As the legal battle between COPA and Craig Wright unfolds in the London High Court, the intricacies of the case become increasingly apparent. The trial, which has garnered significant attention in the cryptocurrency community, delves deep into Wright’s claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. With each session, the courtroom becomes a platform for dissecting complex narratives surrounding the origins of Bitcoin, Wright’s professional history, and the legitimacy of his claims.
The sixth day of the COPA vs. Wright trial in the London High Court was marked by detailed cross-examinations and probing into Craig Wright’s professional background and claims. The session, led by COPA barrister Jonathan Hough KC, focused on scrutinizing Wright’s career history, his involvement in various IT projects, and the authenticity of his claims about his role in the development of digital cash systems.
1. Examination of Professional History and Credentials
The session opened with Hough questioning Wright about his career trajectory, specifically his role at the Australian Stock Exchange in 1997-98. Wright clarified that his job description, as outlined in a CV from BDO, was primarily focused on C++ coding, contrary to what was stated in the marketing document. This line of questioning aimed to establish the depth of Wright’s technical expertise, particularly in the areas relevant to the development of digital currency systems.
2. Lasseters and Digital Cash Systems
The discussion then moved to Wright’s involvement with Lasseters, an online casino. Hough presented various documents, including Wright’s witness statement against McCormack and a 2002 document listing tasks performed by DeMorgan for Lasseters. The key point of contention was whether Wright conceptualized digital cash systems for Lasseters. Wright maintained that he designed a token-based login system for the casino, hinting at his early involvement in digital cash concepts, although he admitted that the term “digital cash” was not explicitly mentioned in his LinkedIn profile, CV, or the McCormack statement.
3. DeMorgan’s Role and Wright’s IT Security Work
Further examination involved Wright’s work with DeMorgan and his role at BDO from 2004-09. Wright clarified his responsibilities, including managing IT and digital forensics services, and stressed that his roles were not limited to straightforward IT security work. He highlighted his involvement in high-level coding projects, including token systems and logging, which played a part in his development of a hashchain-based system.
4. The Allegations of Plagiarism
One of the session’s most contentious points was the allegation of plagiarism in Wright’s LLM thesis. Hough presented articles and documents showing similarities between Wright’s thesis and the work of author Pearson. Wright acknowledged the similarities but explained them as referenced footnotes and errors in editing and formatting. This segment aimed to challenge the credibility of Wright’s academic work and integrity.
5. Development of Bitcoin and Digital Currency Systems
The latter part of the session delved into Wright’s claims regarding the development of Bitcoin and other digital currency systems. Wright discussed his pseudonymous development of Bitcoin, sharing drafts with a small group of people, and his discussions on digital currency systems with various colleagues and contacts. He clarified that Bitcoin was not the end goal but a part of a larger project, MetaNet, and his patent activities.
6. Examination of Wright’s Multifaceted Career and Productivity
Hough highlighted Wright’s extensive involvement in various projects and qualifications, including blogging, writing books and papers, and pursuing multiple degrees simultaneously. The aim was to juxtapose Wright’s claimed contributions to digital currency systems with his documented activities during the relevant period.
The Afternoon Grilling
The afternoon session of Day 6 in the COPA vs Wright trial in the London High Court focused on Craig Wright’s interactions and discussions regarding digital cash systems, specifically his claims about Bitcoin’s origin and development. The session, led by COPA barrister Jonathan Hough KC, was a rigorous interrogation of Wright’s narrative and the authenticity of his claims.
7. Wright’s Interaction with Microsoft and the Bitcoin Whitepaper
The session commenced with Hough questioning Wright about his job application and interviews with Microsoft in 2008, a crucial period when Satoshi Nakamoto was gearing up to release the Bitcoin whitepaper. Wright acknowledged his interactions with Microsoft but denied pitching a digital cash or logging system to them. Hough pointed out the lack of evidence in Wright’s emails about showing the Bitcoin whitepaper to Microsoft, challenging Wright’s previous statements about potentially leading Microsoft to own Bitcoin.
8. Handwritten Notes and References to Bitcoin
Hough presented a handwritten note from Wright, referencing frustrations with “Fucking Visual Studio!” and discussing micropayments over ad-based models. Wright claimed these notes were from 2011-2012, a statement he adjusted from his initial claim of 2008. This led to a discussion about Gareth Williams, a person referenced in the notes who died in 2010, casting doubt on the timeline provided by Wright.
