Craig Wright Discontinues Tulip Trading Case in Major Win for Bitcoin Developers

On Monday, Dr. Craig S. Wright discontinued a lawsuit his holding company, Tulip Trading, brought against 12 Bitcoin developers and others in the UK High Court. 

Wright’s discontinuance brings an end to a nearly decade-long campaign of harassment and intimidation and marks a major win for the Bitcoin developers and open source software in general. 

Wright’s discontinuance follows on the heels of the Bitcoin developer’s victory in a related lawsuit (“Identity Trial”) brought against Wright in the UK that sought to definitively prove that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. 

On Thursday, March 14, the judge overseeing the Identity Trial ruled that the evidence against Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto was “overwhelming.” Shortly after the closing arguments, the judge offered a four part opinion on the trial, saying:

“First, Dr. Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin White Paper. Second, Dr. Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in the period 2008 to 2011. Third, Dr. Wright is not the person who created the Bitcoin system. And, fourth, he is not the author of the initial versions of the Bitcoin software.” 

The ruling followed several weeks of expert testimonies and the presentation of evidence that showed that Wright had  “lied on an extraordinary scale” and “invented an entire biographical history, producing one tranche after another of forged documents to support it.”

The ruling in the Identity Trial had important implications for the Tulip Trading case that Wright brought against 12 Bitcoin developers in 2021. In the Tulip Trading case, Wright sought to introduce a backdoor into the Bitcoin Core software to recover 111,000 Bitcoin he alleged were lost in a hack of his home computer network. 

The Tulip Trading case had existential implications not just for the Bitcoin network but for open source software more broadly insofar as its outcome could have set a precedent for whether developers could be held liable for their contributions to open source projects. 

Wright’s discontinuance is an important victory for developers named in the Tulip Trading lawsuit and the entire Bitcoin community. These developers have had to deal with years of Wright’s relentless legal harassment and intimidation, and the entire Bitcoin community suffers when these developers feel so threatened that they choose to stop contributing to the network. 

Wright’s harassment of the Bitcoin developers named in the Tulip Trading case was relentless. As Mr. Alexander Gunning, KC summed up at the end of in the Identity Trial:

“The COPA claim has been brought, at least in part, due to the harm, the actual harm that has been caused by Dr Wright’s campaign against the developers and others. We set that out in some detail in our written opening…I just remind your Lordship of what my clients have actually been having to deal with….: 

“I will make sure that when every developer and I mean every developer goes to court and makes a claim that bitcoin is decentralised and that the actions of the developers don’t matter and that they don’t control the network that they are not just sanctioned because they are being silly or ignorant…I’m going to make sure that everybody knows. I’m going to make sure that the court knows. I’m going to make sure that they globally stand in front of the court and if they say this, if they say that bitcoin developers do not control the network that by the time we finish with them they will be pulled up [for] perjury and arrested as a criminal… 

Every one of them are criminals…I will make sure that they go to prison for decades…If a single developer goes to court and says they can’t make this change, that if they out that change on the system nobody will run it, that it can be run on any Blockchain anywhere on this earth and be exchanged over the Internet using a domain and using the existing banking system. I will make sure that they spend so long in prison that their grandchildren will be old when they get out. When we get to court and they say bitcoin is a cypherpunk creation and that it is anarchist I will make sure that they are cited for misleading the court. Not that they don’t know because they do. They will be pulled up and they will be facing perjury every time they lie…Please feel free to make sure that eveeerrrrrryyyyy [sic]…BTC developerr [sic]…every COPA member knows that if they go to court and they actively live with these deceptions of decentralisation that do not follow law that is existing …they will end in prison.”

My Lord, you have been presented with that man who made those threats. He is a charlatan.”

This sort of targeted abuse led many longtime and passionate Bitcoin contributors to stop working on the project out of concern that they would become a target of Wright’s legal harassment. Wright’s discontinuance of the Tulip Trading lawsuit means that Bitcoin developers are once again free to contribute to this world-changing network without the threat of litigation and harassment. 

Judge Rules Dr. Craig Wright is Not Satoshi Nakamoto

The weeks-long lawsuit brought by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) against Dr. Craig Wright came to an abrupt end on Thursday when Mr. Justice Mellor, the judge presiding over the case, ruled that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto. 

