As the trial between the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) and Craig Wright looms on the horizon, scheduled to commence on February 5th, the crypto community is abuzz with speculation and commentary. Christen Ager-Hanssen, the former CEO of nChain, has not held back his opinions, especially on social media platforms where discussions about such high-profile cases often take place.
Ex nChain CEO Hits Back
In a series of statements, Ager-Hanssen has expressed a strong belief that the upcoming trial will not end favorably for Craig Wright, whom he refers to as a “conman and fraud,” signaling his conviction that the justices will rule against Wright.
Adding to the intrigue, Ager-Hanssen has highlighted a peculiar incident: a non-negotiable settlement offer from Craig Wright’s camp, advertised in a newspaper. This unconventional move raises questions about the strategy behind such public disclosures and who might be financing these efforts. Ager-Hanssen’s reaction to this tactic is one of disbelief and sarcasm, as he mockingly ponders how this could fail to secure victory for Wright.
The Online Poll
The COPA vs. Wright case has not only captivated those closely following blockchain and cryptocurrency developments but has also engaged the wider public. Ager-Hanssen points to a poll where the majority of participants predicted a win for COPA. The poll, which gathered 1443 votes, indicated that 58% believe COPA will emerge victorious, while 34% sided with Wright, and 8% foresaw a settlement before the trial. Ager-Hanssen uses this to underscore his stance and the apparent community consensus against Wright’s position.
In an open letter to Calvin Ayre, a known backer of Bitcoin SV (BSV), Ager-Hanssen challenges Ayre to explain the recent performance of the cryptocurrency. BSV’s value reportedly dropped by approximately 30% in the 30 days leading up to the trial, a period during which Ayre had previously predicted a significant increase in value, allegedly claiming BSV would exceed 1000 due to the trial. Ager-Hanssen suggests that Ayre’s forecasts could be misleading to consumers, potentially tricking them into investing in BSV based on these projections.
Coinbase Call Settlement Offer a “Disgrace”
Paul Grewal, Chief Legal Officer at Coinbase and representative of the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), has penned a scathing opinion piece regarding Craig Wright, who claims to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Grewal calls for an end to Wright’s “harassment campaign” against Bitcoin developers, which he views as contradictory to Satoshi’s original vision and detrimental to the crypto community’s spirit and talent.
COPA was founded by crypto industry members to share crypto innovation and protect against false intellectual property claims. In April 2021, COPA took a stand against Wright’s actions by filing a lawsuit seeking a court declaration that Wright is not Satoshi. The trial is set to begin on February 5.
Mr. Wright's "settlement" offer is a disgrace. We reject it and will continue our defense of the innocent developers he has targeted. I thought it important to explain why. https://t.co/YhQbsmXCsc— paulgrewal.eth (@iampaulgrewal) January 31, 2024
Wright has been accused of using his financial resources to initiate baseless lawsuits against those who dispute his claim to be Satoshi, targeting individuals who lack the means to defend themselves. This behavior has led to the draining of financial and emotional resources within the Bitcoin developer community, some of whom have ceased their work due to litigation fears.
COPA’s lawsuit aims to challenge the authenticity of Wright’s evidence, highlighting instances of alleged forged documents and fraudulent claims. Wright has been unable to produce credible evidence of his identity as Satoshi in court, failing to fulfil pledges such as signing transactions with Satoshi’s keys.
The litigation also addresses Wright’s recent claim of discovering a 2007 hard drive with evidence of his work on Bitcoin, which has been dismissed as a forgery by Wright’s expert, with some content purportedly generated using ChatGPT.
Grewal emphasizes the existential threat Wright’s claim poses to Bitcoin. If Wright were to succeed, it could paralyze significant parts of the Bitcoin community. COPA, supported by its members including Coinbase, is determined to prevent Wright from continuing his fraudulent IP litigation, which consumes the community’s resources that could otherwise be used for innovation.
Peter Counting Down
Peter McCormack has also taken to social media to express his views on the impending legal battle. His tweet expresses the sentiment of many observers who are closely following the case.
McCormack suggests that COPA holds a strong position (“slam dunk”) against Craig Wright, who is accused of making fraudulent claims about being Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. McCormack mocks the alleged “endless forgeries” attributed to Wright, indicating that these have been or will be debunked during the trial.
