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

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

Cointelegraph: UK Law Commission report challenges Craig Wright’s suit against Bitcoin developers

“The U.K. report sheds light on the definition of fiduciary duty, claiming that categories of fiduciary recognized by the law include “agents, trustees, partners, company directors, and solicitors.” The report said fiduciary duty rarely exists outside these categories. According to the BLDF, the developers’ legal representative, the defendants do not fit any criteria mentioned by the Commission.

“They are not agents, trustees, partners, company directors, or solicitors, and they never ‘undertook or were entrusted with authority to manage the property or make discretionary decisions on behalf of another person,’” BLDF stated in a recent blog post, adding that “Bitcoin was created to facilitate transactions between individuals without the need to entrust any authority to a third party.””

Read the full article at Cointelegraph

Cointelegraph: Bitcoin defense lawyer says Craig Wright lawsuit could harm open source software

Jessica Jonas, chief legal officer of the nonprofit Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, discussed the potential legal ramifications of a high profile lawsuit against Bitcoin core developers during the Bitcoin 2023 event in Miami on May 18. The case in question is a U.K. legal action filed by Craig Wright, the owner/operator of Tulip Trading. Wright’s perhaps most well-known for his assertion that he is Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto — a claim driving another unrelated lawsuit….

Read the full story on Cointelegraph

Law Journal Article Questions UK Appellate Court Decision in Favor of Tulip Trading

In February, the UK Court of Appeals overturned an earlier ruling against Craig Wright’s firm Tulip Trading in its lawsuit against 12 Bitcoin Core developers that seeks to compel them to introduce a backdoor into the Bitcoin Core software.

The UK High Court initially dismissed the case against the 12 Bitcoin Core developers for lack of jurisdiction finding that there was “not a serious issue to be tried,” but the appellate court overturned this decision to allow the case to proceed to trial.

An analysis of the appellate decision under theories of property and private international law published earlier this month in the Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law makes a strong case for why this appellate decision was misguided.

As the article notes, “the Court of Appeal’s decision to allow TTL’s appeal on this issue does not establish that the core software developers who maintain the bitcoin protocol owe fiduciary duties to an “owner” of that cryptocurrency. To the contrary, [the appellate judge] recognised that the facts of the case were “new and quite a long way from factual circumstances which the courts have had to examine before in the context of fiduciary duties”; and at that for TTL’s case thus to succeed would involve “a significant development of the common law on fiduciary duties.”

The author of the article, who is not involved in the Tulip Trading case, doesn’t attempt to predict the outcome of the lawsuit based on established fiduciary law or issues of fact in the case. Instead, she focuses on two core issues that motivated the appellate court’s decision, which she argues were “premised on assumptions as to the position in the law of property; which call into question whether, even if TTL is successful at trial, such victory will serve TTL’s ultimate aim of recovering access or control to the bitcoin in issue.”

The article is worth reading in full, but we have included a few key points here:

It is unclear whether English courts have jurisdiction over the Tulip Trading case

“It cannot be assumed that English law is indeed the appropriate governing law to be applied…is based on entirely circular reasoning. Cryptoassets, by their very nature, test the limits of a territorial approach to private international law as they do not simply exist “nowhere” but are deliberately designed to exist “everywhere and nowhere” at once…it has been necessary to ascribe to the bitcoin…the location of the “owner”. However, in property disputes, the identity of the “owner” is the very thing in issue between various competing claims to the asset; it is something that will not be determined until the conclusion of proceedings. How can this, then, be taken to decide the preliminary question of the appropriate forum and the place where proceedings should be issued? As noted above, TTL has not proven it is the “owner” of the bitcoin in dispute as a matter of law…. Until TTL establishes it is the “owner” of the bitcoin in dispute, it is highly doubtful that the English courts are of “competent jurisdiction” at all…It is strongly arguable that the question of jurisdiction in the present case has been decided on an erroneous application of the policies underpinning the property rules of private international law.”

Tulip Trading’s argument runs counter to the general understanding that the person who possesses the private keys to a cryptoasset is its owner

“Tulip Trading’s present position…runs counter to the prevailing trend, both in England and internationally, to consider that generally, the person who has lawfully acquired control over a cryptoasset, usually by knowledge of the private key, is its “owner”. Hence, even if TTL were unlawfully “dispossessed” of the bitcoin in dispute, it cannot be assumed that the rival claims alluded to in the court are being advanced by the person responsible for the hack; there is no reason to suggest that such claims are being advanced by anyone other than third parties to the fraud on the basis of a lawful acquisition.”

Even if Tulip Trading was in fact the owner of the Bitcoin it claims to have lost—a fact that is strongly disputed—that does not necessarily mean that it is still the true owner of those Bitcoins

“Tulip Trading’s case assumes what it is still required to prove: that Tulip Trading is, as a matter of law, the “true owner” of the bitcoin in issue and is, therefore, the person to whom this newly recognised species of fiduciary obligation is owed….Property rights are never truly absolute and indefeasible. Property rights, once acquired, may subsequently be lost…Even if, therefore, it may be assumed that TTL was the “true owner” of the relevant bitcoin before the alleged hack, it does not follow that TTL remains the “true owner” such that the defendants owe the alleged fiduciary duties to TTL, and not to some other participant in the bitcoin network.”

As the article author notes in conclusion, the question of whether the UK has jurisdiction over the case “runs a high risk that a judgment of the English courts in this matter will not be recognised or enforced in other jurisdictions, on the basis that jurisdiction was not properly founded. Hence, the risk to the defendants in the case of a rival claimant obtaining a contrary judgment in a foreign court… cannot be underestimated.”

Read the full article here