Self-styled Bitcoin creator Craig Wright appeared in court on Monday to face well-funded prosecutors seeking to prove that the computer scientist is not, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto.
The legal battle is widely expected to bring an end to recurring lawsuits launched by Wright against the crypto community, which has largely met his proclamations with skepticism and derision.
The ‘Beginning of the End’ for Craig Wright
The first day of trial features skeleton arguments from both prosecutors and Wright, before the scientist’s lawyers present his full case on Tuesday.
His opposition is the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a group backed by both Meta (formerly Facebook) and Block, the payments firm spearheaded by Bitcoin enthusiast Jack Dorsey.
“CWS’s conduct is deadly serious,” argued COPA in a London High Court, before Justice Justice Edward James Mellor. “He has terrorized bloggers who dispute his claim.”
Beginning of the end of an extremely stupid, quite painful era https://t.co/lVlL0PrAQH
— nic 🌠 carter (@nic__carter) February 5, 2024
“This is done with the backing of Calvin Ayre,” the group added, alluding to the popular tech billionaire who own a large stake in a major block-producer for the Wright-inspired blockchain, Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV).
The prosecution accused Wright of creating an “elaborate false narrative” about his identity using “forgery on an industrial scale,” while being unable to produce any reliable documents to support his claims.
For example, while Wright has claimed to own LaTeX files that he alleges were the original Bitcoin whitepaper, evidence suggests that he was still applying edits to those documents as late as December 2023. His internet search history at the time also showed that he Googled whether the Bitcoin whitepaper was written in LaTeX.
In their opening statement, Wright’s legal team countered that Wright has a steep educational background in finance and cryptography, and philosophical tenants required to be Satoshi. Furthermore, nobody else has come forward with serious claims to be Satoshi, thus supporting Wright’s claim.
The introductory arguments from Wright were largely criticized by online spectators.
“I’ve been reluctant to use the Doctor title for Craig Wright, but with the sheer amount of doctored evidence being presented by COPA, I’m about to change my mind,” wrote Hodlonaut, a previous target of Wright’s defamation lawsuits, in a post to X on Monday.
Bloomberg ETF analyst James Seyffart also found “the extent of the lies and forgeries” from Wright to be “borderline unbelievable.”
The trial is expected to conclude next month before a decision in writing is granted at a later date.