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, OpenOffice.org, 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.”