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UK Judge Concludes Craig Wright Forged Evidence in Bitcoin Creation Claim

UK Judge Concludes Craig Wright Forged Evidence in Bitcoin Creation Claim

May 20, 2024

UK Judge Concludes Craig Wright Forged Evidence in Bitcoin Creation Claim

A UK High Court judge has delivered a decisive judgment against Craig Wright, finding that he forged evidence in his attempt to prove himself as Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. In a case brought forward by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), Justice James Mellor ruled that Wright's extensive and repeated lies were in support of his claim to be Nakamoto.

The written judgment, published on May 20, details how Wright committed forgery "on a grand scale," with Justice Mellor stating, "It is clear that Dr. Wright engaged in the deliberate production of false documents to support false claims and use the Courts as a vehicle for fraud."

During the trial, which lasted six weeks earlier this year, COPA sought to prevent Wright from filing further lawsuits based on his claim of being Nakamoto. Wright's efforts to assert his claim included multiple lawsuits against Bitcoin developers and others.

Justice Mellor's judgment followed a swift verdict delivered on March 14, where he openly declared in court that the evidence was overwhelming against Wright's claim to the Nakamoto identity. Paul Grewal, chief legal officer at Coinbase and a member of COPA, highlighted the ruling's demonstration of the baselessness of Wright's claims, calling them "not only to be false but utterly fanciful."

As a consequence of the ruling, Wright has since dropped several lawsuits, including an appeal of a libel lawsuit in Norway and another case where his company accused Bitcoin developers of failing to assist in recovering lost bitcoin. While some lawsuits remain pending a possible appeal by Wright, the UK judgment will prevent him from initiating new claims in the country.

The broader impact of the ruling is limited geographically, leaving Wright the option to pursue his claims in other jurisdictions. However, the COPA ruling is expected to be persuasive to courts in other countries addressing similar claims, as copyright laws are generally harmonized internationally.

Questions about the source of Wright's litigation funding were raised during the trial, with allegations suggesting that online gambling tycoon Calvin Ayre had financed Wright's lawsuits, a claim both men deny. Moreover, a freezing order was placed on $7.6 million of Wright's assets to prevent him from evading the trial's cost consequences.

Despite the possibility of further legal action, the comprehensive nature of Justice Mellor's findings against Wright is hoped to deter him from pursuing additional claims.

Wired Article

Written Judgement


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