The United Kingdom High Court initiated a trial against computer scientist Craig Wright to put to bed the multiple year controversy surrounding Wright’s claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious and anonymous developer of the Bitcoin blockchain.
The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a nonprofit consortium of crypto and tech firms, announced last Friday that they are bringing the case in response to a series of lawsuits filed by Wright against Bitcoin developers and other parties. Wright is attempting to assert intellectual property rights over Bitcoin as its ostensible creator.
COPA claims to have new forensic evidence that definitively disproves Wright’s claim that he invented Bitcoin. This evidence casts doubt on the authenticity of documents Wright uses to prove his claim that he is Bitcoin’s founder. Both COPA’s expert, hired for the forensic examination of Wright’s documents, and Wright’s expert reached the same conclusion.
Additionally, this isn’t the first time COPA has gone after Wright.
Wright presented previously undisclosed evidence in his defense during the lawsuit filed against him by COPA in The High Court of Justice of England and Wales in October of last year. Wright claimed to have discovered these documents on two USB drives inside a drawer in his house in September.
In late December, 2023, a judge reviewed the evidence submitted by Wright and decided to allow its presentation in trial. The judge said that if the documents were authentic, than they would be enough to determine the case for Wright.
However, the most recent summary of the findings determined that Wright’s documents had been forged.
COPA presents evidence against Wright
Craig Wright’s claim regarding the “Bitcoin White Paper” is that he authored it using LaTeX word processing software.
Regarding Wright’s 2007 computer “Time Capsule,” he presented a file as evidence, purportedly captured from his computer in October 2007, supporting his claims. However, experts discovered evidence that this ‘time capsule’ had been edited in September 2023, with additions, modifications, and deletions of relevant files.
These changes were made by altering the computer clock to October 31, 2007, in an attempt to backdate digital artifacts. Despite these efforts, many digital traces of the alterations remained. Usernames “CSW” and “Craig S Wright” were recovered from deleted files associated with these changes.
In a significant revelation, a deleted file indicated that the forged evidence presented by Wright was created using Chat GPT.
This file contained a portion of the content found in a document provided by Wright and began with the words, “Certainly, here’s the LaTeX code for Section 7, which covers Recommendations.” Expert witnesses replicated this exact response from Chat GPT by asking it, “Are you able to output some template latex code for section 7 which relates to recommendations?”
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, which was introduced in a whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” published in 2008.
Despite the global impact of the invention, the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains shrouded in mystery. The anonymity surrounding Nakamoto’s identity has fuelled numerous speculations and debates within the cryptocurrency community, making him an enigmatic figure in the history of finance and technology.
Several individuals have been suspected of being Nakamoto, but none have been definitively proven to be the true creator of Bitcoin.
In addition to Craig Wright, these include Hal Finney, a well-known cryptographic pioneer. He was also one of the earliest contributors to the Bitcoin project. He received the first Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. While some have speculated that he could be Nakamoto, this theory is widely discounted since Hal Finney was publicly active and interacted with Nakamoto in the early days of Bitcoin.
Also, Nick Szabo, a computer scientist and legal scholar has been suspected of being Nakamoto. He is known for his work on smart contracts, a concept that laid the foundation for Ethereum. Some have speculated that Szabo’s writings and ideas bear similarities to Nakamoto’s. However, Nick Szabo has consistently denied being Satoshi Nakamoto.
The trial is ongoing.