COPA Trial: Craig Wright Claims Documents Were Forged, Lawyers Cross-Examine

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 3 min read
Craig Wright
Image by Jimmy Aki, Midjourney

The ongoing legal issues between Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) founder Craig Wright and Bitcoin developers have turned even more sour. According to a February 4 court filing by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) legal team, several documents Wright submitted as evidence of his ownership of the Bitcoin network were doctored and edited.

Craig Wright Cries Foul


On day two of the ongoing legal battle between COPA and self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright, the prosecuting team called attention to a series of documents that Wright submitted as evidence to support his claim to the Bitcoin founder title. All documents have been claimed as intentional forgeries.

When cross-examined, the defendant cried foul, stating that he had been set up to appear as a liar.

The Australian scientist claimed innocence and argued that unidentified persons–on online platforms like Reddit, forums, email, unauthorized computer access, and other means–have forged the computer files he presented as evidence to portray him as a cheat.

Wright’s claims look sketchy, given that his expert witness agreed with the prosecuting team’s analysis that the documents were intentional forgeries. According to a January 24 press release by COPA, expert witnesses stated that the documents were recent creations and could not be genuine.

To substantiate their claims, the word processing software used to document the famous Bitcoin whitepaper was brought up. Wright claimed to have put together the piece using LaTex. Expert witnesses and an examination of the metadata revealed that the Bitcoin whitepaper was created using OpenOffice, however.

Other claims stated that some of the evidence presented by Wright was fabricated using the help of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, putting a further blanket on the defendant’s case.

As expected, Wright continued to maintain his innocence. For instance, he claims that his former colleague Greg Maxwell edited a document he presented in 2019 way back in 2016. Nonetheless, the COPA team is not letting go.

Irregularities Found In Wright’s Documents


Wright entered the public scene in 2016 after he declared himself the inventor of the Bitcoin network. He also asserted that the crypto network’s intellectual property rights were his.

Several experts have objected to this claim, with COPA leading the charge.

COPA, founded by the trio of Coinbase, MicroStrategy, and Jack Dorsey, has since filed a lawsuit against Wright requesting a court injunction that puts Bitcoin as a ‘public domain material.’ They also want to maintain that no individual has copyright claims over the ‘Bitcoin’ name.

Since then, the COPA team has reviewed documents provided by Wright that if real may support his ownership claim of the blockchain protocol.

After a cursory review of the documents, the COPA team stated that one document contained obvious irregularities and misalignments in the characters.

Sharing an update on this aspect of the case, X user @bitnorbert stated that ‘08’ is not aligned with ‘20’ according to an appendix on the document. This is because the ‘08’ is smaller than the ‘20’ in the document’s date. When asked, Wright agreed to the irregularity.

Another instance highlighted is the ‘monumenta nipponica’ document showing 2015 as against an earlier date Wright stated.

The COPA team brought even more evidence to the London High Court. According to one, a BlackNet document contained a non-existent formatting until 2007. Wright claimed that the document was created in 2002, further weakening his claims.

 

The ongoing bitter legal feud between Craig Wright and the COPA coalition may look like a clash between tech elites from the outside. But at its core, this dispute centers on fundamental rights regarding who can legally develop and steward the Bitcoin network.

In past proclamations, Wright had brazenly sought to prohibit Bitcoin developers from further building and tending to the globe-spanning blockchain system. Through its lawsuit, COPA aims to decisively refute Wright’s assertions and firmly establish that no single entity can monopolize or restrict work on Bitcoin’s open-source protocol.

More than just high-profile theatrics, this pivotal case could have far-reaching implications. Its outcome may definitively uphold the rights of Bitcoin developers to continue their work unfettered, thereby helping safeguard the future decentralization and democratization that are foundational to the cryptocurrency’s ethos.