The morning session of Day 5 in the COPA vs. Wright trial at the London High Court was marked by intense scrutiny of documents and Craig Wright’s claims regarding his involvement in the creation of Bitcoin. Jonathan Hough KC, representing COPA, focused on establishing the authenticity of documents that Wright had relied on to substantiate his claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.
🧵 Day 5 – #COPA vs Craig Wright (#Satoshi Identity Trial)— What The Finance (@WhatTheFinance9) February 9, 2024
Astonishing start to the day with Shadders contradicting claims that were made in court by Craig Wright.
It is going to be very interesting today. 👇 https://t.co/t9bHi3XLEA
Examination of Documents and IP Address
The session began with Hough examining an email Wright claimed to have sent to Jimmy Nguyen, highlighting its association with a nChain IP address. Wright acknowledged this, suggesting his direct involvement in the email’s transmission.
Attention then turned to source code documents that Wright’s solicitors had previously identified as evidence of his 2008 work on Bitcoin. Hough presented these documents alongside a setup document reportedly from Satoshi dated 2009, showing material similarities. Wright concurred with this observation but maintained his involvement.
Chain of Custody and Authenticity Concerns
A significant portion of the session revolved around the chain of custody and the authenticity of various documents. Wright conceded that he first raised concerns about document handling by multiple people in October 2023. He struggled to assure the authenticity of the original whitepaper documents, admitting that he couldn’t vouch for unaltered versions from the 2007-2008 period.
Wright’s explanation for discrepancies in document metadata and content centered on corporate file access and usage, which he argued could lead to unintentional alterations. However, he struggled to convincingly link specific documents to their original versions.
New Drive Discovery and Data Integrity
Wright’s testimony about discovering a new drive in 2023, which he had found in a drawer and not imaged by AlixPartners, raised further questions about data integrity and his document management practices. He described a complex process of copying and cloning files across various drives, highlighting his forensic approach to data management. However, this process appeared to contribute to inconsistencies and gaps in the metadata of the documents he presented.
Lots of people call me bizarre.Craig Wright
Allegations of Tampering and Hacking
A notable aspect of Wright’s defense was his allegation that former employees and third parties, including Christen Ager-Hanssen (CAH), had manipulated documents and hacked his systems. Wright claimed these actions were attempts to undermine his credibility and forge evidence against him. He admitted to security oversights, such as leaving drives connected to his computer, which could have allowed unauthorized access.
Madden’s Forensic Analysis
Madden’s forensic report was a focal point, with Hough challenging Wright on findings that suggested postdating and modification of crucial documents. Wright’s responses often veered into technical explanations of virtual machines, file-copying processes, and metadata inconsistencies. He frequently contested Madden’s findings, attributing potential discrepancies to his unique setup and external manipulations.
Wright’s testimony often appeared convoluted, with frequent digressions into technical details, which may have impacted the clarity and persuasiveness of his defense. The session underscored how difficult it is to avoid evasiveness in a highly technical trial. The importance of clear chain-of-custody procedures and the difficulties in proving authorship and originality in digital forensics at least to the common mind, make this case complicated. Wright’s assertions of external tampering and hacking, while potentially explaining some inconsistencies, also raised questions about the reliability and integrity of his evidence.
The afternoon session of Day 5 in the COPA vs. Wright trial focused on Craig Wright’s professional background, examining his claims about his “contributions” to digital cash and Bitcoin’s development.
Examination of Wright’s Professional Background
Jonathan Hough KC questioned Wright about his Curriculum Vitae (CV), focusing on his work experience and its relevance to Bitcoin’s development. Wright mentioned his involvement in various technical projects in the 1990s, including work on Millicent, a digital currency system developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), and his experience with programming and systems like Solaris and DNS.
Millicent and Bitcoin’s Precursors
Wright claimed that his experience with Millicent shaped his idea of Bitcoin. He discussed Millicent’s failure to distribute servers and convert script from one merchant to another without a bank, which he suggested was a precursor concept to Bitcoin. However, Hough noted that these details were not included in Wright’s witness statement, suggesting that his testimony lacked substantiation from documented evidence.
DeMorgan and Digital Cash Research
Wright’s tenure at DeMorgan was scrutinized, specifically his claim of researching digital cash. He referenced BlackNet, a project premised on crypto credits, and cited influences like Tim May and Wei Dai. Wright asserted that his work at DeMorgan, including the development of cryptographic systems and involvement in a court case in Australia, indirectly contributed to Bitcoin’s and MetaNet’s development.
