brought by Wright acknowledging that he “lied and cheated in his attempt to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto,” “has given deliberately false evidence,” “wilfully created the fraudulent documents,” and more.

Tulip Trading Can’t Account for When or How it Acquired the Bitcoins

Tulip Trading Ltd. alleges Dr Wright acquired the Bitcoin in the 1Feex address in late February 2011 from a Russian based exchange called WMIRK.  Notably, Tulip Trading Ltd. is not even able to state when or how it or Dr Wright acquired the Bitcoin in the 12ib7 address or the reason for any of the transactions that took place on it. Tulip Trading Ltd. accepts that no one has dealt with the Digital Assets in the 12ib7 address since July 2010, nor has anyone dealt with the 1Feex address since March 2011.”

Lack of Any Documents Showing Ownership of the 111,000 Bitcoins

The absence of documentary records that one would expect to exist in relation to the acquisition of Bitcoin in the sums the subject of this claim” and argues that the “limited documents relied upon are fabrications.

Tulip Trading Appears to be Admitting to Stealing Bitcoin from Mt. Gox

It is widely accepted in the cryptocurrency community that the Bitcoin in the 1Feex address originated from a well-publicized hack on a Japanese crypto currency exchange that occurred in March 2011….essentially it appears that if Dr. Wright is the owner of the Bitcoin in the 1Feex address (which is denied), he has effectively admitted to being the person who stole 80,000 BTC from Mt. Gox.

There is No Evidence that Craig Wright Lost These Assets in a Hack

Dr Wright claims to have wiped his hard drive shortly after the Alleged Hack. He claims that he did so as he “did not know how the hackers obtained access” and “to ensure all malware and other threats were removed.”  This explanation is not credible. It cannot be the case that a ‘renowned’ computer security expert, as Dr Wright claims to be, would take such action following a hack as to do so would result in the loss of all information that might be used to identify the Alleged Hackers and recover the stolen material.” Furthermore, “Dr Wright has stated that backups of the private keys were held on Keepass, his One Drive, and Google cloud drives. It is well known that Microsoft and Google retain records of information held on their servers and that this information can be recovered if requests are made. Dr Wright made no attempt to contact Microsoft or Google to recover the information he says was deleted during the Alleged Hack. It is not credible that, in the context of an alleged loss as substantial as this one, Dr Wright did not consider (or retain others to consider) all possible avenues for the recovery of the allegedly deleted private keys.

For these reasons and several others listed in the applications, the developer defendants argue that Tulip Trading’s “claim is doomed to fail.” The application lists the evidence that Tulip Trading must present in a preliminary trial to demonstrate it owned the bitcoins in question and also requests that Tulip Trading provide a security payment of $1.63 million to cover the cost of the case in the event that it is dismissed. 

Read the full preliminary issue application here

Law Journal Article Argues “Bitcoin Developers do not owe a fiduciary duty” in Tulip Trading Case

The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund was pleased to see a thoughtful article about the Tulip Trading case in the current issue of the highly regarded Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.

The article was written by an attorney not involved in the case who argues that regardless of whether Tulip Trading’s factual claims are taken at face value or are investigated at trial, “the ultimate conclusion is the same: Bitcoin developers do not owe a fiduciary duty to grant [Tulip Trading Ltd] access to its Bitcoin.”

The article does an artful job of explaining and dismantling the various legal tactics deployed by Craig Wright’s firm Tulip Trading in its ongoing lawsuit against 12 Bitcoin Core developers on the grounds that they “control the relevant networks and therefore owe [Tulip Trading] fiduciary and/or tortious duties to assist it in regaining access” to billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin it claims were stolen.

The article is well worth reading in its entirety, but we’ve highlighted some important points below:

The UK Court of Appeal’s analysis of an alleged duty of Bitcoin developers to implement Tulip’s requested change to Bitcoin Core is flawed

“This analysis is problematic because it relies on a flawed analogy between software bugs and the inability to transfer Bitcoin without a private key….First, the nature of the activity required to fulfill the duty alleged by Tulip Trading (i.e., change how the system is intended to work by transferring Bitcoin without a private key) is fundamentally different to fixing a software bug. Describing both as a mere ‘code update’ is a gross oversimplification…Nothing has gone wrong with the system. It is operating as intended. The inability to transfer Bitcoin without a private key is a fundamental security feature of the system. So on what basis can consent to a change which undermines that security feature be inferred? Even if consent can be inferred…it does not follow that there is a duty to implement that patch. It is completely unrealistic to say that Bitcoin owners (let alone the person who created Bitcoin who Dr. Wright ironically claims to be) have a legitimate expectation that developers will change how the system was intended to operate. This is a system which owners have voluntarily entered into and the consequences of losing a private key are well known.”

