Craig Wright has run into yet another obstacle in his battle to assert dominance over Bitcoin.
Lawyers representing the Australian nChain chief scientist have demanded that Bitcoin.org and BitcoinCore.org take down their copies of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper—claiming that this amounts to copyright infringement.
The suits also doubled down on Wright’s claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor, and that he is the original owner of Bitcoin.org.
But in a blistering blog post, Bitcoin.org said it was having none of it—and declared that it was refusing to unpublish the whitepaper because “these claims are without merit.”
Cobra, the post’s author, pointed out that the whitepaper was published under an open-source MIT license. This means that—even if Wright’s fanciful claims are true—it has the legal right to share the document with its readers.
And in a challenge to Wright, Cobra also pointed out that the real Satoshi Nakamoto would be able to cryptographically prove their identity through a PGP public key. “Unfortunately, Craig has been unable to do this,” one withering line read.
‘Ammunition to Bitcoin’s enemies’
In an “unfortunate” development, the blog post accused Bitcoin Core developers of following the demands of the legal request in a knee-jerk reaction—“lending credence to these false claims” by taking down the whitepaper in the space of two hours. The post added:
“By surrendering in this way, the Bitcoin Core project has lent ammunition to Bitcoin’s enemies, engaged in self-censorship, and compromised its integrity. This surrender will no doubt be weaponized to make new false claims, like that the Bitcoin Core developers know CSW to be Satoshi Nakamoto and this is why they acted in this way.”
That said, Wright has a history of suing people who deny his claim to be Nakamoto, most notably “What Bitcoin Did” podcast host Peter McCormack. And defending yourself against even frivolous lawsuits can be ruinously expensive.
Striking a note of defiance, Cobra vowed: “[Bitcoin.org] will continue hosting the Bitcoin whitepaper and won’t be silenced or intimidated. Others hosting the whitepaper should follow our lead in resisting these false allegations.”
Wright is wrong
Craig Wright has spent a lot of time jumping up and down, and insisting that he is the true inventor of Bitcoin. There’s just one problem: The vast majority of the crypto community think he is lying, with Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao—among others—going so far as to call him a fraud.
Modern Consensus has delved into Wright’s claims in considerable depth. Brendan Sullivan’s reporting found that Wright repeatedly misspelled Bitcoin in July 2011 and only started buying the cryptocurrency two years later. And as part two of “The Case Against Craig Wright” neatly summarized, there’s no evidence to support his claim that he is Satoshi.
In May 2019, Wright was granted a copyright registration for “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” by the U.S. Copyright Office—with his Bitcoin SV partner Calvin Ayre proudly proclaiming that this amounts to official recognition from a government agency.
This was speedily slapped down by the U.S. Copyright Office, which later stressed that it doesn’t investigate the truth of any statements made—and confirmed that no enquiries had been made as to whether there’s a connection between Wright and Nakamoto.
It is not the only slap-down Wright’s gotten from U.S. officials. A judge in the ongoing lawsuit by the estate a former partner of Wright—who is suing for half of Nakamoto’s 1.1 million bitcoins—accused Wright of perjury, saying “I give no weight to sworn statements of Dr. Wright.”