Bitcoin Magazine: ‘Craig Wright’s Long-Running Satoshi Claim, Analyzed and Debunked’

“After a lengthy legal dispute, London’s High Court of Justice has formally determined that Australian computer scientist Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.

A particularly noteworthy tactic used by Wright’s team “repeatedly” was that, if Wright was not truly Satoshi Nakamoto, then the real Satoshi would have to unmask himself to disprove the claim definitively. More than anything else, this particular claim has unearthed a large volume of interest in Satoshi’s true identity. For example, as the trial was approaching in January 2024, nearly $1 million worth of Bitcoin was transferred into Satoshi’s wallet from an anonymous source, arousing coverage from major media sites that Bitcoin’s creator might reveal himself. The hubbub from this event led to rampant speculation, as image macros began circulating claiming that characters from the two simplified Japanese scripts, katakana and hiragana, would be pronounced as “Satoshi Nakamoto” while resembling the English letters to the name of popular Satoshi candidate Hal Finney.

Even if Bitcoin was created by enthusiasts in the codebreaking and cryptography scene, this claim is somewhat dubious, as it would require mixing and matching two different Japanese scripts in a haphazard manner. For example, the syllable “to” in Satoshi is a different alphabet than the same syllable in Nakamoto, and there seems to be no steady rule for when these two writing systems alternate. Still, Hal Finney has been dead since 2014, which would explain why Satoshi has remained silent as Bitcoin blossomed to the extreme extent it has in the last ten years.

If nothing else, renewed speculation of this nature was a clear sign that the trial had captured Bitcoiners’ collective imagination on the subject. It was a major point of interest then, when multiple early developers and Bitcoin collaborators began submitting private correspondence with Satoshi into the public record to be used as evidence. Adam Back, developer of the 90s “Hashcash” protocol that directly inspired Bitcoin’s mining algorithm, revealed a brief email correspondence initiated by Satoshi where the two discussed Hashcash’s relevance to Bitcoin. Early collaborator Martii “Sirius” Malmi, on the other hand, released a much larger tranche of emails on a broad range of looser topics, totaling 120 pages in all. These emails gave new insight into the personality of Bitcoin’s creator and likely would never have surfaced without the criminal proceedings.

In any event, as soon as the proceedings had concluded, Justice James Mallor cited the “overwhelming evidence” as he made an immediate ruling against Wright’s claims. COPA released some of the evidence against Wright independently, including the particularly damning accusation that Wright has used ChatGPT to forge documents “on an industrial scale.” Their legal team accused Wright of a “massive campaign of dishonesty and forgery” that “stray[ed] into farce,” going so far as to claim that Wright was actively fabricating new documents during the course of the five-week trial. Mallor claimed he would give a more detailed account of his reasons at a later date, but the actual verdict is clear: Craig Wright is not Satoshi, is not the author of the white paper, and did not create Bitcoin or its software.

The importance of this ruling is clear for two main reasons: not only does it prevent Wright from continuing his years-long practice of initiating defamation lawsuits against individuals and media outlets that deny his Satoshi claim, it also prevents him from suing developers on the basis of copyright infringement. This “chilling effect” on active Bitcoin developers is a major reason why COPA decided to take on this battle. If nothing else, a firm legal precedent will make it substantially easier to dismiss similar claims in the future. COPA has filed a purely civil suit against Wright, which is unlikely to lead to any sort of direct monetary reparation and certainly will not result in incarceration. Still, the full written judgment has yet to be released.”

Read the full article on Bitcoin Magazine