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Craig Wright Defeated in Lawsuit Against Hodlonaut

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 1 min read
Craig Wright. Source: a video screenshot, Coingeek

Australian computer scientist and self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright, has been defeated in a defamation case in Norway against the popular Bitcoin (BTC) influencer Hodlonaut.

The win for Hodlonaut came after a seven-day trial in Oslo, Norway in September. The trial came about after Hodlonaut sued Wright in Norway in an attempt to avoid another lawsuit that was brought against him in the UK by Wright.

Central to the case was whether Hodlonaut, an outspoken critic of Wright and his Bitcoin SV (BSV) cryptocurrency, was justified in calling Wright a liar and a fraud in 2019.

According to a transcript of the ruling, “the prevailing opinion in the media” has been, and still is, that “Wright is unlikely to be Satoshi Nakamoto.”

As such, Hodlonaut’s tweets where he called Wright a fraud were justifiable, the judge concluded:

“Against this background, the court believes that [Hodlonaut] had sufficient factual grounds to claim that Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto in March 2019 […] Wright has come out with a controversial claim, and must withstand criticism from dissenters.”

Hodlonaut himself celebrated the win on Twitter:

The ruling also touched on the fact that Wright has never provided any cryptographic proof that he is the creator of Bitcoin, but instead consistently relied on witnesses who would testify to back up his claim.

“In a situation where [Wright] has not succeeded in, nor does he wish to, provide cryptographic evidence that can support his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the court believes that he must accept that there is a debate as to whether he is who he says he is,” the ruling said.

In conclusion, Hodlonaut was acquitted of all claims for compensation, and is not liable for damages related to the claims he made on Twitter three years ago. Instead, Wright has been ordered to compensate Hodlonaut for his legal fees worth around $380,000.

Craig Wright’s attorneys told CoinDesk on Thursday that he would appeal the ruling, noting that “anonymous online bullying and harassment risks having a chilling effect” on public debate.