9. Wright’s Claims of Early Bitcoin Development and Dissemination
The barrister scrutinized Wright’s account of the early stages of Bitcoin, including the genesis block mining and the system’s initial challenges. Wright described dealing with Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday updates, elaborating on the technical aspects of managing these updates. This detail was challenged, with Hough suggesting Wright was fabricating details to lend credibility to his story. Many people have gone to Twitter since to discredit Wright’s claims as fiction.
10. The Alleged Dissemination of Bitcoin Whitepaper Drafts
Wright’s claims about sharing early drafts of the Bitcoin whitepaper were closely examined. He mentioned sharing drafts with various individuals, including Don Lynam, Gareth Williams, and unnamed people at Newcastle University. However, Hough highlighted the lack of public acknowledgement or evidence from these individuals about receiving drafts from Wright.
11. Examination of Wright’s Allegations and Claims About Bitcoin’s Development
The session delved into Wright’s allegations against Martti Malmi and others, accusing them of deviating from his vision of Bitcoin and being responsible for illicit activities. Hough pointed out the lack of documentary support for these allegations. The barrister also challenged Wright’s narrative about the genesis block and the private keys associated with it, focusing on the technical and logistical inconsistencies in Wright’s account.
12. Wright’s Relationship with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Definition
Wright’s definition of Bitcoin and his reluctance to label it as a cryptocurrency was another focal point. He expressed that he had been lax with the term “cryptocurrency” but later became strict about not using it. Hough presented evidence contradicting Wright’s claims, showing Satoshi Nakamoto referring to Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency.
Craig Wright is casually undermining his entire bitcoin creation story in real time as, one by one, the people who helped him 'design' it all deny ever having met him.— Mark "Not Forged…Just Altered" Hunter (@Twentynothing00) February 12, 2024
Dr Con Kolivas, a software engineer known for his development of Bitcoin’s mining software, cgminer, has expressed a skeptical opinion regarding Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. His skepticism isn’t just rooted in disbelief; it’s reinforced by Wright’s own words and actions during legal proceedings.
Dr Kolivas has clearly stated that he never believed Craig Wright had any chance of being the true identity behind Satoshi Nakamoto. This skepticism is common among many in the cryptocurrency community, where Wright’s claims have been met with a mix of skepticism and scrutiny.
What seems to have solidified Dr. Kolivas’ opinion is Wright’s behavior in court. Describing Wright’s testimony as “confused ranting, raving, misdirection, confabulation, diversion, distraction, and countless other tactics,” Dr. Kolivas implies that Wright’s conduct during the trial was not only unconvincing but also indicative of a deliberate attempt to obfuscate and mislead. This portrayal paints a picture of Wright as someone who is far from the clear-minded, visionary creator that many would expect of Satoshi.
Dr. Kolivas’ final remark, suggesting that Wright might have invented perjury, is clearly hyperbolic and sarcastic. However, it underscores a deeper sentiment of frustration and disillusionment that many observers feel regarding Wright’s claims and behavior. This statement, while humorous, also reflects a broader disappointment within the crypto community – a sentiment of being let down by someone who has positioned himself as a pivotal figure in the history of cryptocurrency.
I've never thought CSW had a hope in hell of being Satoshi and inventing bitcoin.— Dr. Con Kolivas (@ckpooldev) February 12, 2024
But listening to CSW's confused ranting, raving, misdirection, confabulation, diversion, distraction, and countless other tactics…
I have to think that maybe…
He invented perjury.
Susie Violet Ward, Bitcoin Journalist for Forbes and Head of Mining & Sustainability at Bitcoin Policy UK, notes in a recent Tweet that Wright admitted to forgeries during the trial. This admission is significant, as it directly impacts the credibility of his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
In a surprising twist, Wright challenged his own expert witness during cross-examination. This unusual move suggests a breakdown in the consistency of Wright’s legal defense. Typically, an expert witness is brought in to bolster one’s case, and challenging them can be seen as a sign of either a strategic misstep or a deeper inconsistency in the narrative being presented.
Ward’s comment that Wright declared “I AM Satoshi” during cross-examination highlights the dramatic nature of the trial. Given the context of the admission of forgeries and the challenging of his own expert witness, this declaration might be perceived less as a confident assertion of truth and more as a desperate attempt to assert authority in a situation where his credibility is being actively questioned.
Arthur van Pelt, a prominent Bitcoiner on Twitter known for meticulously documenting the case, shared insights on Day 6 of the trial, led by Justice Mellor. Van Pelt reports that Mellor began the day by addressing emails from Christen Ager-Hanssen and Steve Shadders, both expressing dissatisfaction with statements Craig Wright made about them in court. These emails, one seeking permission to send a witness statement and the other already attached with one, were forwarded to both counsels for further action.
