“In London, [Wright] is lining up against the powerful Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), an organisation backed by a list of the tech and crypto world’s biggest names, including Jack Dorsey’s Square and, until very recently, Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta.
For those betting on a blockchain-based future of payments, the stakes could scarcely be higher. COPA wants to prove once and for all that Wright is not Satoshi and, as such, has no legal claim to the underlying blockchain technology. That would, they say, clear the way for the code to be used patent-free across everything from digital currencies to voting in elections and operating internet of things appliances.
For his part, Wright claims intellectual property rights over the blockchain protocol and the famed Satoshi white paper. He claims cryptocurrencies are ultimately a Ponzi scheme, and that the paper he – as Satoshi Nakamoto – published in 2008 described a form of digital cash that cut out the banks by facilitating secure, provable payments for almost no cost. Wright says bitcoin was meant to allow billions of people to transact directly, without the need for a bank, not be an anonymous tool for criminals or a get-rich-quick scheme for speculators.
At the heart of everything is a system that delivers unimpeachable truth, he says.
But to win, Wright, 53, faces a sizeable challenge, and verifiable truth is at its heart. In years of pre-trial arguments, lawyers for COPA have indicated – and the court has accepted – that they will rely heavily on evidence that a history of unreliable documentation, such as that which underwhelmed the ATO and resulted in CO1N being slapped with a $2 million penalty, make Wright’s claims to be Satoshi unsustainable.”