The Bitcoin Core developers are not a sufficiently well-defined group to warrant the imposition of fiduciary duties

“Bitcoin Core is the most popular software option in the Bitcoin ecosystem. It is open source and anyone can contribute. Therefore, the group of Bitcoin Core developers is necessarily not well-defined…Tulip Trading targets its claim at certain Bitcoin Core developers. It says those developers hold the passwords and are therefore able to introduce changes to the source code repository on GitHub. Developers with this access are referred to as repository maintainers. But not all of the defendant developers are maintainers. Some of them have never been maintainers and others are no longer maintainers. So Tulip Trading’s claim extends beyond maintainers, but to whom? That is unclear. Perhaps as the High Court observed, it extends to developers who Tulip Trading says exert a ‘significant influence’ over the Bitcoin network. What do ‘influence’ and ‘significant’ mean? When does influence cease to exist? What about other non-developer constituencies who might have significant influence? Therefore, even on Tulip Trading’s case, the class of developers is not well-defined.”

The Bitcoin developers do not control the Bitcoin Core software

“Tulip Trading asserts that the maintainers have unbounded discretion in deciding whether a proposal should be merged into the repository. However, that ignores two things: (1) the expectation of the wider development community is that maintainers should be mere facilitators or performing a ‘janitorial role’; and (2) all GitHub proposals are publicly available and the peer review is public. This transparency creates accountability.”

Bitcoin Core developers do not control the Bitcoin network

“The Court of Appeal considered that because software is all there is (and the developers control the software), the developers control the networks. There are a few problems with this. First, there are multiple software options within the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin Core is currently the most popular, but that is only because other nodes choose to run it. Second, there are other components of the Bitcoin system including the network of participants. The participants are just one part of a wider set of constituencies which…can and do exert influence on the system. If maintainers introduced a controversial change into Bitcoin Core, participants are free to not upgrade to the new version or to run an alternative software option. (Bitcoin Core is released under the open source MIT License, so the alternative software could even be a copied or modified version of Bitcoin Core.)…There are numerous incidents that demonstrate that no constituency (including developers) can unilaterally impose its will on the others.”

Even if Bitcoin Core developers were legally compelled to implement Tulip Trading’s patch, they can’t force other network participants to use the new software

“If maintainers were to merge Tulip Trading’s software patch into the Bitcoin Core repository, participants may refuse to upgrade to the new software or opt for another software option. Tulip Trading argues that would not happen because it is not in the participants’ commercial interests. However this assumes (without any justification) that a majority of participants and wider constituencies would upgrade to the new software with the result that participants who do not upgrade are left on a minority chain. Given the controversial nature of Tulip Trading’s software patch (including the potential for it to undermine security), it is very likely that the majority would not upgrade. All Tulip Trading’s patch would achieve is the creation of a minority chain with a likely worthless coin.”

For this reason, the article concludes, “fiduciary duties are not required” of Bitcoin developers.” Instead, “responsibility is placed on owners to safeguard their Bitcoin (or to go after the hackers) and not on developers to recover it for them.”

Read the Full Article Here

Judge Rules Craig Wright Must Prove He is Satoshi In January Before His Lawsuits Proceed

On July 25, Judge Mellor of the UK High Court released his ruling from a case management conference held last month regarding a key issue in several separate UK lawsuits: the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. 

Craig Wright is involved in several lawsuits in the UK alleging that multiple organizations and individuals in the crypto community violated his copyright of the Bitcoin whitepaper, Bitcoin database, and other intellectual property related to the creation of Bitcoin. 

As Judge Mellor wrote in his ruling, all of these lawsuits—which includes the Database Rights case against, inter alia, 13 Bitcoin Core developers—hinge on the question of “whether Dr. Wright is/was Satoshi Nakamoto.” 

In Tuesday’s ruling, Judge Mellor decided that this question will be resolved for all cases during a January 2024 trial. As Judge Mellor wrote in the ruling, the results of the January trial will determine whether the other cases will go forward: 

“The parties to the latter three actions are all going to be bound by the outcome of the COPA trial. If the court decides that Dr. Wright was not Satoshi Nakamoto, those three actions end at that point. By contrast, if the court decides that Dr. Wright was Satoshi, then all three actions proceed in full.”

