New York Times: ‘This Man Did Not Invent Bitcoin’

“Dr. Wright had a financial interest in squelching their work: He and a gambling tycoon had joined forces to promote an alternative digital currency, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, that they claimed was a pure, uncorrupted version of Bitcoin, with better practical applications.

This year, Bitcoin’s price surged to an all-time high, renewing optimism that crypto is destined for widespread adoption. But the industry is still tarnished by a procession of recent financial scandals that cost investors billions in savings. The mystery of Satoshi is the last remnant of a more innocent time in its history, when crypto was a renegade, communal system that seemed to have materialized out of thin air.

Dr. Wright’s claim to Satoshi-dom wasn’t simply an antagonistic legal strategy: It was a threat to the purity of that founding myth. This year, several of crypto’s most powerful companies mobilized to stop Dr. Wright from bringing cases. An influential group led by Coinbase, the largest U.S. exchange, and Block, a company started by the Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, took him to trial in High Court in London.

They were seeking a judicial declaration: We may never know for sure who invented Bitcoin, but it wasn’t Craig Wright.

As the trial reached its conclusion in March, a few of Dr. Wright’s supporters, mostly investors in Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, gathered in the courtroom to watch his final stand. Mr. Ayre was not among them. He had written some supportive messages for Dr. Wright on X, but he spent the morning of closing arguments in a pool, drinking beer and posting clips from “The Godfather” on social media.

As Dr. Wright’s legal team tried to address the forgery claims, Mr. Ayre began texting a New York Times reporter. “Drunk and happy,” he wrote in one of dozens of typo-riddled messages. (The texts came from a number that Mr. Ayre had used in the past; it was later disconnected.)

The trial was “old powers wanting to slow innovation,” Mr. Ayre wrote. He used a series of vulgar expressions to describe his business rivals and said only a “moron” would disbelieve Dr. Wright.

“Craig is Satoshi,” Mr. Ayre declared. “He is also 14 year old kid.”

A few minutes later, the judge overseeing the proceedings, James Mellor, issued a ruling from the bench. “Dr. Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto,” he said.

Crypto fans celebrated online, proclaiming the end of a “reign of terror.” Mr. Dorsey, the Twitter founder, posted the full text of Justice Mellor’s ruling. In a closing submission, COPA’s lawyers called for the court papers to be forwarded to British prosecutors, who could investigate whether Dr. Wright had committed perjury.

This week, Justice Mellor elaborated on his conclusions in a 231-page ruling, finding that Dr. Wright had forged numerous documents. “He is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is,” Justice Mellor wrote. Dr. Wright has already dropped his defamation claim, as well as one suit he filed against Bitcoin developers. But a message posted to his X account on Monday said he planned to appeal the COPA ruling.”

Read the full story at the New York Times