The ‘fake Satoshi’ case; COPA vs. Craig Wright - CryptoCrazeNews

The ‘fake Satoshi’ case; COPA vs. Craig Wright

The ‘fake Satoshi’ case; COPA vs. Craig Wright

The ‘fake Satoshi’ case; COPA vs. Craig Wright

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a nonprofit supported by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and prominent industry players like Coinbase and Microstrategy initiated legal action against Australian computer scientist Craig Wright in 2021. It started with disputing his assertion of being the author of the seminal 2008 Bitcoin white paper. 

This legal challenge, while not the first against Wright, stands as one of the most formidable alliances confronting him to date. The highly anticipated trial started on February 5 this year in a UK high court where a judge ruled in favor of allowing Wright to introduce additional evidence to bolster his claim.

Craig Wright’s appeal rejected by the UK apex court

In January the UK Supreme Court dealt Craig Wright, who has earned himself the title of ‘Fake Satoshi,’ a significant blow by refusing him permission to appeal in the libel case against Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack. This decision came after Wright was awarded a mere 1 GBP in compensation for his contested claim to be Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.

Rupert Cowper-Coles who is a partner at law firm RPC representing McCormack, shared the news expressing satisfaction that the judgment remained intact despite Wright’s repeated attempts to appeal. 

He remarked, “We actually only just found out about it, but it was at the end of last year, the Supreme Court refused permission for Craig Wright’s appeal. So they’re very pleased that judgment stands – [the] one pound nominal damages award, which Craig has tried to appeal twice unsuccessfully.”

Amid Wright’s legal battles, allegations of copyright violations concerning Bitcoin’s foundational documents have surfaced. Wright has accused various crypto companies and bitcoin developers of misconduct and claimed breaches of his purported ownership rights. 

However, the non-profit organization Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA), representing Bitcoin Core developers and leading companies like Coinbase and Block, firmly rejected a settlement offer presented by Wright in 2016. COPA’s stance was clear as they took to Twitter to express their refusal, stating, “Hard pass on that ‘settlement.’ The settlement offer isn’t quite accurate either, it comes with loopholes that would allow him to sue people all over again.” 

Defense against forgery accusations in COPA trial

During the second day of the trial in the UK, Australian computer scientist Craig Wright vehemently denied accusations of forging evidence to support his claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. Clad in a striking powder-blue, pinstriped suit, Wright stood his ground in a sweltering London courtroom, facing intense cross-examination. 

He refuted claims of inconsistencies in a PDF document stating, “If I had forged that document, then it would be perfect,” while arguing that the purported discrepancies actually indicated authenticity. Wright challenged the court, saying, “If you go into Adobe, My Lord, and I change everything, there’s not going to be a font error.”

The trial centered on allegations of large-scale forgery by Wright, saw him denying each accusation put forth by COPA‘s counsel, Jonathan Hough. Wright attributed any discrepancies to factors ranging from self-plagiarism to printing errors or the unfortunate circumstances of various witnesses. Despite intense scrutiny of key pieces of evidence, including credit card payments, emails, documents, and tweets. 

Wright defended himself stating he reused his own words and had multiple versions of both documents. The courtroom atmosphere, described as oppressively hot, elicited concerns from Lord Grabiner, counsel for Wright, highlighting the discomfort of all present.

Intense scrutiny in fake Satoshi case

Now, during the trial’s second week in February, tensions escalated as Craig Wright made what the court deemed “irrelevant allegations” against members of the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA). Accusing them of turning Bitcoin into a “money-go-up-token scam,” Wright’s claims diverted attention from the central issue of determining his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto.

​ Presiding Judge James Mellor intervened, emphasizing the need to focus solely on the core matter at hand, urging both parties to remain on track despite the distractions.

Throughout the proceedings, Wright attempted to defend his claims by presenting evidence, including what he referred to as “primary reliance documents.” However, COPA’s counsel, represented by Bird & Bird LLP’s Jonathan Hough, relentlessly scrutinized these materials, highlighting inconsistencies and discrepancies. 

