Pseudonymous Hodlonaut 'Very Confident' as Craig Wright Defamation Case Nears

In an interview on CoinDesk TV’s “All About Bitcoin,” the pseudonymous website editor said he had received $1.2 million in bitcoin donations from supporters.

AccessTimeIconAug 25, 2022 at 11:47 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:39 p.m. UTC
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A prominent Bitcoin community member is looking forward to his day in a Norwegian court.

Behind a space cat icon, the pseudonymous Hodlonaut, told CoinDesk TV on Thursday he is looking forward to what he called “the first part of the ending of this thing,” a defamation case involving Australian computer scientist Craig Wright.

Hodlonaut, who works as an editor for bitcoin zine Citadel21, said he was feeling “very confident” after receiving more than 2,220 donations from supporters, roughly 54.2 bitcoin (BTC), which translates to about US$1.2 million. A trial is scheduled to take place over seven days starting Sept. 12.

Wright, an Australian computer scientist, is alleging that Hodlonaut damaged his reputation via a string of tweets dating to March 2019, when Hodlonaut called Wright a “fraud” for saying he was Bitcoin network inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wright even placed a $5,000 dox bounty (in crypto) on Hodlonaut at one point.

Ongoing disputes

The fallout from Wright’s contention that he is Nakamoto dates back years and is not confined to one country. In a separate U.K. libel case, a judge dismissed Wright’s claims that Hodlonaut caused “serious harm” to Wright’s reputation.

More recently, in a case involving podcast host Peter McCormack, a U.K. High Court judge awarded Wright one British pound (about $1.23 at the time) for nominal damages but ruled Wright had presented “false evidence.” The judge could not confirm whether Wright was, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Hodlonaut said the upcoming trial could resemble the McCormack one in some ways, although he expects that Wright’s team will “introduce new witnesses and remove old ones and examine some 37,000 Hodlonaut tweets. Hodlonaut also expects attacks on his character.

After this report was published, a spokesperson for Wright responded:

Dr. Wright is a defendant in the case brought against him by Pseudonymous Hodlonaut who was asked to retract his #FakeSatoshi and other similarly disparaging publications but took no heed. Dr. Wright intends to defend himself against any allegations presented to him in court. Dr. Wright succeeded against McCormack (where McCormack dropped his defense of truth) and expects to succeed against Hodlonaut in due course.

UPDATE (Aug. 26, 2022 14:35 UTC) – Adds comment from Wright's spokesperson.

UPDATE (Aug. 26, 2022 19:29 UTC) – Hodlonaut's name was redacted from the spokesperson's statement to honor his pseudonymity.

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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.