Self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor not 'Satoshi Nakamoto', court rules


An Australian computer scientist who claims he invented bitcoin is not "Satoshi Nakamoto", the pseudonymous inventor of the cryptocurrency, a judge at London's High Court ruled on Thursday.

Craig Wright has long claimed to have been the author of a 2008 white paper, the foundational text of bitcoin, published under the pseudonym.

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) took Wright to court to stop him suing bitcoin developers, asking for a ruling that Wright was not Satoshi.

Judge James Mellor said on Thursday that Wright was not Satoshi and that he would give his full reasons for his decision at a later date.

COPA – whose members include Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's payments firm Block – previously said it had brought the lawsuit to preserve the open-source nature of bitcoin.

After Mellor announced his decision on Thursday, Dorsey posted a quote from the judge and a single letter: "W".

COPA accused Wright of repeatedly forging documents to substantiate his claim, including during the trial itself, which Wright denied when he gave evidence.

Its lawyer, Jonathan Hough, said at the start of the trial in February that Wright's claim was "a brazen lie, an elaborate false narrative supported by forgery on an industrial scale".

Hough said that "there are elements of Dr. Wright's conduct that stray into farce", citing his alleged use of ChatGPT to produce forgeries.

But he added: "Dr. Wright's conduct is also deadly serious. On the basis of his dishonest claim to be Satoshi, he has pursued claims he puts at hundreds of billions of dollars, including against numerous private individuals."

Wright's lawyers, however, argued in court filings that he had produced "clear evidence demonstrating his authorship of the white paper and creation of bitcoin".

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