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UK Court Rules Craig Wright Not Satoshi Nakamoto: What Happens Next?

UK Court Rules Craig Wright Not Satoshi Nakamoto: What Happens Next?

Mar 15, 2024

UK Court Rules Craig Wright Not Satoshi Nakamoto: What Happens Next?

In a significant development in the UK trial involving the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) and computer scientist Craig Wright, Judge James Mellor ruled that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. The initial victory for COPA was announced on Thursday, but the complexities of the case are far from over.

COPA is seeking court orders to restrain Wright from making further claims to the identity of Nakamoto, asserting authorship of the Bitcoin whitepaper, and initiating additional lawsuits within the Bitcoin sector. The request for injunctions will likely be addressed individually in the court proceedings.

Amidst the ongoing legal battle, Wright has engaged in a series of lawsuits asserting his rights to the Bitcoin whitepaper, the underlying technology, and various Bitcoin holdings. He has also brought forth defamation claims. As a result of the recent judgment, a Kraken spokesperson expressed to CoinDesk that Wright's credibility has been significantly undermined in his efforts to be recognized as Satoshi Nakamoto. The Kraken cryptocurrency exchange is one of the defendants in Wright's lawsuits.

The court's decision does not conclude the matter entirely. "Any further relief will be dealt with in my written judgment," stated Judge Mellor, with the court withholding comment on the timing of the final ruling. The comprehensive written judgment is expected to examine all the evidence presented, including the allegations of fraud and 46 allegations of forgery.

The implications of this initial ruling are far-reaching. As Louise Abbott, partner at Keystone law firm, indicates, it is yet uncertain whether Wright will be legally barred from continuing to claim he is Nakamoto. However, the outcome should influence Wright's ongoing legal actions, potentially weakening his position in cases against major exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase, where he has alleged that they are selling not Bitcoin, but his intellectual property.

The potential impact extends to a database rights case against Coinbase and others, in which Wright claims copyright infringement of the Bitcoin whitepaper and database rights to the Bitcoin blockchain. The recent court findings are likely to severely affect his chances of success in these claims.

Wright's legal pursuits are not limited to the UK. Internationally, he has faced setbacks such as the loss in a defamation case against Bitcoin advocate Magnus Granath, known as Hodlonaut, in Norway. Despite these challenges, the future of Wright's claims and the possibility of an injunction against him remain to be seen.

Kraken's spokesperson remains skeptical about Wright ceasing his legal actions but expresses confidence that these claims can now be definitively dismissed.

As for Wright's potential response to Judge Mellor's decision, he has yet to publicly indicate whether he intends to appeal. Judge Mellor has allowed an extension of 21 days for filing any appellant's notice after the forthcoming written judgment. According to the HM Courts and Appeals service, an appeal must be based on proper legal grounds, such as a serious mistake or procedural error in the original trial.

What Happens Next in COPA vs Craig Wright Trial is Down to the Judge
The Crypto Open Patent Alliance is seeking several court injunctions from Wright.


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