Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto

The Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) is a non-profit community formed to encourage the adoption and advancement of cryptocurrency technologies and to remove patents as a barrier to growth and innovation.

The COPA v Wright trial seeks to disprove the claim made by Wright that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the bitcoin whitepaper and, consequently, the founder of bitcoin. Wright is involved in several lawsuits in the UK - which rely on this claim being true - alleging that multiple organisations and individuals in the crypto community violated his copyright in the bitcoin whitepaper, bitcoin database, and other intellectual property related to the creation of bitcoin. He insists, on that basis, that those organisations and individuals cannot host the bitcoin whitepaper or otherwise use that intellectual property. This claim, in effect, stops the development of bitcoin, chills and silences developers with the threat of litigation, and indeed undermines the entire spirit of the open-source community.

Today, Justice Mellor found that the evidence in the COPA v Wright trial was “overwhelming,” ruling that:

  1. Dr Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin White Paper.
  2. Dr Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto from 2008 - 2011.
  3. Dr Wright is not the person who created the Bitcoin System.
  4. Dr Wright is not the author of the initial versions of the Bitcoin software.

Justice Mellor commented: “Any further relief will be dealt with in my written judgement. I will extend time for filing any appellant’s notice until 21 days after the form of order hearing, which will be appointed following the hand down of my written judgement.”

A COPA spokesperson said, “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.


Here’s the compendium of reasons why Wright is simply not Satoshi Nakamoto:

  1. The Bitcoin White Paper. The Bitcoin White Paper was produced in OpenOffice, not in LaTeX. The real Satoshi would know that. Dr Wright has insisted that it was produced in LaTeX and has tried in vain to support the story with false documents.
  2. The exchange with Adam Back. The real Satoshi would know that in response to Satoshi’s August 2008 approach, Adam Back was not dismissive of the Bitcoin concept and did not say it would fail. Dr Wright has insisted otherwise, yet his story has been shown to be false by Adam Back’s own emails.
  3. The influence of Wei Dai’s work on Satoshi. The real Satoshi first discovered Wei Dai’s b-money proposal in August 2008, as is clear from the now-disclosed Adam Back and Satoshi email correspondence. Dr Wright, by contrast, has claimed to have been captivated by Wei Dai’s work since the late 1990s. Dr. Wright has compounded this by telling a series of lies about work he supposedly did with Professor Wrightson, who he says pointed him to work by Wei Dai, including a paper which Wei Dai did not in fact write.
  4. The Satoshi PGP key. The real Satoshi would know that the PGP, first of all, had been created, posted and used before 2011; that its primary function was as a signing key; and that it wasn’t restricted in some way to a Vistomail account. Dr Wright’s various inconsistent accounts about the PGP key only go to show that he’s not the person who generated it.
  5. The Bitcoin Code. The real Satoshi would know the code they wrote, what the CheckBlock function did, that the CheckBlockHeader wasn’t a function that existed in 2013, and what an unsigned integer is. During trial, Dr Wright showed he didn’t know any of this.
  6. The real Satoshi would know that the site from which the White Paper was made available was a free file hosting service owned and operated from Dubai and not, as Dr Wright has said, a secondary server operated by him from Melbourne.
  7. Patch Tuesday. The real Satoshi would know that the Bitcoin System did not crash as a result of patches issued by Microsoft on Patch Tuesday in January 2009. Dr Wright’s series of false stories about Patch Tuesday provides further evidence that he is not Satoshi.
  8. Mining requirements. The real Satoshi would know that the early operation of the Bitcoin System didn’t require more than 70 computers or cost $11,000 per month to run in electricity costs. Dr Wright’s account of his 2009 mining operations only reveals that he’s not Satoshi and wasn’t mining at that point.
  9. Bitcoin transactions. The real Satoshi would know that, contrary to Dr Wright’s claims, Satoshi did not send Bitcoin to Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn. In addition, the real Satoshi would be able to correctly name a person to whom they transferred Bitcoin, in addition to the few names known publicly, for example Nick Bohm, whose name wasn’t public. And if, as Dr Wright claimed, Satoshi had sent Bitcoin to a hundred people not already known, then the real Satoshi would have been able to name at least one of them.
  10. The Genesis Block. The real Satoshi would not make the serious and obvious mistake of claiming that there isn’t a public key associated with the Coinbase transaction for the Genesis Block. Yet that is the mistake Dr Wright made in his statements.
  11. The Satoshi cryptocurrency post. The real Satoshi would know that Satoshi, and not Martti Malmi, wrote the cryptocurrency post in July 2010. The real Satoshi would certainly not have gone on insisting the opposite in the face of clear evidence to the contrary, as Dr Wright did.
  12. The transfer to GitHub. The real Satoshi would have known that in 2010 to 2011, Satoshi took no objection to Gavin Andresen using GitHub in place of SourceForge in connection with the Bitcoin System. Satoshi would also have known that Vladimir van der Laan had nothing to do with the transfer, and that there wasn’t a shred of evidence to suggest he had. Dr Wright’s false accounts on those points mark him out as not being Satoshi.

More Resources