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Can Bitcoin finally move on from Craig Wright?

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Nearly a decade after Craig Wright began terrorizing the Bitcoin (BTC) community with claims that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, a British court has ruled: Wright is not Satoshi.

The ruling came this month from Justice James Mellor of England’s High Court of Justice in a civil case led by the Open Patents Coalition (COPA). His decision said Wright “largely and repeatedly lied to the court” while engaging in “massive fraud” to prove he was Satoshi.

Mellor was highly critical of Wright in his scathing judgment, writing in part:

Dr. Wright presents himself as a very intelligent person. However, in my opinion, he is not as smart as he thinks he is. In both his written evidence and in the days of oral evidence under cross-examination, I am absolutely satisfied that Dr. Wright lied to the court extensively and repeatedly. Most of his lies relate to documents he forged that allegedly supported his claim. All his lies and forged documents supported his biggest lie: his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.

While hardcore Bitcoiners haven’t thought much of Wright since he began making his allegations in 2015, mainstream media quickly gave him the popular platform he needed to bully and damage people, companies, and Bitcoin’s image.

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However, thanks to the court’s decision, the industry can support Bitcoin’s “immaculate conception” narrative without the lingering doubt sown by Wright — aided in part by the likes of Gizmodo, Wired, the BBC, The Economist, the Financial Times, GQ, and other publications. Many in the media fail to simply look at the facts, including the fact that encryption data can be easily verified.

Judge James Mellor criticized Craig Wright at length in his ruling.

Even in 2019, some in the media have yet to receive the memo regarding Wright. When Wright filed a US copyright claim for the Bitcoin whitepaper in April 2019, the Financial Times quoted a Wright spokesman as calling it “the first government agency recognition of Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.”

In addition to the press, Wright deceived Gavin Andersen, to whom Satoshi entrusted Bitcoin’s source code when he stopped contributing and moved on to other things. Citing a “confused environment,” Bitcoin developers canceled Andersen’s commit access amid the confusion caused by Wright. That was a big deal for the Bitcoin industry at the time. It was a time of great unease when Wright appeared on the scene.

Can Bitcoin Finally Move On From Craig Wright
Developer Gavin Andresen gave a presentation to the CIA in 2011. Source: Bitcointalk.org

Satoshi, known only via text messages, appears to have been patient, disciplined, rational and temperamental. He never tried to enjoy the limelight, even though he had opportunities. He wanted early adopters to refrain from advertising Bitcoin because he did not believe it was ready for further adoption. He left in 2011, supposedly nervous after WikiLeaks started accepting bitcoin and Andersen made a presentation to the CIA.

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Wright, on the other hand, was always a braggart. He strongly hinted that he was Satoshi in person, on boards, and in old blog posts to make it seem possible. “Fakitoshi,” as Wright is referred to in online Bitcoin forums, took every opportunity to put himself in the spotlight. Mellor wrote that Wright’s attempt to prove he was Satoshi was a “serious abuse of this court’s process.”

The decision represents a strong defeat for Wright, although he said he would appeal the ruling. In the meantime, it could expose him to lawsuits from those who have suffered negatively from his antics, including companies and content creators like Coinbase and Peter McCormack.

If Wright were Satoshi, he could have drafted a message (“Craig Wright is Satoshi”) and signed that message with the private key of the Genesis block. It will be able to sign the message using a PGP key, which is not obsolete. But this never happened.

The ability of one person to engage in a baseless legal war should horrify us all. I hesitate to write words, for fear of getting caught in the crossfire: Bitcoin can finally move on Craig Wright.

Kadan Stadelman He is a guest author at Cointelegraph and CTO of Komodo. He graduated from the University of Vienna in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in information technology before joining the Berlin Institute of Technology for technical informatics and scientific computing. He joined the Comodo team in 2016.

This article is for general information purposes and is not intended and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.