Providing explanations and pointing fingers at different people, Wright said his dissertation and another paper were similar because of editorial mistakes, and his ex-wife didn’t remember Bitcoin discussions because she had breast cancer, he said. Though Wright tried to maintain his narrative, his version of events often changed as he was questioned.

Craig Wright lashes out at expert criticisms

In the courtroom drama around 14th February, Craig Wright faced rigorous questioning regarding his bold assertion of being the elusive mastermind behind Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. However, instead of maintaining a calm and composed demeanor, Wright took a sharp turn, strongly criticizing the ‘experts’ who doubted his knowledge and skills.

With palpable frustration, he directed his ire towards what he perceived as incompetence among these “experts” unable to validate their own work. “I hate that. I loathe it,” Wright continued until Judge James Mellor intervened, addressing a disruptive individual in the courtroom, briefly punctuating the charged atmosphere.

Even under intense scrutiny, Wright defended himself resolutely and wouldn’t back down. Wright’s previous statements were analyzed and differences were pointed out, especially how Kleiman contributed to Bitcoin’s creation, which Wright adopted.

As the cross-examination stretched into another full day, presiding Judge James Mellor intervened multiple times to maintain the proceedings’ focus.

Rather than evading questions, Mellor warned Wright not to go silent, since his silence could be interpreted as a lack of answers. 

Wright fumbles under intense questioning

Moving further into mid-Feb, the proceedings of the case involving the Australian man who famously claimed to be the mysterious creator of Bitcoin took a bizarre turn. After enduring nearly 30 hours of intense questioning, dubbed as the ‘fake Satoshi,’ Wright faced relentless scrutiny.

​Accused of fabricating facts, he even received reprimands from the judge for straying off-topic. With a laundry list of self-proclaimed titles, Wright, who called himself a jack-of-all-trades tried to defend his case throughout the trial.

However, his assertions were met with skepticism exacerbated by his lawsuits and gag orders against Bitcoin developers. The nonprofit COPA joined the fray in 2021, filing a lawsuit to debunk Wright’s assertions. 

Jonathan Hough, their lead lawyer, didn’t mince words when he claimed Wright had been scamming people for decades. In the cross-examination, Hough accused Wright of tampering with documents related to Bitcoin’s development and revealing a basic misunderstanding of the system Wright claimed to have created. 

Falsified emails by his wife

An important development happened in the trial scrutinizing Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi, Bitcoin’s creator, during the final weeks of February. A revelation surfaced concerning alleged falsified emails presented as evidence by Wright’s wife, Ramona Watts

Wright’s former legal representatives at Ontier disclosed in court that the emails, purportedly showcasing communication between Wright and Ontier, were not authentic. 

As Wright’s team raised concerns about Patrick Madden’s digital forensics reports, this revelation emerged. Facing accusations that said that he had fabricated pieces of evidence to prove he was Satoshi Nakamoto.

In the trial, Patrick Madden’s scrutiny of Wright’s documents made all the difference. The court carefully examined Madden’s reports and challenged Wright’s evidence. Madden faced questions about his doubts about Wright’s documents despite his reservations. 

Madden admitted uncertainty about certain elements, such as a footer in a document from 2008 saying, “I can’t be 100% certain.” During Madden’s cross-examination, Craig Orr, representing Shoosmiths, raised concerns about Madden’s reliance on COPA’s counsel. 

Catching up with the recent developments 

Now finally it was reported yesterday that Wright was back on the court in the UK trial and alleged that his critics had infiltrated his home and tampered with an email he’s accused of doctoring.

He stated, “Unfortunately not. I suspect a number of people, My Lord,” when asked by Judge James Mellor if he could identify the perpetrators of the email spoofing. Wright has persistently asserted himself as Satoshi Nakamoto.

As part of his attempt to prove his identity, Wright has been accused of large-scale forgeries by the COPA and Bitcoin developers.

When questioned by Judge Mellor about the motive behind falsifing the email Wright maintained, “Oh, no. It doesn’t support.” He suggested that infiltrators manipulated the email to fabricate grounds for his return to court.

Despite Wright’s assertions COPA’s expert witness, Patrick Madden, contested the feasibility of spoofing the email stating, “I do not think it’s practical to consider that.” The trial concluded discussions on evidence with closing statements scheduled for March 12.

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