As Mr. Justice Mellor told the court: “I will make certain declarations which I am satisfied are useful and are necessary to do justice between the parties. First, that Dr Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin White Paper. Second, Dr Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in the period 2008 to 2011. Third, Dr Wright is not the person who created the Bitcoin System. And, fourth, he is not the author of the initial versions of the Bitcoin software.”

The definitive ruling will be followed by a more substantial written judgment, but as WIRED reported Mr. Justice Mellor noted that the evidence against Wright’s claim to be Nakamoto is “overwhelming.” Throughout the trial, COPA detailed dozens of instances of apparent forgery and fraud committed by Wright to make it appear as though he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. 

The judgment is a welcome development for the Bitcoin developers who have been subjected to Wright’s legal harassment for years. The ruling should bring a definitive end to the Database Rights case handled by the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund and will have significant bearing on the Tulip Trading case that resumes next month.

CoinDesk: ‘Craig Wright Accuses Critics of Bugging His House, Spoofing Emails to Bring Him Back to Court’

“Craig Wright accused critics of bugging his home and spoofing an email he’s been accused of doctoring during a Friday cross-examination in the U.K. trial probing his claims of having invented Bitcoin.

Spoofing involves changing the metadata of an email to – among other things – make it look like it was sent from a different address.

When asked by presiding Judge James Mellor if he could specify who did the spoofing, Wright said, “Unfortunately not. I suspect a number of people, My Lord.”

On Friday, Wright vehemently denied accusations made by COPA of backdating the email in question to support a statement he’d made in court the previous week concerning his former legal representatives at Ontier.

Wright instead blamed the timestamp and other discrepancies on email spoofing, spam folders, domain migrations, surveillance and hacking.

Judge Mellor asked why someone seeking Wright’s downfall would doctor an email to support something he’d said, to which Wright replied, “Oh, no. It doesn’t support.”

He said that the email was doctored by a malicious actor to fabricate an excuse to bring him back to court.”

Read the full article on CoinDesk

Forbes: ‘Craig Wright’s Own Legal Team Expose More Potential Forgeries’

“In the latest update in the trial of COPA vs Craig Wright, a significant development arose regarding Wright’s claim as Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin. During the trial on Monday, as part of a mandatory disclosure, Wright’s solicitors provided the court with potentially forged documents. The disclosure was part of evidence presented by Wright’s former solicitors from Ontier Law, whom Wright had previously dismissed.

On Monday afternoon, Wright’s lawyers revealed further documents, suggesting another potential fraud attempt by Wright. These documents, screenshots of the Mind Your Own Business software, were scrutinized on Friday. COPA’s representative, Jonathan Hough, examined them for financial record inaccuracies, focusing on alleged backdated documents. Hough challenged Wright’s assertion that a MYOB update caused these inaccuracies, accusing Wright of presenting a “pack of lies”.”

Read the full story at Forbes

CoinDesk: ‘Craig Wright’s Former Lawyers Say Emails Shared by Wife Are Fake as COPA Trial Heats Up’

“Emails shared by Craig Wright’s wife as evidence in the ongoing trial probing whether he’d invented bitcoin (BTC) are “not genuine,” Wright’s former lawyers said in court, as the fourth week of the legal proceedings kicked off Monday in London.

The emails between Wright and his former representatives at Ontier became part of the trial after the self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor referenced them while he was under cross-examination last week. The emails were then shared by Wright’s wife Ramona Watts with his current counsel at London law firm Shoosmiths, who in turn reached out to Ontier to confirm their accuracy.

Wright claimed Ontier had access to the Australian accounting platform MYOB in 2019, and that he had the emails to prove it. Those emails that Wright’s wife then shared with Shoosmiths were doctored, according to Ontier.

Shoosmiths disclosed the emails and Ontier’s response in court on Monday. The documents are now set to be analyzed by lawyers for both Wright and the plaintiff, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA).”

Read the full story at CoinDesk

Forbes: ‘Craig Wright’s Satoshi Claim At Risk After Whitepaper Edits’

“In London’s Rolls Building, within the Royal Courts of Justice, the trial of COPA vs Craig Wright continues, aiming to establish whether or not Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. Further developments and testimonies have emerged throughout the trial’s third week, challenging Wright’s claims.

