There Are Six Copyright Claims to the Bitcoin Whitepaper

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Bitcoin whitepaper is hot property. Don’t just take our word for it though – talk to the four other entities who have put in copyright claims on it. Ever since Craig “Fraudulent Documents” Wright filed the first claim in April last year, four others have come forward with competing claims, but just who are they, and what is there to gain from establishing copyright over the Bitcoin whitepaper?

Wright Starts a Trend, and not Just for Shit Socks

Bitcoin, as everyone knows, was created by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, who did not file a copyright claim when the whitepaper was released into the wild on October 31, 2008. Craig Wright, who was accused by the judge in his case with the estate of Dave Kleiman to have submitted “fraudulent” documentation during the trial, filed a claim to having written the whitepaper last April, with the news breaking a month later.

Some saw this as being definitive proof that he was indeed Bitcoin’s creator, and Bitcoin SV’s price rocketed as a result. However, Wright soon learnt that having a copyright claim awarded is not the same as having it filed, which is what he did, and is something that anyone with a computer and the application fee could do. Sure enough, four others have joined the ‘race’, all within days of Wright’s application being known. They are:

  • Jurgen Etienne Guido, Paris (two applications)
  • Arthur van Pelt, Japan
  • Wei Liu, US
  • Satoshi Nakamoto, US

Would the Real Satoshi Pull This Stunt?

These candidates will have their applications, along with supporting evidence, assessed by the Copyright Office, who will then award or reject the copyright application accordingly. Owning the Bitcoin whitepaper copyright would allow the owner to set restrictions on its use, with anyone wanting to replicate sections of it facing the relevant costs.

If this doesn’t seem like very Satoshi Nakamoto-like behaviour, then consider that Nakamoto went to pains to keep his identity hidden – is he really likely to suddenly reveal his name and address to the world just to claim copyright of the whitepaper? No.

The World Waits

Were Wright, or any of the other applicants, awarded copyright of the Bitcoin whitepaper, it would be the clearest indication yet that they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto. On the flip side, a rejection, for Wright in particular, would be a devastating blow to his chances of being accepted as Bitcoin’s creator. Given his penchant for falsifying documents, one hopes that the copyright office do all the relevant checking before they give their verdict on the voracity of Wright’s claims.