Van Pelt observes that hardcore Craig Wright fans are seemingly unsettled by these developments. Additionally, he describes a notable moment where Wright, appearing stressed and agitated, attempted to rant about COPA members’ tweets on the Bitcoin price, leading to firm intervention by both Mellor and Hough. This observation paints a picture of increasing tension and drama in the courtroom, capturing the attention of followers and participants alike.
Norbert is ready. 🍿 https://t.co/yKlSyDLuYI— Artie Fan Belt 🔥 ∞/21M ⚡ (@Arthur_van_Pelt) February 12, 2024
Norbert, covering the trial of COPA v Wright live, provided a candid and somewhat critical summary of Day 6, focusing on the identity issues at play. He described the day as the most entertaining yet, marked by Craig Wright’s increasing agitation under pressure. The judge, Mellor, had to frequently intervene due to Wright’s challenging demeanor.
The day included Wright going off-topic, bringing up past scandalous allegations against Martti Malmi, which Norbert chose not to repeat. Wright gave unexpected credit to Adam Back for Bitcoin’s value increase and casually mentioned Greg Maxwell and Martti Malmi’s pseudonyms in the Bitcoin community.
Craig's testimony today regarding Dustin Trammell is a good example of what kind of shameless liar he is.— phil toddman (@apeachnamedphil) February 12, 2024
Craig testified in a previous case that he sent Dustin some bitcoin code before it was released.
In this case, Dustin has a witness statement that that isn't true.
Jason Deane observed that Craig Wright appeared unusually uncomfortable, especially when questioned about his claims of collaborating with various academic figures. These individuals, through sworn statements, denied any association with Wright, and most had retired before his time at their respective universities, making such collaborations impossible.
Additionally, Wright attempted to discredit Adam Back’s involvement in early Bitcoin development, labeling him as a shill for the “Bitcoin Ponzi scheme,” before being checked by Jonathan Hough KC. Deane suggests that Wright is trying to rewrite Bitcoin’s history without evidence or witnesses, displaying a sense of defeat unlike his usual confident demeanor. Wright now claims a poor memory for “people, names, and dates” and suffers from Prosopagnosia, contradicting his previous statements, adding to the complexity of his testimony and character in the trial.
Hodlonaut, the Norwegian Bitcoiner who successfully contested a lawsuit filed by Craig Wright, shared an intriguing opinion on the anticipated testimony of Stefan Matthews in the ongoing Wright trial. Hodlonaut speculates that Matthews faces a challenging task in aligning his upcoming testimony with the conflicting statements made by Wright, as well as with his own previous testimony from Hodlonaut’s trial in Oslo.
This situation is described as a “tangled web,” a complex and potentially contradictory narrative that Matthews must navigate. Hodlonaut, confident in the justice system’s ability to unravel these complexities, wryly wishes Matthews luck, indicating a belief in the inevitable arrival of “karma” for those involved in the case.
Stephan Matthews has not commented on Twitter since December 11th 2023.
Two best bits today from the CSW trial:— Dr Tufty Sylvestris (@tuftythecat) February 12, 2024
1. Patch Tuesday
CW has said a number of times previously that the reason for the gap between block 0 (the Genesis block) on 3 Jan 2009 and block 1 on 9 Jan 2009 was due to Microsoft 'Patch Tuesday'. This, however, occurred on Tuesday 13…
The BSV Camp
369BSV shared an alternative perspective on the latest events in the trial, highlighting Craig Wright’s intriguing courtroom tactics. The day began with Wright teasing a significant revelation, instructed by Lord Grabiner KC, to be disclosed later. The session ended with Wright admitting he lacks “cryptographic” proof for the genesis block, implying there might be other forms of evidence.
According to 369bsv, despite being grilled in court, Wright appeared to leave with a smug grin, suggesting confidence in his strategy. 369bsv is captivated by the case, viewing Wright’s admission not as a setback, but potentially a clever manoeuvre, and eagerly anticipates the next day’s proceedings.
Implications for the Trial
As Day 6 of the COPA vs. Wright trial concluded, the courtroom narrative left observers with more questions than answers. The morning session’s examination of Wright’s professional background raised doubts about the depth of his technical expertise and involvement in early digital cash concepts. The afternoon session further complicated the narrative, probing Wright’s interactions with Microsoft and his claims regarding the development of Bitcoin.
While Wright maintained his stance as the creator of Bitcoin, the evidence and his responses under cross-examination painted a complex and, at times, contradictory picture. The trial’s outcome remains uncertain, but what’s clear is its potential impact on the cryptocurrency community and the enduring mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity. As the legal proceedings continue, the world watches closely, anticipating the next chapter in this unfolding crypto saga.
- 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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