Craig Wright ‘Committed Perjury’ in U.K. Trial Over Satoshi Claims, COPA Says

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance said it will ask U.K. prosecutors to consider pursuing Wright for “perjury” over his defense of forgery allegations.

AccessTimeIconMar 12, 2024 at 4:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 12, 2024 at 4:36 p.m. UTC
  • Closing statements in the U.K. trial probing Craig Wright’s claims of having invented Bitcoin kicked off Tuesday.
  • In its closing arguments, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) accused Wright of committing perjury in addition to committing forgeries.

A crypto alliance accusing Craig Wright of committing forgeries in attempting to prove he’d invented Bitcoin plans to ask U.K. prosecutors to consider if the computer scientist perjured himself during an ongoing trial.

The weeks-long trial is nearing the end, and the outcome – to determine whether Wright is pseudonymous Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto – could influence several other cases by Wright against members of the crypto community.

Counsel for the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) – made up of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s Block and crypto firms like Coinbase and Kraken – began closing statements on Tuesday by saying the evidence shared during the trial shows “beyond doubt” that Wright isn’t Satoshi.

“Following the evidence in this trial, it is clearer than ever – clear beyond doubt – that Dr. Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto. He did not write the Bitcoin white paper, produce the Bitcoin code or implement the Bitcoin system,” COPA Counsel Jonathan Hough said.

Wright was accused by COPA and a group of Bitcoin developers of committing forgeries in his attempts to prove he was Satoshi. On Tuesday, COPA also accused Wright of being a “dishonest witness” and attempting “very serious fraud” while testifying in court.

COPA said emails concerning Wright’s former lawyers submitted to the court during the trial (that Wright later defended were “spoofed” by unnamed bad actors) and admissions that he edited the Bitcoin white paper as recently as November 2023 are “vivid emblems” of his lies.

The alliance hopes the trial will once and for all prove Wright isn’t Satoshi and has said it will seek “injunctive relief” to prevent Wright from pursuing further action against members of the crypto community on the basis that he’s Satoshi.

To defend the “fiction” that he’s Satoshi, Wright has “committed perjury and forgery to an extraordinary extent,” COPA said in its closing arguments.

COPA warned the alliance will ask to refer the files in this case to U.K. prosecutors “for consideration of prosecution for the offenses of perjury and perverting the course of justice.”

Counsel for a separate group of Bitcoin developers is set to begin closing statements on Wednesday. Wright’s team will start its statements after that in a final push before presiding Judge James Mellor’s ruling.

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.