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Crypto Community Cheers as UK Court Rules Craig Wright is Not Satoshi Nakamoto

This verdict, delivered by Mr. Justice Mellor on March 14, 2024, concludes a years-long saga surrounding Wright's claims to the Satoshi identity.

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In a landmark decision for the cryptocurrency industry, a UK High Court judge has ruled that Australian computer scientist Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.

This verdict is a significant victory for the cryptocurrency community as it reinforces the open-source nature of Bitcoin technology and protects developers from frivolous lawsuits.

Since Bitcoin's launch in 2009, the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has remained a well-guarded secret. Speculation has swirled around various figures, with Craig Wright emerging as a prominent contender in 2016. Wright made public statements claiming to be Satoshi, offering technical "proofs" that were widely disputed by the cryptocurrency community.

Wright's claims became a source of contention within the Bitcoin community. He filed lawsuits against several developers and companies associated with Bitcoin, alleging copyright infringement on the Bitcoin Whitepaper and underlying code. This move raised concerns that Wright might try to claim ownership of Bitcoin's open-source technology, potentially hindering further development.

COPA Files Lawsuit to Protect Open-Source Development

In response, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a consortium of major cryptocurrency companies, filed a lawsuit against Wright in 2021. COPA sought a "negative declaration" from the court, aiming to establish on record that Wright is not Satoshi and has no legitimate claim to Bitcoin's intellectual property.

Last month, email exchanges between Satoshi and early Bitcoin figures Adam Back and Martti Malmi were submitted as evidence in the legal battle. Lawyer Alexander Gunning, representing the bitcoin developers, also unveiled evidence showcasing that Wright had made recent alterations to his whitepaper, a claim that Wright confessed to, and what COPA calls "industrial style forgeries," Coindesk reported. These edits, as presented by Gunning, were traced back to LaTeX files, with Wright contending they were merely for internal demonstration purposes.

Beyond Craig Wright: Emails Reopen the Hunt for Bitcoin’s Ghost
Emails from Bitcoin’s early days reignite the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto, challenging Craig Wright’s claim and sparking debate about the future of the cryptocurrency.

A win for 0pen-source

Now, after weeks of proceedings, the UK High Court judge issued a decisive ruling. Justice Mellor found that Wright did not meet the burden of proof to be considered Satoshi Nakamoto. The court also determined that Wright did not author the Bitcoin Whitepaper or create the Bitcoin system or its initial software, Reuters reported on Thursday.

"This decision is a win for developers, for the entire open source community, and for the truth. For over eight years, Dr. Wright and his financial backers have lied about his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto and used that lie to bully and intimidate developers in the bitcoin community. That ends today with the court’s ruling that Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto,” COPA said in a statement on its website.

While the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains a mystery, this ruling removes a cloud of uncertainty and allows for continued innovation within the Bitcoin ecosystem.