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UK Judge: Craig Wright lied “extensively and repeatedly” about creating Bitcoin

uk-judge-craig-wright-lied-extensively-and-repeatedly-about-creating-bitcoin
Edited by
News
UK Judge: Craig Wright lied “extensively and repeatedly” about creating Bitcoin

A U.K. High Court judge has ruled that American computer scientist Craig Wright lied and committed forgery during his trial.

In a written judgment published on Monday, Justice James Mellor ruled that Wright committed perjury during the six-week COPA v Wright trial, where he contended that he was Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Mellor concluded that Wright used fraudulent documents to make false assertions.

“It is clear that Dr. Wright engaged in the deliberate production of false documents to support false claims and use the Courts as a vehicle for fraud,” Mellor wrote. “I am entirely satisfied that Dr. Wright lied to the Court extensively and repeatedly. All his lies and forged documents were in support of his biggest lie: his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.”

In March, Mellor concluded that Wright was not Nakamoto and had not authored Bitcoin’s foundational document, the “white paper.” Mellor explained, “Dr Wright presents himself as an extremely clever person. However, in my judgment, he is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is.”

The legal battle with COPA

Over the years, Wright has boldly claimed that he is the mastermind behind Bitcoin. This claim has been met with skepticism and controversy, leading to a legal battle with the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a key player in the crypto industry. COPA filed a lawsuit against Craig Wright in 2021. The trial began on February 5, and saw COPA accusing Wright of forgery and, later, perjury.

Wright has not publicly responded to Mellor’s statements but posted on X, stating, “I fully intend to appeal the decision of the court on the matter of the identity issue.” 

Ruling implications

The ruling has significant implications for the cryptocurrency industry. It confirms Bitcoin’s decentralized and leaderless essence and ensures that no single individual can claim its origins. This court ruling finally resolves one of the most controversial and widely publicized claims regarding the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. 

The legal ramifications of Wright’s perjury remain to be seen, but $7.6m of his assets were frozen in March to prevent Wright from moving his assets offshore to avoid the case’s costs. 

Sensing his losses, Wright had tried to settle the dispute with COPA out of court in January, but COPA declined.