Bombshell: Waiving Privilege
A notable incident occurred where Wright seemingly waived privilege, a crucial aspect of legal proceedings. Privilege, particularly in legal contexts, refers to the right to withhold certain information or documents from disclosure, usually due to the sensitive or confidential nature of the content. This typically includes communications between a client and their legal representatives. In this instance, Wright, possibly to reinforce his defense or clarify his position, referenced discussions and decisions made with his legal team. Such references potentially exposed the strategies and thoughts that are usually protected under the umbrella of attorney-client privilege.
The implications of this action are significant in the realm of legal strategy. By potentially waiving privilege, Wright inadvertently allowed the opposing counsel to probe into areas that are generally off-limits, thereby opening up new avenues for examination and challenge by COPA’s legal team. This move could also reflect on Wright’s state of mind and his approach to the case, possibly indicating a level of desperation or frustration with the proceedings. It demonstrates the complex nature of legal battles, where a single misstep can shift the dynamics of a case, impacting the presentation and perception of evidence and arguments.
My lord, at this stage I am afraid that my client does not know what he is doing.Lord Grabiner (representing Craig Wright)
Lord Grabiner, part of Wright’s legal team, was reportedly agitated by this development, protesting against COPA’s approach to questioning as if the privilege was intentionally waived. His concern was palpable, as such a waiver could potentially expose sensitive strategies or weaken the defense’s position. Mr Justice Mellor confirmed that privilege was indeed waived, establishing the fact as a part of the trial’s official record.
The reaction from the Bird & Bird team, which is examining Wright, was telling. Their baffled looks and smiles animatedly expressed that this was a monumental error, comparable to an opponent scoring an own goal in a tightly contested match. Meanwhile, the Craig Wright legal team was seen engaging in a vigorous discussion about the implications of this unexpected move.
Wright’s LinkedIn Profile and CV Discrepancies
Hough presented Wright’s LinkedIn profile, captured in 2015, which primarily highlighted Wright’s IT security services, with no mention of digital cash development. Wright argued that his LinkedIn profile did not fully represent his work scope, mentioning his attempts to develop viable token systems and early versions of what would become Bitcoin’s technological underpinnings. Wright insisted that he developed systems that had elements of proto-blockchain technology.
I am old and lazy.Craig Wright
Wright’s Contribution to IT Security and Cryptography
Wright passionately defended his role in IT security and cryptography, claiming he designed systems like iVote for remote voting and that his security work involved early blockchain-like technologies. He challenged the notion that he was merely an IT security professional, asserting his significant contributions to the development of cryptographic and blockchain technologies.
From a legal perspective, the session highlighted the challenges in substantiating claims about technical innovations and contributions, especially when relying on personal testimony and potentially incomplete or inconsistent documentation. Wright’s testimony, while detailed in his technical experience, faced scrutiny due to discrepancies between his claims and documented evidence presented by Hough.
Wright’s narrative about his role in the evolution of digital cash and Bitcoin’s precursor technologies was not consistently supported by the evidence presented, such as his CV and LinkedIn profile. The emphasis on Wright’s IT security background, without specific mention of digital cash development, suggested a potential gap between his claimed contributions and documented professional history.
Arthur Van Pelt, a long-time critic of Craig Wright, highlighted some key aspects of Day 5 in his recent comments on Twitter.
Firstly, Christen Ager-Hanssen’s name was added to what Van Pelt describes as the ‘mythical’ list of hackers, who, according to Wright’s narrative, have played a role in altering or accessing his digital files and documents. This list, Van Pelt suggests, is characterized by individuals who are often mentioned by Wright but are never formally pursued or sued for their alleged illicit activities. This adds another layer to the ongoing saga of Wright’s defense, where multiple external parties are blamed for the discrepancies and issues found in the documents and evidence presented in court.
Secondly, Van Pelt points out Wright’s references to Citrix and Xcopy as ‘naughty’ elements in the context of the trial. These technical tools and processes are part of Wright’s explanation for the inconsistencies and anomalies found in his digital documents and files. By labeling them as such, Van Pelt implies skepticism towards Wright’s attempts to attribute the issues in his evidence to these technological factors, suggesting an evasion of responsibility.
What did we witness today in COPA v Wright?— Artie Fan Belt 🔥 ∞/21M ⚡ (@Arthur_van_Pelt) February 9, 2024
– Ager-Hanssen can be added to the long list of 'mythical' hackers who are never inquired nor sued by Craig.
– Naughty Citrix, naughty Xcopy.
– Craig waived privilege, his counsel not amused.
The BSV fan club:https://t.co/TzFrNgoCgL pic.twitter.com/CuYSgSeZny
Lastly, a significant moment in the trial was highlighted where Craig Wright appeared to waive privilege, a legal right that protects confidential communications between a client and their attorney. This moment was not well received by Wright’s counsel, indicating a potential breach of standard legal protocols and strategies. Waiving privilege can unintentionally expose sensitive information or legal strategies, which might be detrimental to Wright’s case. This action underscores the high stakes and intense scrutiny under which the trial is unfolding, where every statement and decision can have far-reaching implications.