One of the key aspects of the trial this week was the presentation of animations based on edit logs that Wright had included in his disclosures. The animations were created by developers using the logs.

The footage shows modifications to the bitcoin whitepaper being made, suggesting that such alterations could be interpreted as consistent with backdating or fabricating the document. This visual representation demonstrated the full extent of the edits. Gunning asked Wright, “If you were forging the whitepaper, that is how you would do it, isn’t it?” Wright replied, “Yes,”.

Wright stated that the edits were a demonstration for his representatives at Shoosmiths, his law firm. The animation showed a red flash when Wright was on a call with his lawyers at Shoosmiths while making the edits.”

Read the full story at Forbes

CoinDesk: ‘Craig Wright Admits to Editing Bitcoin White Paper Presented in COPA Trial’

“The trial to prove whether or not Wright is the anonymous creator of the bitcoin white paper completed its third week. COPA wants to prove that Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto is a lie afforded by “industrial style forgeries,” and the bitcoin developers lawyer Alexander Gunning is helping them.

On Friday, Gunning showed that Wright made edits to the bitcoin whitepaper in his “LaTeX files,” which Wright agreed was accurate. Wright said the edits were simply a demonstration for his representatives at Shoosmiths (his law firm).

“You were not showing this to anyone, we know the times you were showing this to Shoosmiths, you were doing it for yourself,” Gunning said.

“What you are doing is tweaking parameters.. to get them to fit ” the layout of the bitcoin whitepaper, Gunning added. The file was uploaded as recently as November 2023, Gunning said.

Gunning ended his questioning by asking: “Your claim to be Satoshi Nakomoto is a fraudulent claim isn’t it?” which Wright disputed.”

Read the full story at CoinDesk

Bitcoin Royalty Descends on the Satoshi Nakamoto Trial

Earlier this month, a trial began in the UK High Court, the purpose of which is to challenge Wright’s claim to being the creator of Bitcoin. The case was filed by a consortium of crypto firms called the Crypto Open Patent Alliance, which is asking the court to declare that Wright is not Satoshi, thereby limiting his ability to found further litigation on the claim. COPA claims that Wright has fabricated his evidence and repeatedly changed his story as new inconsistencies come to light. It called on the early bitcoiners to help prove it.

Among those who testified were Adam Back, Mike Hearn, Martti Malmi, and Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, each of whom contributed to the early development of Bitcoin in their own way. With the exception of Hearn, who had a polished manner and dressed sharply, the witnesses had the air of technologists: softly spoken and somewhat awkward, but quietly authoritative. Earlier in the trial, Wright had faced a grueling seven-day cross-examination, in which he rejected hundreds of claims of forgery and misrepresentation. The evidence supplied by the bitcoiners, COPA hoped, would help dismantle his story.

The figures called upon by COPA to testify each made a distinct mark on Bitcoin. Back created a precursor technology called Hashcash (although Wright disputes its relevance) and corresponded with Satoshi as the Bitcoin creator drafted the white paper. Satoshi tasked Malmi with curating, which hosted educational materials. Hearn was one of the earliest contributors to the Bitcoin codebase. And Wilcox-O’Hearn was among the first to blog about Bitcoin, spreading the gospel. As Bitcoin grew, these early collaborators became themselves revered in crypto circles for their place in Bitcoin lore.

In witness statements submitted to the court ahead of the trial, the bitcoiners provided accounts in support of COPA’s case. Back detailed a 2008 email exchange in which Satoshi appeared to be unfamiliar with a proposal by cryptographer Wei Dai. In his own written evidence, Wright had described Dei’s work as an inspiration for Bitcoin. Malmi contested Wright’s timeline of the correspondence between him and Satoshi and Wright’s description of technical arrangements relating to the forum. Separately, he asserted that Satoshi embraced the term “cryptocurrency,” contrary to Wright’s account. In his statement, Hearn recounted a dinner in 2016 at which he posed questions to Wright that he believed Satoshi would be able to answer. Some of Wright’s responses were “in the general area, but garbled;” others were “only slightly better than Star Trek-style technobabble.” Wilcox-O’Hearn simply testified Satoshi never sent him any bitcoin, as Wright has claimed he did.

