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Australian Man Claims Inventing Bitcoin, UK Court to Decide

In London, a court case starting on Monday aims to determine whether Australian computer scientist Craig Wright is the true inventor of Bitcoin, the world's first and largest cryptocurrency. Wright claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin who introduced the cryptocurrency through a white paper in 2008.

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping cryptocurrency technology free from patents, is suing Wright over his claims initially made in 2016. The trial, scheduled to last six weeks at London's High Court, involves accusations that Wright lied about his identity and manipulated documents to support his assertions.

Wright, often dubbed 'Faketoshi' by critics, asserts on various platforms, including Twitter, that he is the "Creator of Bitcoin" and conceived and unveiled the cryptocurrency to the world. COPA, backed by industry heavyweights like Coinbase and Block, contends that the very essence of Bitcoin from its inception was open source, raising doubts about whether Satoshi Nakamoto would sue for republishing the white paper.

The case holds significant implications for another lawsuit involving Wright, where he accuses 26 developers, including Coinbase, of infringing on his intellectual property rights. Coinbase's chief legal officer, Paul Grewal, insists that Wright's claims are false and that he has used substantial financial resources to pursue baseless litigations against crypto developers.

If the court rules that Wright is not the inventor of Bitcoin, the question of identifying the true creator becomes challenging. Other individuals, such as Dorian Nakamoto, have been suspected, but denials and arguments for a collective effort rather than an individual developer complicate the matter.

The case unfolds amid growing accessibility to Bitcoin, with US regulators recently approving bitcoin exchange-traded funds. Bitcoin's current trading value is around $42,500, notably below its 2021 peak of nearly $69,000.

Feb. 3, 2024 1:08 p.m. 1352

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