Erik Weijers, 4 months ago

Hodlonaut's trial against Craig Wright begins

In Oslo, on September 12, Hodlonaut's trial against Craig Wright will begin. It seeks to prove that the latter is not Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. The Bitcoin community supports Hodlonaut massively with donations. Craig Wright has been the target of ridicule for years for claiming to be the inventor of Bitcoin, without being able to serve proof.

The purpose of the fundraising is not only to support Hodlonaut (Norway's Magnus Granath, who uses a cat in a spacesuit as an avatar) in its litigation and preparation costs - reportedly over 2 million already in recent years - but also to get a court ruling that Australia's Wright is not Satoshi.

In 2019, Wright demanded Hodlonaut via Twitter to retract certain statements as well as make a public apology, which should read as follows:

"I was wrong to allege Craig Wright fraudulently claimed to be Satoshi. I accept he is Satoshi. I am sorry Dr. Wright. I will not repeat this libel."

Hodlonaut did not go along with this and was sued by Wright for libel in the British court system. Holdonaut then started a case against Wright in Norway. That lawsuit precedes the one in the UK.

Lawsuits left and right

For years, 51-year-old Craig Wright has been telling everyone who would listen that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. For example, he has claimed copyright to the Bitcoin Whitepaper, which led to Cobra, the pseudonymous hosting provider of bitcoin.org, having to take the Bitcoin whitepaper offline in the UK. Simply because it wanted to remain pseudonymous and was thus convicted in absentia.

Although his claims seem a tad desperate (the Bitcoin community calls him Faketoshi for this reason), the wealthy Wright gets away with the tactic of expensive lawsuits against less wealthy bloggers.

Another lawsuit was recently completed in the UK, in which Wright accused Bitcoin blogger (What Bitcoin Did) Peter McCormack of defamation. The libel laws in the UK are extremely severe. The judge had no choice but to sentence McCormack to a fine. But it turned out to be a pyrrhic victory: the fine amounted to a mere one British Pound. The judge ruled:

“However, because he advanced a deliberately false case and put forward deliberately false evidence until days before trial, he will recover only nominal damages.”

A highly unlikely Nakamoto

The creator of Bitcoin has always used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and has withdrawn from Bitcoin development since late 2010. Why, five years later, would this modest and private computer scientist suddenly reveal his identity and sue people left and right who question his claim? And why would he launch a new version of Bitcoin (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, BSV)?

Leaving aside the questionable motive, Craig Wright has never managed to simply sign a Bitcoin transaction using Nakamoto's private keys. On top of that, Wright has been caught in lies more often than not: for example, on an old version of his LinkedIn profile he had stated that he had a PhD from an Australian university, which this institution has denied. An impending conviction for tax fraud in Australia is a more serious ongoing matter.

Bullying Bitcoin

Wright has threatened not only media personalities but also Bitcoin Core developers with lawsuits. This is obviously not good for a tranquil climate of continued development. For this reason, the Bitcoin community is massively rallying behind Hodlonaut. And it's why the fundraising page is not called defending hodlonaut but defendingbtc. So far, over 50 Bitcoin has already been donated. And with the support of prominent Bitcoiner Michael Saylor last weekend, there is additional weight behind the campaign.

Viewed more philosophically, the case is also one of traditional proof versus cryptographic proof. Wright has never been able to prove cryptographically that he is Satoshi. Now the question is whether traditional courts will reach the same conclusion.

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