In the course of Wednesday and Thursday, the bitcoiners took to the witness box to be cross-examined on the contents of their statements by Wright’s legal counsel, Lord Anthony Grabiner and Craig Orr.

Grabiner pressed Hearn on the quality of his recall with respect to the dinner, about which the court had received a contradictory account from one of Wright’s witnesses. Hearn acknowledged a level of haziness, but insisted he remembered “the important parts” in which he asked about Bitcoin. Grabiner proposed that Wright’s responses had been stilted because he was wary of the possibility Hearn had an ulterior motive for his questioning. At the time Hearn worked for a company, R3, that Grabiner claimed could be considered a competitor to nChain, a firm with which Wright was associated. Hearn rejected the claim: “I didn’t know anything about Wright’s work,” he said. “I still don’t.”

Read the full story on WIRED

CoinDesk: ‘Craig Wright Witness Defends Saying Headed for ‘Train Wreck’ With COPA Trial’

“‘We’re heading into a f***ing train wreck.’

That’s how Stefan Matthews, a witness for Craig Wright, described the U.K. trial probing the latter’s claims that he invented the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin.

Matthews, the co-founder of tech company nChain – where Wright was chief scientist – had to defend that January message when he took the stand on Monday along with two other witnesses for Wright as the third week of trial kicked off.

Under oath, Matthews said he was referring only to how “uncooperative Craig was in his strategy and plan” for the trial and insisted he didn’t think Wright was a “fake.”

Before Matthews took the stand on Monday, David Bridges, CIO of Qudos Bank, who met Wright in 2006, and Wright’s cousin Max Lynam participated by video link. Both admitted that key events or conversations that convinced them Wright was Satoshi took place years ago and without material proof to back them up.”

Read the full article on CoinDesk

CoinDesk: ‘Stupid Things Craig Wright Said in His Latest Stupid Trial’

“Over the course of nearly 30 hours of cross-examination, Craig Steven Wright, the Australian man who claims to be Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, has been raked through the coals. The self-described computer scientist, economist, cryptographer, patent writer, author, lawyer, pastor, master of martial arts and mathematician (in other words: fabulist) has been accused of misrepresenting facts, told by the judge to stay on topic and silenced by his own lawyers.

For many onlookers, however, the case has already been made: Wright, by taking the stand, simply discredited himself. There have been too many inconsistencies, too many happenstances and too much misdirection to be believed. The trial is expected to go until mid-March.

For now, CoinDesk has collected some of the most bizarre, asinine and head scratching moments from the case so far.

Wright, who claims to be working towards five PhDs, apparently does not know the very basics of coding. During a cross-examination by Alexander Gunning KC asking about PGP keys and cryptography, Wright was asked about “unsigned integers,” (used essentially to determine whether a string of data will have a + or – prefix), and wasn’t able to. Longtime crypto advocate Michael Parenti noted the unsigned integer function was used over 500 times in the original Bitcoin source code. What was meant to be a routine line of questioning to enter basic facts into the record about the Bitcoin source code may be the single moment remembered for years to come.

It’d be too much to list every inconsistency brought up in the trial — the main strategy of the COPA legal team has been to force Wright to account for the hundreds of indications of forgery and manipulation found by a forensic evidence expert in emails, documents and computer files submitted into evidence.

But to take just two striking examples where he wasn’t exactly “precise” with his language, at one point Wright claimed he did not have a Reddit account and has never used the popular message board site. Well, here’s his account. Wright also said he faked Satoshi’s PGP key, perhaps mistakenly.

Relatedly, Wright denies forging or plagiarizing any of the documents submitted into evidence. He has blamed hacks, faulty internet connections and a grand conspiracy of people trying to “frame” him as a liar for some of the inconsistencies brought — like metadata that shows documents pertaining to the creation of Bitcoin were made using Word 2015.

On the opening day of the case, Judge Mellor acknowledged the allegations of forged documents and told Wright he “should consider himself extremely lucky” to argue his case, given the circumstances.
When asked by Mellor on Wednesday to produce a single document related to early Bitcoin files that doesn’t show signs of tampering, Wright said they would be unavailable. Plus, he argued, it couldn’t possibly be him manipulating the documents, because if it were, he wouldn’t have gotten caught.”

Read the full article on CoinDesk