Judge Rules for Roger Ver in Craig Wright Libel Lawsuit

Though the suit was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds, Judge Sir Nicklin denied Wright's claims of "reputational harm" in the decision.

AccessTimeIconJul 31, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 1:51 p.m. UTC
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A judge has struck down a libel lawsuit against Roger Ver, an early bitcoin investor, that was filed by Satoshi Nakamoto claimant Craig Wright.

alleged that Ver defamed him in a YouTube that was published in mid-April, in which Ver denounced Wright’s claim to be bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. The video was also circulated on Twitter.

According to court documents published Wednesday, Judge Sir Matthew Nicklin said Wright has not supplied sufficient justification that the trial should be overseen by the High Court of England and Wales. Citing both Wright’s international reputation and bitcoin’s global community, the court found that there was “no objective evidence” Wright’s reputation in England was harmed.

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“The evidence clearly demonstrates that the most substantial publication of the statements complained of is in the US,” the court determined. Accordingly, only 7 percent of the video’s audience was based in the United Kingdom, per the documents.

Furthermore, the court found “there is no evidence at all of any actual reputational harm that the Claimant has suffered as a result of any of the defendant's publications.”

Since claiming authorship of the bitcoin white paper and its initial launch and development, Wright has denounced the cryptocurrency and its current set of developers. Additionally, following a controversial fork of the bitcoin blockchain that create bitcoin cash in 2018 -- an action endorsed by Ver -- Wright announced his own forked currency, bitcoin SV, which stands for Satoshi Vision.

Wright's suit against Ver isn't the only litigation he has pursued against critics. Wright has also lodged a libel suit against podcaster Peter McCormick, and previously threatened to sue ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin and computer security entrepreneur John McAfee.

High Court photo via Shutterstock

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