Craig Wright Can Serve Bitcoin.Org Over Publication of Bitcoin White Paper, UK Court Rules

The move is largely procedural and does not settle any questions around the origin of the Bitcoin white paper.

Apr 22, 2021 at 9:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:45 p.m. UTC

Craig Wright, chief scientist at nChain, has won a minor procedural legal victory in support of his quest to claim control of the rights to the white paper that laid the groundwork for the bitcoin cryptocurrency.

According to a Reuters report, London's High Court will allow Wright to serve a copyright lawsuit against the publisher of bitcoin.org, who goes by the pseudonym Cobra. 

The thrust of the order allows Wright to serve the lawsuit via a generic email, or Twitter, given Cobra is not an acknowledged U.K. resident. Cobra has “not disclosed a name, identity or address, according to court filings issued on Wednesday,” Reuters states.  

The move is largely procedural and does not settle any questions around the origin of the Bitcoin white paper, which is the subject of the claim and which Wright claims to have written. 

Wright’s long list of litigations

The court's decisions is the most recent development in a legal battle that has stretched out for years. 

In particular, this lawsuit stems from Wright's widely disputed claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the Bitcoin white paper, the groundbreaking document that laid the groundwork for what is now the world's leading cryptocurrency. According to Wright's reasoning, because he is Nakamoto, no other entity is authorized to host the paper. The ethos is at odds with the open-source and decentralized nature of Bitcoin. Wright sent out a rash of cease and desist letters to Bitcoin Core developers, for example, over their hosting of the white paper. 

In response, the paper was initially taken down by bitcoin.org, given how the legal case would involve time, money and energy, commodities the group said it didn't want to waste on a lawsuit.

Soon after, multiple companies and organizations decided to host the Bitcoin white paper in solidarity. These included Square Crypto, crypto venture fund Paradigm, policy think-tank Coin Center and Facebook stablecoin subsidiary Novi, among others.

In response to a cease and desist order sent to Square, the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) filed a lawsuit against Wright in the U.K. over his copyright claims. The Alliance was formed in September 2020 and founded by Square to pool patents and preserve the industry’s open-source spirit.

The ramifications, including those from this lawsuit, should force Wright to provide conclusive proof that he is Nakamoto, something he has failed to do thus far. 

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