He comments on the “settlement offer” which has been decidedly rejected, using the term “ROLFCOPTER” to express derision and amusement at the situation. This term (for those that do not know) is internet slang used to indicate something very funny or ridiculous, meaning that the settlement offer was so unacceptable it’s laughable.
5 days. Tick tock Craigy… https://t.co/sArtRhSsX5— Peter McCormack 🏴☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) January 31, 2024
Lastly, McCormack mentions Calvin Ayre, the known associate and supporter of Craig Wright, as being “financially trapped.” This hints at Ayre’s investment or involvement in Bitcoin SV (BSV), the cryptocurrency often associated with Wright, and the potential negative financial implications of the trial’s outcome for Ayre.
McCormack’s closing statement, “Tick tock,” serves as a dramatic reminder of the impending reckoning he believes is coming as the trial date approaches. His view reflects a mix of confidence in COPA’s case, skepticism towards Wright’s claims, and a widespread eagerness for resolution in a saga that has long affected himself and the Bitcoin community as a whole.
Craig Wrights Reaction
In a recent social media post, Craig Wright reflects on the origins and the cost of his legal battles. Wright asserts that his journey began not from a place of voluntarily asserting his identity as Satoshi but rather as a response to a legal directive requiring him to address the question of whether he was the creator of Bitcoin.
Wright contends that he could have denied being Satoshi, which would have been a simpler path and possibly avoided prolonged legal proceedings. However, he suggests that to do so would have been a lie and would have constituted perjury, implying that his insistence on his claim, despite the enormous legal costs and the $140 million judgment against him, is a testament to his commitment to what he believes is the truth.
The post features a thread involving Stefan Matthews and his reaction to a statement from Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, who made a clear stand that Craig Wright is not recognized as Satoshi by the prominent cryptocurrency exchange. Wright’s message appears to be an attempt to justify the expenses and the outcomes of his actions as the necessary price for upholding his version of the truth.
This narrative by Wright adds another layer to the ongoing debate within the crypto community regarding his claims, and it demonstrates the complexities of unravelling his statements.
This started when I wasn't trying to do anything and I wasn't answering questions as to whether I was Satoshi or not publicly.— Dr Craig S Wright (@Dr_CSWright) January 27, 2024
Rather, I was forced and compelled under court order to answer the question.
I could have simply said no. If I did so I would have lied but the court… https://t.co/MMBAOEDRSq
Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, has been a subject of significant controversy and debate. Despite Wright’s assertions, there is considerable skepticism and criticism from the cryptocurrency community and industry experts.
The trial between Craig Wright and the estate of former collaborator Dave Kleiman did not directly address or resolve the question of whether Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. The legal proceedings primarily revolved around intellectual property and financial disputes, rather than establishing the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s important to note that statements made by Wright’s attorney after the trial, asserting Wright as Satoshi, were not a part of the jury’s ruling and have been viewed with skepticism.
In the broader crypto community, Wright’s claims are widely regarded as unconvincing. His attempts to prove his claim, including technical demonstrations and statements, have been met with criticism for their lack of convincing evidence. His affiliations, particularly with CoinGeek, a news operation owned by Calvin Ayre, have also raised questions about the motivations behind the sustained campaign to establish him as Satoshi. This ongoing debate highlights the challenges of the digitized information age, where diverse voices can persistently keep contested claims in the public discourse.
Moreover, Wright’s credibility has been further questioned due to various inconsistencies and dubious claims in his background. For instance, his claim of owning a supercomputer was refuted by SGI (Silicon Graphics International), and the Australian Tax Office has investigated potential fraud related to his businesses. Additionally, his academic credentials have come under scrutiny, with some institutions denying he was awarded certain degrees he claimed to possess.
As the trial date approaches, all eyes within the crypto world will be on the outcome of COPA vs. Wright. The proceedings are expected to be complex, given the contentious history and the high stakes involved. If the court’s decision aligns with Ager-Hanssen’s predictions, it could have significant implications for the reputations of those involved and the future of Bitcoin SV. However, in the world of cryptocurrency, where volatility is the norm, outcomes can be as unpredictable as the markets themselves.
- Lucy Walker is a journalist that covers finance, health and beauty since 2014. She has been writing for various online publications.
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