Rather than spend time and money needlessly arguing the same question about Wright’s claim to be Satoshi in several separate lawsuits, Judge Mellor decided that the question of whether Wright is Satoshi “should be decided once and once only.”

Given that Wright has failed to furnish any compelling evidence that he is Satoshi in the 7 years since he first made this claim, the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund is optimistic that the ruling from the January 2024 trial will bring an early end to the database rights case.

Read the full ruling here

CoinDesk: Craig Wright Will Be Able to Fight Bitcoin Copyright Claim in UK After Winning Appeal

“Whether Wright is indeed Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto will be determined at a trial slated to begin in January 2024. In a case heard in Oslo last year, multiple witnesses offered forensic evidence that documents supplied by Wright purporting to back up his claim to be Nakomoto contain discrepancies, such as fonts that weren’t available at the time.

The issues about copyright protection “will be decided at a full trial, but only if Dr. Wright first demonstrates that he is Satoshi Nakamoto in a trial of only that issue in early 2024,” the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund statement said. The Defense Fund also cautioned that “the fact that the UK courts are allowing his arguments … sets a dangerous precedent where developers can be sued for violating the file format of open source software that someone else claims to have created.””

Read the Full Story at CoinDesk

Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund Statement on UK Appellate Court Ruling

Today the UK appellate court decided to uphold Dr. Wright’s appeal in the database rights case. The judges only agreed that Dr. Wright should be allowed to argue that the Bitcoin file format is sufficiently well-defined to receive copyright protection under UK law. Importantly, the appellate decision does not address the question of whether the Bitcoin file format should receive copyright protection and whether that copyright belongs to Dr. Wright. The appellate judges are merely allowing Wright to make that argument in the UK High Court. 

In addition to the copyright Bitcoin file format, Dr. Wright claims to own the copyright for the Bitcoin whitepaper and the database rights for the Bitcoin blockchain. He brought this lawsuit against 13 individual Bitcoin developers and 13 other defendants—whom he refers to as the BTC partnership—on the grounds that their use and development of the Bitcoin blockchain violated his copyright claims and database right claims. 

There are several issues with Dr. Wright’s claims. First, there is no such thing as the “BTC partnership.” It is an entity that Dr. Wright has made up to serve his own interests. The Bitcoin blockchain is a decentralized network that anyone is free to use and develop. At no point has there been any formal partnership between the developers named in the case. 

Second, the Bitcoin file format, the Bitcoin whitepaper, and the Bitcoin database were all created by Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright has claimed to be Satoshi since at least 2016 without providing a shred of evidence to back up this claim. The Bitcoin software is free and open source developed and distributed under the MIT license by its authors. That means that everyone has been granted permission to use, modify, and distribute the software. It is unconscionable that someone who claims to be the author of an open source program would allege copyright infringement against the people benefiting from its open source license. But even so, those copyright claims would belong to Satoshi Nakamoto. As such, Dr. Wright must prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto before the courts can make a decision on the three primary claims named in the lawsuit.  

Today’s appellate ruling says nothing on the subject of whether the defendants in the lawsuit violated Dr. Wright’s copyright or database rights. These issues will be decided at a full trial, but only if Dr. Wright first demonstrates that he is Satoshi Nakamoto in a trial of only that issue in early 2024. We are extremely confident that Dr. Wright will fail to prove that he is Satoshi, just as he has failed to produce any evidence to back up this claim for the last 7 years. If Dr. Wright cannot prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, his central copyright and database rights will never be tried in court and this appellate decision will have had no effect whatsoever on the outcome of the lawsuit. 

Although the defendants are confident that Dr. Wright will fail to demonstrate he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the fact that the UK courts are allowing his arguments to be heard at all is extremely concerning not just for the crypto community, but the entire world. It sets a dangerous precedent where developers can be sued for violating the file format of open source software that someone else claims to have created. The world runs on open source software and these lawsuits will surely have a chilling effect on the willingness of volunteer software developers to contribute to these vital projects. Dr. Wright’s arguments are fundamentally weak, but the Bitcoin Core developers must launch a vigorous defense against them to protect their right to work on open source software without fear of legal harassment from individuals like Dr. Wright who weaponize the court system for their own personal gain.