The golden dragon is the heraldic animal of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV). Has a British court now slaughtered him?

The UK’s highest court has handed down its ruling in the case of Craig Wright v. the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA). His followers now have to swallow a bitter pill – the truth catches up with everyone at some point.

The COPA case was about the questions surrounding Craig Wright: Is he, as he claims, Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin – or is he just an impostor and fraudster? For Wright, everything depends on this question, as his entire existence – personal and professional – is based on being Satoshi. Without Satoshi there isn’t much left of him.

COPA, a coalition of several crypto companies and personalities including Jack Dorsey, the Coinbase exchange, TheBlock magazine, MicroStrategy and others, has taken this issue to the UK’s highest court.

The court case was actually about the patents that Craig Wright claimed on various Bitcoin technologies. With a veritable flood of patents, Wright and his company nChain tried to build an empire of legal claims on blockchain technologies that increasingly became a threat to independent developers.

To dispute these patents, COPA has accused Craig Wright of forging a mass of documents, including those intended to prove he was Satoshi Nakamoto. So the process penetrated into the core more in passing. The lawsuit presented evidence after evidence of forged documents, leading COPA attorney Jonathan Hough to conclude that Wright’s claims were based on “blatant lies and elaborate false narratives supported by industrial-scale forgery.”

Wright’s side, on the other hand, seemed almost depressingly quiet and thin in terms of personnel. While prominent Bitcoiners like Martti Malmi and Gregory Maxwell willingly testified against him, hardly anyone from the BSV camp seemed to come to his aid. Neither former nChain CTO Steve Shadders or MoneyButton founder Ryan Wright has apparently lost trust even in the BSV community.

The end of the trial, which lasted several months, should hardly have surprised anyone.

This makes it official

What was astonishing, however, was the clarity with which Judge James Mellor expressed himself. While a written verdict is still pending, the oral statement leaves not the slightest room for doubt.

After considering all the evidence and documents submitted, “I came to the conclusion that the evidence was overwhelming. First, Doctor Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin white paper. Second, Doctor Wright is not the person who adopted and used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto between 2008 and 2011. Third, Doctor Wright is not the person who created the Bitcoin system. And fourth, he is not the author of the initial version of the Bitcoin software.”

So it’s official: Anyone can claim to be Satoshi – except Craigh Wright. This makes him the only person in the world who is legally not Satoshi.

COPA naturally welcomes the ruling. It is “a victory for the developers, for the entire open source community, and for the truth.” Craig Wright and his backers have “lied and used lies to harass and threaten developers in the community for more than eight years. This ends today.”

Good and not so good losers

In the BSV community, the verdict is received with mixed feelings. Hardly anyone bothers to deny it or otherwise defend Craig. Not even Calvin Ayre, who stood firmly behind Wright for years. The Canadian-Caribbean entrepreneur, who became a suspected billionaire with his poker empire and paid the bills for Craig, implicitly admits that he gambled away:

„Good Bye Everyone,“ writes he tweeted, “This is my last post before I head off on an adventure I’ve been planning for the last year. I handed this account over to a team that … “But he is proud of what they have created and is looking forward to watching the technology come to fruition.” His magazine, CoinGeek, is a magazine for blockchain and AI to have been caught by a fraudster for years while Calvin was probably digesting it on an adventure trip.

Steve Shadders is more honest. “If you don’t at least have doubts about Craig’s claims at this point, then you’re an idiot and I can’t help you,” explained he one day before the verdict. It has been obvious for a long time, but is becoming harder to ignore with each passing day of the trial. Rarely has it been so difficult to suppress the unpleasant truth of having fallen out with Craig Wright.

But Ryan X. Charles is most honest with himself. He confesses “how I was betrayed by Craigh Wright”: Craig never presented any proof of being Satoshi, but his advocacy for “Big Blocks and the Original Protocol” corresponded to Ryan’s understanding of Satoshi’s writings.

“There were many reasons why I believed the fraud. One is that it seemed unbelievable to me that someone would bet everything on such a big scam. Why would anyone harm everyone around them, and ultimately themselves, to such an extent?” Ryan acknowledges that Craig Wright has harmed many, and that he himself contributed to it by standing up for his claim on YouTube and Twitter, Being Satoshi. “I was not right […] I don’t know if it’s possible to make up for it, but I’m open to suggestions.” At first, however, he is relieved that the drama is over and he can move on to new things.

This relief that the verdict is at least clear seems to predominate in the scene, similar to spitting out too much alcohol or pushing out a bladder stone. It feels so good to finally acknowledge that you were wrong instead of tensing your mind in constant fear of it. However, not everyone is as hard on themselves as Ryan and Steve. Jerry Chan, Kurz Wuckert and others acknowledge the verdict, but in the same breath emphasize that Bitcoin SV was never about Craig Wright, but rather about the Bitcoin variant that comes closest to what Satoshi had in mind : a Bitcoin that scales massively. Craig’s Satoshi affectations may have been entertaining, but they were never more than a side note.

This may seem like a subterfuge to avoid confessing that you have made a mistake and to avoid throwing ashes on your head in public. But the price trend confirms that the community is actually ready to drop Craig without burning BSV at the same time. Although BSV fell by around 25 percent after the verdict, Bitcoin itself also fell by a good five percent in the same period. The loss is limited. Over the course of a month, BSV is still clearly up, and in the 1-year chart it is even up by more than 100 percent. With a market capitalization of almost 1.5 billion euros, BSV remains a billion-dollar project even without Craig Wright.


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