Early bitcoin contributors testify against Craig Wright at COPA trial

Two key figures in Bitcoin‘s creation took the stand in the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) case against Craig Wright, an early Bitcoin developer who claims to be the pseudonymous bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. 

Adam Back, pioneer of Bitcoin’s proof-of-work consensus system, and early Bitcoin contributor Martti Malmi disputed claims from Wright’s testimony, according to a statement to the press shared with The Block. Back and Malmi, as witnesses for COPA, aim to show the court that Wright is not Nakamoto, thereby negating Wright’s claim to intellectual property ownership over Bitcoin. 

COPA, which first filed a lawsuit in the UK disputing Wright’s claims in April 2021, aims to stop Wright from asserting copyright claims over the Bitcoin whitepaper and database. According to COPA, Wright is trying to potentially dictate the usage and access to Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

In his witness statement, Back provided evidence from 2009 explaining B-Money to Nakamoto, contradicting Wright’s claim that he was influenced by the concept. B-Money is a proposal of a decentralized digital currency proposed by the computer scientist Wei Dai in 1998. 

Malmi stated to the court that he “communicated with Satoshi, who I believe to be a different person to Dr. Wright.” Malmi’s statements also disputed Wright’s timeline of when the Finnish programmer first approached Satoshi and contradicted Wright’s knowledge of who co-founded the dark web marketplace Silk Road. 

“Wright is involved in several lawsuits in the UK, which rely on this claim [of being Nakamoto] being true, alleging that multiple organizations and individuals in the crypto community violated his copyright in the bitcoin white paper, bitcoin database and other intellectual property related to the creation of bitcoin,” according to the press statement. “This claim, in effect, stops the development of bitcoin, chills and silences developers with the threat of litigation, and indeed undermines the entire spirit of the open-source community.”


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© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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