In 2016, when Craig Wright promised to provide “extraordinary proof” that he is the creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto, he was met with much skepticism. Some had doubts when Wright fabricated evidence, and many were not surprised when he did not present the so-called evidence he promised. instead, he apologized for lacking the “courage” to share real evidence. then, in 2018, he perjured himself, further inflaming public perception that he might be a fraud.
In 2019, Wright began fighting back against critics by threatening to take them to court for defamation. Among Wright’s most vocal skeptics is bitcoin expert Peter McCormack, who became the first target of Wright’s litigation. In 2019, Wright sued McCormack for defamation for tweeting things like “Craig Wright is a fucking liar, and he’s a fraud; and he is an idiot; he is not satoshi.” Wright hoped that a successful libel lawsuit against McCormack would finally prove that he founded bitcoin.
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This week, a UK High Court issued a verdict, with Judge Martin Chamberlain writing that “Satoshi’s identity is not among the issues” determined. The libel suit, in the end, was a victory for Wright; He was awarded damages for the “serious damage” McCormack caused to his reputation. But he also showed that, once again, Wright is not communicating about the evidence in his public fight to be recognized as the creator of bitcoin.
In the lawsuit, Wright claimed that McCormack’s tweets, as well as a discussion on a YouTube video, had seriously damaged Wright’s reputation. he said he had been accepted and then refused academic papers, revoked invitations to lectures and ruined his chances of becoming a surrey magistrate. But once again it was discovered that he had provided false evidence for his claims, and a UK judge decided that it would be “inconceivable” to award Wright more than nominal damages for the damage done to his reputation. For all that time in court, Wright was awarded just £1 yesterday, and the guardian reports that he will walk away with an even more tarnished reputation.
Because Wright “presented a knowingly false case and knowingly presented false evidence up to days before trial, he will only recover nominal damages,” the Justice Chamberlain wrote.
Despite little damages collected, the lawsuit could serve to silence more critics who don’t have the time or resources to go to court over their social media posts, which McCormack claimed in the disputed tweets was Wright’s real motivation for suing.
The judge is still deliberating how much to award to cover the costs of both legal teams. Wright’s legal team did not immediately respond to ars’ request for comment. McCormack’s legal team told ars that they are “very pleased with the conclusions reached by the judge.”
Mccormack tweeted that he was also “very pleased” with the court’s findings and thanked his lawyers and the judge. He said that he would have more people to thank once the case is officially closed.
wright has not tweeted any response as of this writing. Guardian reports that Wright responded with this statement: “I intend to appeal the adverse findings of the ruling that my evidence was clearly misrepresented. I will continue to pursue legal challenges until these baseless and damaging attacks designed to disparage my reputation are stopped.”