As I recall, the Devs' barrister described CW's defence as akin to pulling garbage out of the bin rather than rabbits out of hats. We're now delving into the actual bin on the BDO drive and it smells really bad.— Dr Tufty Sylvestris (@tuftythecat) February 9, 2024
The fifth day of the high-profile COPA vs. Craig Wright trial provided a vivid illustration of the complexities and contentions surrounding the case. Dr David Pearce, a UK and European patent attorney, offered a colorful metaphor to describe the unfolding events, likening Wright’s defense to “pulling garbage out of the bin rather than rabbits out of hats.” This analogy aptly captured the chaotic nature of the trial as the focus shifted to the contents of the BDO drive, which Sylvestris described as “smelling really bad.”
Dr Pearce also highlighted an intriguing aspect of the case involving Wright’s claim of having seven patents related to Bitcoin’s Turing completeness. This claim is notable, as Sylvestris pointed out that three of these patents have been opposed due to their perceived invalidity and are likely to be revoked in the coming months. This revelation adds another layer of complexity to Wright’s claims of having thousands of valid patents and the overall narrative of the trial.
Further adding to the day’s drama, Wright appeared to be indiscriminately implicating a wide range of individuals in his defense. According to Pearce, Wright even threw his own solicitors under the bus, alleging that they prevented him from accessing his hard drive. This strategy of Wright’s, seemingly accusing anyone and everyone, including Christen Ager-Hanssen, raised questions about who else might be implicated as the trial progresses. Dr David Pearce humorously speculated whether he or his colleague Arthur could be next in line for Wright’s accusations, underscoring the unpredictable and spiraling nature of Wright’s defense strategy.
COPA Vs CSW – Day 5 thoughts— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) February 9, 2024
CSW performed even worse on day 5, as the evidence stacked up against him, in our view. It was harder and harder for CSW to keep going and COPA found new evidence, which refuted CSW's stories from earlier in the week, which forced CSW to make up even…
The fifth day of the COPA vs. Craig Wright trial brought forth even more challenges for Wright, according to coverage by BitMEX Research. As the day progressed, it appeared increasingly difficult for Wright to maintain coherence in his defense against the accumulating evidence presented by COPA. This scenario led to Wright seemingly resorting to more implausible and fabricated narratives to counter the allegations against him.
BitMEX Research highlighted a notable shift in strategy from Wright’s legal team as the day neared its end. Seemingly acknowledging the mounting pressure on Wright during cross-examination, his attorneys sought to shorten the length of his testimony. In an unusual move, they proposed that not all evidence of alleged fraud needed to be directly addressed by Wright in court. Instead, they suggested these points could simply be mentioned in the closing arguments, thereby alleviating some of the immediate scrutiny faced by Wright.
This proposal also included a promise from Wright’s legal team not to use the defense tactic of claiming “you never put this fraud allegation to our client” during the final arguments. This adjustment in approach appeared to be an attempt to lessen the burden on Wright during cross-examination, perhaps in recognition of the challenges he faced in responding to the growing evidence against him.
The BSV Camp
BSV supporter and CoinGeek contributor Gavin offered an intriguing perspective on Wright’s approach to the proceedings. According to Gavin, those familiar with Dr. Wright know his penchant for a methodical and educational approach to discussions and debates. Wright, as described by Gavin, prefers to guide his audience towards conclusions in a gradual manner, allowing them to arrive at insights independently.
Gavin’s comment sheds light on the mood of the BSV camp which is offering this as a potential strategic approach by Wright in the courtroom. He suggests that Wright isn’t one to reveal his strongest arguments or “aces” early in the game. Instead, Wright’s tactic might be to build a foundation of understanding, laying down each piece of his argument step by step to construct a comprehensive narrative. This strategy, according to Gavin, is rooted in Wright’s desire to educate and lead his audience, or in this case, the court, to a well-rounded understanding of his standpoint. What he fails to mention is that there are only two days of evidence left, which is very little time for the tide to turn in Wright’s favour.
Gavin’s insight implies a call for patience from Wright’s supporters. It suggests that there may be more depth and strategy to Wright’s testimony than immediately apparent and that Wright might be biding his time, waiting for the opportune moment to present his most compelling evidence or arguments. This perspective offers a different lens through which to view the ongoing trial, hinting at a more calculated and deliberate defense approach by Dr Craig Wright. It also hints at BSV supporters getting more nervous about the final result as the trial progresses. Therefore hence the call for “patience”.
One Word Quotes of the Day
- @tuftythecat – “Scandalous”
- @DecentraSuze – “Bonkers”
- @RobinNakamoto – “Brutal”
- 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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