Craig Wright has tasted legal defeat once again after losing an appeal in his case against Roger Ver, who called him “a fraud and a liar” in 2019. Wright had appealed after his case was thrown out in July last year by a judge who said that England and Wales, where Wright had lodged the complaint, was not the right jurisdiction. This decision has now been reaffirmed by the appeals court, meaning that if Wright wants to sue Ver again he will have to do it in another country.
Wright’s Lawsuit Shooting Spree Fires Blanks
Ver found his way into Wright’s crosshairs last year when Wright went on the lawsuit version of a shooting spree and threatened to sue anyone who dared to proclaim he wasn’t Bitcoin’s creator. In a YouTube video, now taken down, Ver called out Wright for being a “fraud and a liar”, which resulted in Wright suing the former Bitcoin evangelist.
Wright lodged his case in the British courts, claiming that his reputation had suffered there in particular as a result of Ver’s comments. However, the judge in the case didn’t agree, stating that only a small number of British viewers watched the video, that a great deal of Wright’s associates and business operations were based overseas, and that Wright had, surprise surprise, failed to back up his case with strong evidence:
…the Claimant’s evidence as to the extent of harm that the publications have caused (or are likely to cause) is weak, lacks detail and…(puts) forward evidence at a level of generality that is almost entirely speculative. There is no objective evidence of any harm to reputation in England and Wales. The Claimant has failed completely to address whether and to what extent the publications complained of have harmed his reputation in other jurisdictions.
Wright’s Appeal Lands on Deaf Ears
Wright appealed, complaining that it was “impossible” for him to obtain the proof demanded of him, and that the judge failed to take into account the evidence that was presented. On Friday however, the three appeal judges upheld the decision to throw out the case, reasserting that Wright’s evidence was not sufficient, that Bitcoin is a “global cryptocurrency” not a British one, and that Wright’s efforts to brand himself as a globally recognized figure in the cryptocurrency world mean that his reputation in the UK was not damaged more significantly than in other countries.
In summarizing, the appeals judges noted that there is a “global issue about whether Dr Wright was the inventor of Bitcoin”, and recommended that a court in California would be a better place for Wright to try his case against Ver. Whether Californian courts accept “weak” evidence that “lacks detail” is a purely speculative consideration at this point.