Craig Wright Admits to Editing Bitcoin White Paper Presented in COPA Trial

COPA's trial to find out whether or not Craig Wright is the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto has completed its third week.

AccessTimeIconFeb 23, 2024 at 5:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:06 p.m. UTC
  • The bitcoin developers' lawyer, Alexander Gunning, presented evidence that Craig Wright had made new edits to his whitepaper, which Wright acknowledged.
  • The Crypto Open Patent Alliance wants to prove that Wright's claim to be the founder of bitcoin is a lie backed by forgeries.

Craig Wright admitted to making changes to the version of the bitcoin whitepaper he presented in the Crypto Open Patent Alliance's (COPA) trial while testifying Friday.

The trial to prove whether or not Wright is the anonymous creator of the bitcoin white paper completed its third week. COPA wants to prove that Wright's claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto is a lie afforded by "industrial style forgeries," and the bitcoin developers lawyer Alexander Gunning is helping them.

On Friday, Gunning showed that Wright made edits to the bitcoin whitepaper in his "LaTeX files," which Wright agreed was accurate. Wright said the edits were simply a demonstration for his representatives at Shoosmiths (his law firm).

"You were not showing this to anyone, we know the times you were showing this to Shoosmiths, you were doing it for yourself," Gunning said.

"What you are doing is tweaking parameters.. to get them to fit " the layout of the bitcoin whitepaper, Gunning added. The file was uploaded as recently as November 2023, Gunning said.

Gunning ended his questioning by asking: "Your claim to be Satoshi Nakomoto is a fraudulent claim isn't it?" which Wright disputed.

Week three

Wright's testimony capped off the third week of the trial, which saw some of COPA's witnesses take to the stand to face questioning from Wright's lawyers.

Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn, a computer scientist and the founder of Zcash, testified on Thursday where he was questioned on how well he knew Nakamoto. Wilcox said he wouldn't call himself "pals" with the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator. In court documents, he said that he was not sure if he had any private conversations with Nakamoto.

Other witnesses were more confident about their interactions with Nakamoto.

Computer scientist Marti Malmi spoke on Wednesday, disputing the dates that Wright put forward about Malmi's interaction with Nakamoto. Malmi later released his emails with Nakamoto on X (formerly Twitter).

Wright said in his witness statement that Malmi approached Nakamoto in Feb. 2009 but Malmi said in his statement this was "incorrect," and that the date was actually May 1, 2009.

Adam Back, the CEO of bitcoin technology company Blockstream, said in his first statement he corresponded with someone purporting to be Nakamoto via email.

In his statement he showed an email he received from Nakamoto on Aug. 20, 2008, where he said he planned to cite Back's paper about a proof-of-work system and Back responded by sending more resources.

Wright described Back's interactions with Nakamoto as "dismissive," which Back said was inaccurate.

Next week expert witnesses will be questioned.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.