- Craig Wright has been exposed as a serial plagiarizer, most recently as this week
- We look at why individuals plagiarize work and what they hope to achieve from it
- Wright claims to have written the Bitcoin whitepaper, a completely original work, at a time when he was plagiarizing other work
Craig Wright was exposed again this week as a plagiarizer of work, adding to previous accusations from amateur investigators and the views of the judge in his case against Dave Kleiman’s estate. But why does Wright, a clearly intelligent man, feel the need to steal the work of others, and what does this mean for his claims to have written the Bitcoin whitepaper?
In order to try and answer these questions, we look at the psychological reasons why people plagiarize work and see which ones fit Wright the best.
Theory: Most people plagiarize because they’re plain lazy. They want credit for something but can’t be bothered to put in the work required to get it, instead stealing the work of others and hoping they don’t get caught out.
Some plagiarizers are clever and at least write the stolen ideas up in their own way to avoid detection, which Wright sometimes does, although often he just swaps out a word or two or even copies sections wholesale. Not only is this lazy, it shows huge disrespect toward the original authors, the awarding body, and the subject matter itself.
Likelihood: Wright seems to be a busy man with his hands in lots of pies and has seen success in other areas, suggesting that he is not an inherently lazy person. Having said that, some of his plagiarism dates back to 2008 when he was allegedly also writing the Bitcoin whitepaper, so maybe he was pushed for time?
Desire for Fame
Theory: Some people are so desperate for fame, or to be seen as a success in their field, that they plagiarize the work of others in the hope that they themselves will receive the resultant adulation. In these cases the individual dare not attribute the work to others up front lest they not get the credit, and will be praying that their deceit is not discovered afterwards.
Likelihood: Wright clearly loves the limelight and loves to be the center of attention, be it positive or negative in nature. His courtroom appearance last year demonstrated that he has no compunction over lying in order to further his cause or defend himself.
Wright began to circulate the theory that he and Kleiman created Bitcoin following articles in Wired and Gizmodo in 2015 on the matter, which appeared two years after Kleiman had passed away from MRSA. These articles were based on emails sent to the publications that ‘outed’ Wright as the driving force behind the cryptocurrency’s creation, but the documents in these emails later turned out to be either fraudulent in nature or did not consistently fit this theory.
Fear of Success
Theory: Some people are scared of the adulation and attention that success could bring them, while simultaneously trying to achieve things with their work. In order to keep themselves under the radar and not ‘rock the boat’ while still achieving in life, they often resort to plagiarism.
Likelihood: Fear of success? Craig Wright? Are you crazy?
Fear of Failure
Theory: Conversely, some fear failure, or being ‘found out’, and so they copy the works of others in order to make it seem like they know what they’re talking about. Again, they dare not attribute the work to others (or at least not in large part) in case the lack of original work rings alarm bells.
Likelihood: Despite all his faults, Wright does seem to know what he’s talking about when the spotlight is on him. While he may have copied some sections because he didn’t understand the topic in its entirety, you don’t embark on a blockchain journey like he has without sound knowledge of what you’re doing.
We can see from our completely scientific research that Wright likely plagiarizes so much of his work primarily out of a yearning desire for notoriety at all costs. The fact that he has been caught editing the work after he has been exposed shows that he is all too aware that what he has done is wrong and he either hoped to get away with it, had forgotten he had done it, or couldn’t be bothered to change it.
This sense of guilt at least proves Wright is not a sociopath, which will be reassuring to BSV fans, and could explain why Wright was happy to fork from Bitcoin into BSV rather than start his own project from scratch – he could take Bitcoin’s code for free.
Did Wright Create Bitcoin?
Given that Wright has now been caught plagiarizing numerous works and other documentation between 2008 and 2017, is it really plausible to think that in between these episodes of cheating he created a whole new monetary system and wrote, completely free of existing material, the revolutionary Bitcoin whitepaper?
Kleiman’s death in 2013 means that he cannot testify to Wright’s part in any such process, which is handy for Wright, and means that we only have his word, the word of a proven liar, forger, and plagiariser, on the matter.