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In a high-stakes legal battle that has captivated the crypto community, Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, who claims to be the elusive Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, is facing a significant setback in his pursuit of intellectual property claims against crypto exchanges Coinbase and Kraken. A UK judge has ruled that Wright must pay £400,000 ($516,000) in security for legal costs to continue his case against the exchanges.
Craig Wright has long asserted that he is the mastermind behind Bitcoin. However, the authenticity of his claim remains hotly contested within the community. Despite previous lawsuits seeking copyright to the BTC white paper, no court has definitively established Wright as the true creator of Bitcoin. Why? The key reason is that Wright can’t prove he has ownership of the more than 1 million BTC mined by Satoshi in the early days.
Craig Wright Vs. Coinbase And Kraken
In his current legal crusade, Wright aims to prevent Coinbase and Kraken from promoting Bitcoin (BTC) as the original Bitcoin, arguing that BTC is a separate entity that emerged in 2017 when it split from Bitcoin Cash (BCH). According to Wright, the true embodiment of Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision lies in Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), which he champions.
At the heart of the case lies the question of whether digital assets not adhering strictly to the original Bitcoin protocol should be marketed or referred to as Bitcoin. Wright’s argument is based on the belief that only BSV carries the spirit of the original white paper.
However, the UK judge, James Mellor, has cast doubt on Wright’s ability to fund the legal costs necessary to pursue the case, citing allegedly inconsistent statements about his financial position. The judge has ordered Wright to provide £400,000 in security within weeks, failing which the case could be struck out.
Inventor Of Bitcoin?
In addition to the UK case, Wright is also embroiled in a separate legal battle in Florida. He is due to defend himself against contempt of court charges for failing to disclose crucial information in a dispute involving the estate of his former business partner, Ira Kleiman, over the ownership of $143 million in crypto. Wright has argued that he lacks financial information about his wife, Ramona Ang, and considers his own UK court witness statements as “hearsay.”
The crypto community has been rife with skepticism about Wright’s claims, and this latest legal saga has only intensified the intrigue surrounding the enigmatic figure who purports to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Previous attempts such a supposed proof from 2016 prove his identity have been debunked, leaving his reputation shrouded in doubt.
In the Kleiman case, the court sentenced Wright to pay a fine of $100 million for the theft of intellectual property. However, he did not raise the amount, so in March the court imposed a hefty 43 million penalty on him. Whether Wright will pay the fees at the UK court remains to be seen.
At press time, the BTC price stood at $29,235.
[UPDATE] Craig Wright has suffered another defeat against podcaster Peter McCormack today. In the Court of Appeal, Wright lost his appeal and was dismissed.
Dr Craig Wright v Peter McCormack
In the Court of appeal – Dr Wright has LOST his appeal and it has been dismissed.
The judges agreed with the decision of Justice Chamberlain to reduce his damages to £1 for putting forward “deliberately false” evidence on serious harm. pic.twitter.com/kSl8pSYn0A
— Peter McCormack (@PeterMcCormack) July 26, 2023
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