Craig Wright Lied About Creating Bitcoin And Faked Evidence, Judge Rules

“We’ve seen a cascading effect from the pronouncement on a host of other litigations globally,” says Grewal. “For people outside of crypto, [all this] might sound cartoonish. But with Wright’s claims falling by the wayside, the community can exhale. We think it’s a real win.”

The ruling has also had implications for Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, or BSV, a separate cryptocurrency network created by Wright in 2018. The idea for BSV is to cleave “as closely as possible to Satoshi’s original design,” as the website describes it. In the days after the judge ruled that Wright is not Satoshi, the price of the BSV token fell by 40 percent.

The BSV Association did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

In declaring that Wright is not Satoshi, the judgment will prevent him from bringing further lawsuits in the UK. It was crafted, Mellor writes, to ensure that Wright would not “have any possible basis on which to threaten [developers] with copyrights or database rights stemming from the work done by Satoshi Nakamoto.” The judge will also decide at a later hearing whether to impose any specific injunctions upon Wright.

However, the geographical scope of the judgment is limited, leaving an opening for Wright to continue to pursue his claim to IP rights over Bitcoin in other legal jurisdictions.

The general principles of copyright are “harmonized” under an agreement adopted by the overwhelming majority of countries, says James Marsden, a senior associate at law firm Dentons, which means the COPA ruling is likely to be persuasive to other courts asked to address Wright’s claim to holding IP rights over Bitcoin. However, “copyright is territorial,” he says. “The courts of each country will analyze a copyright case on their own basis.”

In his testimony at trial, Wright also intimated that he could wield his trove of patents relating to blockchain technology to bring further claims against Bitcoin developers. A ruling that Wright is not the creator of Bitcoin would not prevent him doing so. “It’s very hard for any court to craft a judgment that prevents a committed party from repeating bogus claims,” says Grewal.

Granath, the defendant in the Norway libel case brought by Wright, imagines that Wright’s continued pursuit of his claim to being Satoshi will depend on the availability of funding.

The source of Wright’s funding came into question at trial. It is alleged by COPA that online gambling tycoon Calvin Ayre has financed Wright’s various litigations. At trial, Wright denied that Ayre had bankrolled his lawsuits. Ayre did not respond to a request for comment.

In March, Mellor placed a freezing order on $7.6 million of Wright’s assets to prevent him from taking measures to “evade the costs consequences of his loss at trial.” COPA has “a very powerful claim to be awarded a very substantial sum in costs,” the judge wrote.

“I think this is down to funding now, not Wright’s desire to continue to claim he is Satoshi,” says Granath. “I think the UK judgment makes any further lawfare based on Wright’s claims futile, meaning the will and rationality to fund him is not there anymore.”

For its part, COPA is hoping that the completeness of the judge’s findings against Wright—and the resulting damage to his credibility—will discourage him from pursuing further legal action, even if the option remains available to him.

“This was an extraordinary proceeding. It could not have sent a clearer message to Dr. Wright and anyone else paying attention,” says Grewal. “I’m not terribly worried about Dr. Craig Wright.”