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COPA Aims to Dismiss Craig Wright’s Satoshi Claim in Landmark Trial

Tim Hakki
Last updated: | 2 min read
A trial is concluding whether Craig Wright really invented Bitcoin.

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) feels like it’s on the verge of winning its landmark case against Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, a man who claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin.

The UK trial moved onto the final round yesterday. Now the parties are delivering their closing statements. COPA’s legal counsel Jonathan Hough said: “Following the evidence in this trial, it is clearer than ever – clear beyond doubt – that Dr. Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto. He did not write the Bitcoin white paper, produce the Bitcoin code or implement the Bitcoin system.”

Founded in 2020, COPA is an alliance to promote blockchain development through open access to patents. Its 33 members include Facebook parent company Meta, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s payments company Block, Bitcoin’s biggest whale MicroStrategy, and centralized exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken and Gemini.

As a self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin), Craig Wright holds many blockchain-related patents and he has gone so far as to sue Bitcoin developers and companies over alleged violations of his copyright over Bitcoin’s white paper.

Jack Dorsey got involved in the case early on and footed the developers and affiliated companies’ legal bill through his crypto legal war chest, the Bitcoin Legal Defence Fund.

It also looks like Wright’s story is unravelling. In January this year he offered COPA an out-of-court settlement, which the alliance strongly declined in a tweet.

Craig Wright’s Recent Escapades

Craig Wright’s claims began to really unravel under cross-examination earlier this year. In early February, COPA’s team called attention to the fact that many documents used in Wright’s defence are intentional forgeries. Wright tried to rubbish the claim by suggesting a shady cabal of people on Reddit and across the web were conspiring to make him look bad.

Later that month, Wright claimed he destroyed hard drives containing his (“Satoshi’s”) private keys while under the influence of sedatives.

Witness David Bridges threw a spanner in the works when he took the stand to suggest Wright could be Satoshi based on his love for Japanese things and the fact that, in the time they worked together, Wright proposed an alternative to the global SWIFT payments system.

Bridges also noted that Wright sent him several papers and documents and suggested one of these may have been Bitcoin’s white paper but he didn’t acknowledge it at the time because he found the gesture “very annoying”.

In what could now be his last, desperate attempt to convince everyone he is Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright released 160,000 pages of so-called evidence last month.