Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? The mysterious inventor of bitcoin is a recognized figure in the world of cryptocurrencies but his true identity is unknown.
however, british blogger peter mccormack was sure of one thing: the answer is not craig wright.
Reading: New uk bitcoin court could decide
For years, Wright, an Australian computer scientist, has claimed that he is Satoshi, the pseudonymous author of the 2008 white paper behind bitcoin.
wright’s claim that he is the inventor of the digital asset (he first tried to prove he is satoshi in 2016, months after his name first surfaced) has led to a number of legal disputes, some of which continue.
one of them came to a pyrrhic conclusion in london this week, when mccormack was found to have caused serious damage to wright’s reputation by repeatedly claiming he is a fraud and not satoshi.
but wright, 52, won a nominal £1 award after a high court judge ruled he had provided “deliberately false evidence” to support his defamation claim.
for economic reasons, mccormack did not offer a defense of truth, where the defendant in the case attempts to show that the allegations are substantially true, since the chamberlain judge ruled that a claim made in a video discussion on youtube was defamatory , while a series of tweets repeating fraud claims were ruled to have caused serious damage to wright’s reputation.
“Because [wright] knowingly presented a false case and knowingly presented false evidence up to days before trial, he will only recover nominal damages,” the judge wrote.
Mccormack’s defense, changed to a much narrower base, was that the video and tweets did not cause serious damage to Wright’s reputation. Wright claimed that his reputation had been severely damaged by the tweets because he had not been invited to 10 conferences, which meant that the academic papers due to be presented at those events had not been published.
Mccormack presented evidence from conference organizers that disputed Wright’s claims. Those claims were later dropped from Wright’s case at trial in May.
the judge was scathing. He said: “Dr. Wright’s original grievous harm case and the supporting evidence, which stood until days before trial, were deliberately false.”
wright, who lives in surrey and is the chief scientist at blockchain technology firm nchain, said he had brought the case “not for financial reward, but for the principle and for others to think twice before trying impugn my reputation. ”.
and the legal cases keep piling up. Wright has other cases pending in superior courts. He has filed a libel suit against a Norwegian Twitter user, Marcus Granath, who has also accused the Australian of being a fraud. Granath recently failed in an attempt to have the case dismissed.
wright is also suing two cryptocurrency exchanges in a case that argues that a digital asset called bitcoin satoshi vision (bsv), which he endorses, is the true descendant of the white paper.
the crypto open patent alliance (copa), a non-profit organization that supports cryptocurrencies, is seeking a declaration from the high court that wright is not the author of the white paper. His case claims that Wright falsified evidence submitted to support his claim that he is Satoshi. Wright, who denies Copa’s claims, failed in his attempt to overturn the case last year.
there was more legal back and forth before that. In 2020, Wright lost an attempt to sue Roger Ver, an early backer of Bitcoin, for calling Wright a YouTube fraud after a judge ruled that the proper jurisdiction for a lawsuit would be the United States. A year later, Wright won a copyright infringement lawsuit against the anonymous operator and publisher of the Bitcoin.org website for publishing the white paper. Wright won by default after the editor of bitcoin.org, who goes by the pseudonym Cobra, refused to speak in his defense.
in the united states, wright won a case in december that saved him from having to pay a multi-million dollar sum in bitcoin to the family of david kleiman, a former business partner. Kleiman’s family had claimed that he was a co-creator of bitcoin along with wright and therefore they were owed half of the 1.1 million bitcoins “mined” by satoshi.
the case was closely watched with the expectation that if wright lost, he would have had to move those bitcoins, seen as the sword in the stone test of satoshi’s true identity. Those coins are now worth $25bn (£21bn) at the current price of around $23,000 and are held on the bitcoin blockchain, a decentralized ledger that records all bitcoin transactions.
Satoshi published the basic text of the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, on October 31, 2008 and communicated via email with early followers of the currency before it disappeared in 2011.
carol alexander, professor of finance at the university of sussex business school, says wright could prove he is satoshi using so-called private keys, a secure code consisting of a hexadecimal string of numbers and letters, that will unlock access to bitcoins.
“The only way Wright could prove that he is an sn would be to do a transaction with some of the original bitcoins,” he said.
wright insists he won’t do this, saying that private keys don’t prove ownership or identity. there are few other candidates for satoshi. In 2014, a Japanese-American man, Dorian S Nakamoto, was named by Newsweek as the creator of Bitcoin and quickly denied any link to the digital currency. Most informed speculation has focused on Nick Szabo, an American computer scientist who designed BitGold, seen as a conceptual precursor to Bitcoin. but he has also denied claims that it could be satoshi.
Meanwhile, Mr. justice chamberlain left open a question that remains unanswered. “Satoshi’s identity is not among the issues I have to determine,” he said.