Hodlonaut Libel Appeal Dropped

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  • Craig Wright has dropped his appeal against Magnus Granath (Hodlonaut), solidifying Granath’s victory in their libel case
  • A Norwegian judge ruled in 2022 that Granath did not defame Wright by calling him a fraud, with Wright winning the right to a retrial two months later
  • Wright’s withdrawal likely signals the end of his UK case, especially after his recent defeat to COPA.

Satoshi Nakamoto wannabe Craig Wright has suffered another legal defeat after he dropped his appeal against Magnus Granath (aka Hodlonaut), leaving Granath as the outright victor in the libel case. Wright lost to Granath in 2022 after the judge ruled that the Norwegian did not defame Wright by calling him a fraud, a case which was running concurrently with a very similar case Wright is still running in the UK. With Wright dropping his appeal, however, it likely means the end for the UK case too, especially following Wright’s defeat to the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) last month.

COPA and Costs Keeping Wright Out of Court

Granath was one of several victims of Wright’s libel spree in 2019 when the Australian sued half a dozen individuals who defamed him, including Adam Back, Vitalik Buterin, Roger Ver, and Peter McCormack. In a smart move, however, Granath sued Wright in Norway before Wright could sue him in the UK, seeking a non-declaratory judgment.

The UK courts eventually ruled that both cases should continue independently, however, with the Norway trial taking place first. This it did, with Wright losing in October 2022. Wright appealed the Granath verdict, an appeal which was set to hand him another court date with the Norwegian, which was granted in December 2022.

However, in the interim Wright famously lost against COPA over his Satoshi claim having had his legal funding already pulled by his financial backer, Calvin Ayre, a defeat which will set him back around £6 million, on top of the costs he must pay to keep his other cases going.

UK Case Likely to Fold

It is likely a combination of his defeat to COPA and the cost of funding the appeal (he has still not paid Granath’s legal costs as ordered) that has led Wright to drop this case, and it is almost a certainty that he will drop the UK case against Granath too, given that it will be many times more expensive and Granath can call on precedent from the COPA case.

Wright’s only remaining glimmer of hope from his 2019 libel spree is his case against Ver in Antigua, which was given the go-ahead early last year, although any such win would be a pyrrhic victory at this point.