COPA Wins Satoshi Trial in Dramatic Fashion

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  • COPA yesterday defeated Craig Wright in a UK court over his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto
  • Justice Mellor ruled that Wright was not Satoshi months earlier than predicted
  • Wright may face prison for his use of fraudulent evidence in the case

In a stunning turn of events yesterday, Satoshi Nakamoto pretender Craig Wright lost his all-or-nothing case against the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) after the judge delivered his verdict directly after closing arguments. All those involved, including the lawyers and barristers for both sides, were expecting a months-long wait for a verdict, but Justice Mellor had clearly seen enough in the preceding weeks to rule that Wright was not Satoshi Nakamoto and did not have anything to do with creating Bitcoin. This brings to an end not just this trial but a decade of campaigning, financed all the way by third parties, and hopefully brings to an end my personal campaign to have his dangerous and debilitating efforts halted for good. 

Aggressive and Well-funded

For those who have followed the COPA vs. Wright case since it was filed in April 2021, and indeed Craig Wright’s decade of fraud, lies, and legal chicanery to try and make himself legally anointed as Satoshi Nakamoto, yesterday’s shock verdict is the strongest vindication we could have wished for that we were right. Like others, I have worked very hard to make those in the cryptocurrency space aware of Wright’s danger and not to take his efforts flippantly. He is aggressive and well-funded, which is a very dangerous combination when paired with a legal system as obliging to the wealthy as the one with which we Brits find ourselves lumbered.

I won’t go into the specific dangers Wright posed and continues to pose now, but they are well documented, notably in my podcast, Dr Bitcoin – The Man Who Wasn’t Satoshi Nakamoto. In short, Wright was (and remains, to an extent) a threat to the open-source development of Bitcoin and other crypto projects. Yesterday’s verdict, however, and the full ruling to come, should clip his wings extensively if not lop them off altogether.

COPA vs. Wright

Those who know a bit about the case may remember that COPA filed it in April 2021 seeking declarations from the court that Wright did not author the Bitcoin whitepaper and therefore holds no copyright over it. It also sought an injunction against Wright to prevent him from claiming he is Satoshi Nakamoto, thus ceasing any further litigation on that basis.

The resultant trial has been one of such twists and turns that even the seasoned barristers have stated in court that they have never seen the like of it. Wright was called out as a “fantasist” and a brazen forger in the opening arguments having submitted evidence that was pulled apart by forensic experts on both sides, leading to Wright withdrawing some of it and replacing it with what turned out to be even more obvious forgeries.

Late last year he even managed to get the start date delayed by submitting last-minute material that he claimed heralded from 2007 and 2008 but which ended up being shown to have been created in November 2023, just weeks prior to its submission. This was nothing, however, to what happened two weeks ago when Wright stunned the court by submitting evidence that was shown to have been forged during the trial itself in the form of an attempted exculpatory email from his wife.

It is my belief that if Justice Mellor hadn’t made his mind up on Wright’s guilt following his atrocious job of trying to defend the plethora of forgeries on the witness stand, this episode was the straw that broke the fraudulent camel’s back.

The Bombshell Drops

As the trial entered its fifth week on Monday, the cloak of tension that normally covers the last day of a trial, where attorneys and barristers put on displays of passion to try and get their point across to the judge one last time, was entirely absent. I was in the courtroom the previous day (great timing!) and I found the attitude among the barristers on both sides, and Justice Mellor himself, striking: there was a sense of bonhomie among them, like they were all sharing a private joke throughout proceedings. They reminded me of a group of teachers on the last day of term, a feeling I referenced in a group chat with other interested parties where I received a reply that summed up what I was witnessing:

They all know. They also all know the judge knows. The judge also knows that they all know that he knows.

The sense of a foregone conclusion was borne out yesterday after Justice Mellor had announced that his written ruling would be “ready when it’s ready,” whereupon I, like many, prepared to shut down my viewing portal, thinking that I was now embarking on months of nervous waiting. But Justice Mellor then stunned the court by stating that he had already reached a conclusion due to the fact that “the evidence is overwhelming.” He then dropped the bombshell:

First, that Dr. Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin White Paper. Second, Dr. Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” in the period 2008 to 2011. Third, Dr. Wright is not the person who created the Bitcoin System. And, fourth, he is not the author of the initial versions of the Bitcoin software.

