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Another court case solves the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto | of bitcoin not bitcoin

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? The mysterious inventor of Bitcoin is a well-known figure in the cryptocurrency world, but his true identity is unknown.

However, British blogger Peter McCormack was certain: the answer is not Craig Wright.

Wright, an Australian computer scientist, has claimed for years that he is Satoshi, the pseudonymous author of the 2008 white paper behind Bitcoin.

Wright’s claim that he was the inventor of the digital asset — he first attempted to prove he is Satoshi in 2016, months after his name first surfaced — has sparked a spate of legal battles, some of which are still ongoing.

One of them came to a pyrrhic conclusion in London this week when it was discovered that McCormack had seriously damaged Wright’s reputation by repeatedly claiming he was a fraud and not Satoshi.

However, Wright, 52, was awarded £1 in nominal damages after a Supreme Court judge ruled that he had presented “deliberately false evidence” to support his defamation lawsuit.

For reasons of cost, McCormack did not offer a defense of truth – where the defendant in the case seeks to show that the allegations are essentially true – as Mr Justice Chamberlain ruled that an allegation made in a video discussion on YouTube was libelous, while a series of tweets repeating the cheating allegations were decided to have seriously damaged Wright’s reputation.

“Because he [Wright] brought an intentionally false case and presented intentionally false evidence until days before the trial, he will seek only nominal damages,” the judge wrote.

McCormack’s defense, shifted to a much narrower base, was that the video and tweets did not seriously damage Wright’s reputation. Wright claimed his reputation was seriously damaged by the tweets because he was uninvited from 10 conferences, which meant scientific papers scheduled to be presented at those events were not published.

McCormack presented evidence from conference organizers that challenged Wright’s claims. Those allegations were then dropped from Wright’s case at the May trial.

The judge was scathing. He said: “Dr. Wright’s original grievous harms case and the evidence supporting it, both of which survived days before the trial, were intentionally false.”

Wright, who lives in Surrey and is the chief scientist at blockchain technology company nChain, said he had the case “not for a monetary reward, but for principle and to make others think twice before trying to challenge my reputation.” , put forward.

And the lawsuits keep piling up. Wright has other cases pending in the High Court. He has filed a defamation lawsuit against a Norwegian Twitter user, Marcus Granath, who has also accused the Australian of being a fraud. Granath recently failed in an attempt to have the case dropped.

Wright is also suing two cryptocurrency exchanges in a case arguing that a digital asset he endorses called Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is the true descendant of the white paper.

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (Copa), a nonprofit organization that supports cryptocurrencies, is seeking a court finding that Wright is not the author of the whitepaper. His case alleges that Wright fabricated evidence to support his claim that he is Satoshi. Wright, who denies Copa’s claims, failed to get the case dropped last year.

Before that, there was more legal back-and-forth. In 2020, Wright lost an attempt to sue Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, for calling Wright a fraud on YouTube after a judge ruled that the appropriate jurisdiction for a lawsuit would be the United States. A year later, Wright won a copyright infringement lawsuit against the anonymous operator and publisher of the bitcoin.org website for publishing the white paper. Wright won by default after bitcoin.org’s publisher, who goes by the alias Cobra, declined to speak in her defense.

In the US, Wright won a case in December that saved him from paying a multibillion-dollar sum in bitcoins to the family of David Kleiman, a former business partner. Kleiman’s family had claimed that he was a co-creator of Bitcoin along with Wright and therefore owed them half of the 1.1 million Bitcoins “mined” by Satoshi.

The case was closely watched in the expectation that if Wright lost, he would have had to move those bitcoins — seen as the sword-in-the-stone test that would prove Satoshi’s true identity. Now worth $25 billion (£21 billion) at the current price of around $23,000, these coins reside on the bitcoin blockchain, a decentralized ledger that records all bitcoin transactions.

Satoshi released the cryptocurrency’s founding text – Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System – on October 31, 2008, and communicated with the currency’s early adopters via email before disappearing in 2011.

According to Carol Alexander, a professor of finance at the University of Sussex Business School, Wright could prove he’s Satoshi by using what are known as private keys – a secure code made up of a hexadecimal sequence of numbers and letters – that denote the Unlock access to bitcoins.

“The only way Wright could prove he is SN would be through a transaction involving a portion of the original Bitcoin,” she said.

Wright insists he won’t, as private keys prove neither ownership nor identity. There are few other Satoshi candidates. In 2014, a Japanese-American man, Dorian S. Nakamoto, was named by Newsweek as the creator of Bitcoin and promptly denied any connection to the digital currency. More informed speculation has focused on Nick Szabo, an American computer scientist who designed BitGold, believed to be the conceptual precursor to Bitcoin. But he, too, has denied claims that he could be Satoshi.

Meanwhile, Mr Justice Chamberlain has left a question unanswered. “The identity of Satoshi is not one of the issues I need to resolve,” he said.

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