Hodlonaut Wins Norwegian Libel Case

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  • Hodlonaut has beaten Craig Wright in the Norway leg of the libel case
  • The judge ruled that Hodlonaut’s tweets were not libellous because there was enough doubt over Wright’s claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto
  • This is the first of two cases on the same matter

Hodlonaut, the Norwegian sued by Craig Wright back in 2019 after calling him a fraud on multiple occasions, won his libel case against the Australian yesterday. After a three and a half year battle, which included Wright parting ways from his legal team almost on the eve of the trial, Hodlonaut’s tweets were deemed not to have been unlawful because there was enough doubt about Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto to make them valid. The loss is another embarrassment for Wright, who won a £1 verdict in a similar trial against Peter McCormack in August when he was shown to have used “deliberately false evidence”.

Hodlonaut’s Tweets Were Rooted in Fact

Wright sued Hodlonaut back in 2019 in a spate of such lawsuits, only two of which, Hodlonaut and McCormack, actually made it to trial. Wright had claimed that the tweets were a form of cyberbullying, that they were defamatory and that they were predicated on a coordinated effort to kneecap BSV technology.

The Hodlonaut trial, one of two on the same matter taking place across two countries, took place last month, and the judge revealed her verdict yesterday:

Against this background, the court believes that Hodlonaut had sufficient factual basis to claim that Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto in March 2019. Wright has come out with a controversial claim (and) has to endure criticism from dissenters. Overall, the court believes that the wording and claims that Hodlonaut has made are not above the threshold for what constitutes defamation and invasion of privacy. The statements are not unlawful.

The basis for this was that the language used was typical for the arena in which it was used, and also that Wright himself used very similar language in his own tweets, showing he was no better than Hodlonaut in that respect. Wright is known as someone who often uses foul and abusive language, calling Julian Assange a “rapist” when he has never been convicted of such a crime, and yet when it was used against him he went crying to Calvin Ayre and filed a lawsuit with Ayre’s money.

Wright’s Witnesses Gambit Backfired

The judge also dismissed the plethora of witnesses Wright presented, noting that none of their claims that Wright was undoubtedly the creator of Bitcoin was backed up by any evidence, and pointed to the forensic report from KPMG which ripped apart the physical evidence offered by Wright’s camp.

This included a Bitcoin.exe file said to be from 2008 which was supposedly written on a version of software that didn’t exist at the time, and a note with handwriting on it that claimed to show the date he decided to call himself Satoshi Nakamoto. The date on this was found to have been altered retrospectively and handwritten notes added afterward. Even Wright’s witnesses agreed that the report was accurate, which may explain why Wright and his legal firm parted ways after it was submitted to them as evidence by Hodlonaut’s team.

Judge ‘Made a Mistake’ Say Wright Supporters

Wright’s supporters tried to claim that the judge had made a mistake or mis-applied the law, while others even claimed that the judge had been paid off. These individuals were simply unable to comprehend that the evidence massively favoured Hodlonaut and that there was enough evidence that Wright was a serial fraudster for there to be doubt about his claims to have created Bitcoin.

In addition to the loss, Wright also has to pay all costs for both sides, although he has already said he will appeal the verdict.