LONDON (AP) – One of the cryptocurrency industry’s enduring mysteries took center stage Tuesday in a London courtroom, with a trial that could finally settle the debate over the identity of Bitcoin’s founder.
Australian computer scientist Craig Wright took the witness stand at the High Court and testified that he is the person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, which has concealed the identity of Bitcoin’s creator.
Mr. Wright has long claimed to be Nakamoto. A nonprofit group of technology and cryptocurrency companies is trying to prove he’s not. The trial began Monday and is expected to last a month before the judge makes a ruling at a later date.
Attorney Jonathan Huff, representing the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), said at the outset of the trial, “The claims that Mr. Wright is Satoshi are a lie, an elaborate fabrication backed by industrial-scale document forgery.” It’s based on the story of.” “As his false documents and contradictions were exposed, he resorted to further forgeries and ever more implausible excuses.”
At issue is the management of intellectual property rights, not just bragging rights to creative works.
The alliance alleges in its lawsuit that Wright used his claim as Bitcoin’s inventor to sue developers to discourage further development of the open source technology. The ruling will affect three pending lawsuits filed by Wright based on his claims that he owns intellectual property rights to Bitcoin.
“Mr. Wright has threatened to bankrupt developers, sent notices of intent to sue, and is actually pursuing scorched-earth litigation against these volunteers, all while claiming that he is the founder of Bitcoin. “This is based on unsubstantiated claims,” the alliance said in a statement on Monday. In a statement.
Bitcoin’s murky origins date back to the height of the 2008 financial crisis. The paper, written by an individual or group using the pseudonym Nakamoto, describes how to send digital currencies anonymously around the world without using banks or national currencies. Nakamoto seemed to disappear after three years.
Speculation about his true identity has swirled for years, and when Wright first emerged to claim his true identity in 2016, the names of multiple candidates surfaced, but none had the courage to provide further evidence. ” and immediately retreated into the shadows.
Wright claimed in court Tuesday that he created the technology and the mysterious identity behind it, citing his admiration for Japanese culture. He said the name is a combination of philosopher Tominaga Nakamoto’s last name, Satoshi David, a character from a book about American tycoon JP Morgan, and a Pokemon character.
He said he used an alias to protect his privacy because he didn’t want the creator to be anonymous.
“This allows me to focus on my work and puts the spotlight on the innovation and potential of Bitcoin, rather than the individuals behind it,” he said. I did.
Defense lawyer Anthony Grabiner said the alliance had not presented clear evidence that Wright was not Satoshi, undermining the credibility of the documents it had relied on to prove Wright was the author. He said that it was only for the purpose of
“Despite the high profile of Dr. Light’s claim to be Satoshi, it is surprising that no one else has credibly claimed Satoshi’s role,” Grabiner said. “If Dr. Light wasn’t Satoshi, the real Satoshi would have come forward to refute his claims.”
By demonstrating the use of Nakamoto’s Bitcoin private key, Wright was able to convince several leading Bitcoin enthusiasts that he was genuine, but other crypto experts It said it debunked his claims. Despite widespread skepticism in the crypto community, he won his case in court.
In 2021, he won a civil lawsuit in Florida against the family of his deceased business partner and is now obligated to pay half of 1.1 million Bitcoins, worth about 37.7 billion pounds (approximately $47.5 billion), and Bit It argued that coins could only be owned by individuals or entities. People who have been involved with digital currencies from the beginning, such as founders.
Wright and other cryptocurrency experts testified at trial that they owned the bitcoins in question. His lawyers argued that while he worked with his late friend David Kleiman, their partnership had nothing to do with Bitcoin’s creation or initial operations.
Because all Bitcoin transactions are public, members of the Bitcoin community have regularly asked Wright to move only a portion of his coins to prove ownership. Although Mr. Wright vowed to prove he was the owner of the property, it appears he never did.
At the London trial, Mr. Hough repeatedly argued with Mr. Wright over the authenticity of documents supporting his claims.
Hough said the original white paper on the creation of Bitcoin was written in OpenOffice software, and experts on both sides noted that Wright submitted a version written in a software called LaTeX that did not exist at the time the paper was written. He said he agreed.
Mr. Huff suggested that the discrepancies in numbers on the documents behind the “origin myth” were a sign that it had been fabricated.
“If I had forged that document, it would have been perfect,” Wright said. He is scheduled to testify for five more days.