While many, myself included, expected this verdict, we anticipated it months down the line, not ‘from the bench’ in this manner. The fact that Justice Mellor was able to do this confirmed my feelings that he had already made up his mind about the case some time ago. Nevertheless, it seemed striking that such a complex and detail-heavy case could be dealt with so quickly, so I enquired with one of the COPA team as to how common this type of action was; I was told it was “extremely rare” for a judge to rule from the bench in this manner, which just goes to show exactly what Justice Mellor thought of the evidence against Wright and his attempted rebuttals.

Everyone, including some of the attorneys who already knew which way the wind was blowing, were clearly shocked by Justice Mellor’s decision to rule from the bench. It didn’t take long, however, before I was celebrating in my home office like my soccer team had just scored a cup-winning goal; years of hard work and putting up with insults, accusations, and abuse from Wright’s sycophants had paid off.

Criminal Charges Coming?

With Wright now confirmed as the loser in this case, attention turns to what happens next. Here, there are some knowns and some unknowns. We know, for example, that he will want to appeal. However, Justice Mellor may rule that his forgery and abuse of the court were so grievous as to deny an appeal. Wright will still have the chance to file an appeal anyway, but unless he can prove that the judge made an error in law he has no chance of success, especially as the court bent over backwards to allow his last-minute evidence in.

More serious for Wright will be potential criminal action following the ruling. COPA has already said that it will ask for Wright to be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration of criminal prosecution for the offenses of perjury and perverting the course of justice following the trial, and if Justice Mellor believes, as it seems he does, that Wright submitted fraudulent evidence then this could be a real possibility.

There have been high-profile cases where individuals have been found guilty of these crimes, with sentences ranging from 18 months to five years. These were situations where one lie was exposed: Wright is accused of submitting over five hundred forged documents in his evidence, not to mention the fraud he is alleged to have perpetrated on the court while the case was ongoing and the potential for lying on the stand to cover up the forgeries.

Wright Counts the Cost

In his hubristic desire to have a collection of his other cases wrapped up into this case in the belief he was set for a crushing victory, Wright has now shot himself in the foot there, too. The passing off cases and the copyright cases are now officially dead as a result of this case, while his two cases against Hodlonaut (one in the UK and a retrial in Norway), which were stayed pending this outcome, will now almost certainly be dropped as Wright’s identity as Satoshi is the key aspect in those cases.

This would leave one case: the Tulip Trading Ltd vs. Bitcoin Developers case (or the Pineapple Hack case as we lovingly call it). This does not rely on Wright being Satoshi, but it does rely on his companies owning two specific Bitcoin wallets in 2010. However, crucial evidence was entered into this case that directly impacts that one, and Justice Mellor may rule on that evidence. If he finds that critical accounting data over the Bitcoin wallets was fraudulent and that the Tulip Trust is a work of fiction, that puts a bullet through the brain of Wright’s entire argument in the Pineapple Hack case, meaning that he would also have successfully sabotaged his last chance of some kind of legal recourse to riches.

Such an implosion, were it to happen, might actually be a first in British legal history in terms of magnitude. The COPA vs. Wright case has already been referred to as being without precedent due to the sheer volume of evidence found to have been manipulated or fabricated, findings that have the potential to send Wright to prison for a not inconsiderable length of time.

The End?

Seeing Craig Wright convicted of fraud would be fitting for a man who has hidden behind everything from neurodivergence to deceased friends when his evidence in his beloved court cases has been found wanting. For years he has used other people’s money to try and push through his own agenda at the cost of innocent parties, abusing a favorable court system to try and silence critics.

Like all cowards, he blames other people when anything goes against him but praises his own genius when something happens in his favor, even if it was the work of other people. He has threatened violence against those who disagree with him and, as we have seen, has resorted to defrauding the court in his attempt to dig himself out of the hole he has been hacking away at for over ten years.

Craig Wright has not just lost this case. He has lost five other cases on the back of it, left two terminally ill, and another standing on the edge of a cliff in a stiff breeze. He has burned through millions of dollars of his financial backers’ money in legal fees (with millions more to come now) and has nothing to show for it except a reputation more shredded than before he began his lawsuit frenzy in 2019. He has lost his job at nChain and now has rulings in two countries that he is not Satoshi Nakamoto. He has not won a single court case predicated on his claim to be Satoshi, and still owes $143 million in the only one he claims to have won in 2021 – the Kleiman vs. Wright case – which was not predicated on this fact, as he acknowledged during this trial.

Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, he is a narcissist and a fantasist who has spent years abusing the court system in different countries to further his personal goals, causing potentially irreparable damage, financially and mentally, to those who stood up to his bullying rhetoric along the way. He has now been eviscerated in his chosen arena thanks to his own hubris and arrogance, and I can only hope that this is the last time I have to write the words ‘Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto’.