On the latest episode of CoinGeek Discussions, co-hosts Alex Vidal and Zachary Weiner talked to entrepreneurs and artists in the blockchain space. A special guest, Gavin Mehl, made an appearance to give his take on the COPA v Wright trial, which he has been following closely. Check it out via this link.
Ordinals, on-chain art, and rapidly rising BTC fees
Weiner starts by pointing out that the idea of locking coins against content is spreading. An increasing amount of content has coins locked against it on Hodlocker. He also notes that, weirdly, Solana is also pumping hard and is up about 400% from its low.
Vidal says we’ll be talking about Ordinals in this discussion. Lots of them are stuck in the mempool as fees climb rapidly on BTC. This is a bummer for people who want to get art on the blockchain. We’ll be talking to several such artists today.
One such artist is Schwonk. He’s an artist, father, and Bitcoin maximalist. He’s all about open, interoperable, on-chain systems. He says the fees climbing so high is the biggest news of the week, and he thinks BTC advocates will soon propose new layer-two solutions. As an artist, he’s working on Bitcoin Trail, a series of landscapes, and another secret collection.
What is Schwonk’s Bitcoin story? He was part of Young Americans for Liberty and heard about it in 2012 or 2013. Like so many others, he mostly ignored it, and it wasn’t until 2016 that he bought some and took the price rollercoaster ride in 2017. He started reading about Satoshi, learned a lot, and later heard about Ordinals from his friend Rafael LaVerde. He started inscribing in June.
Another artist, 8Bit, says he found Bitcoin through trading altcoins on Binance two or three years ago. During the global health pandemic, he dove deep and started learning, making his way into the Solana community. He describes himself as a “sh*tcoiner turned Bitcoin artist,” but he has a lot more than just art in the works. He later delves into recursive inscriptions, telling us that it enables one inscription to call on another. This dramatically increases what can be done, and people are already putting sound, 3D objects, and more on-chain.
William tells his Bitcoin story; his brother told him about Ethereum in 2016. After looking it up online, he learned about smart contracts, and they instantly clicked for him. Being familiar with real-world contracts, William saw the potential. He dabbled with some proof-of-stake chains, got interested in scaling, and took the opportunity to capitalize when Ordinals came around. He still loves big blocks, but he also sees compression technology’s value in making files smaller and “respect the chain.”
The discussion then delves into opinions on game-changing blockchain technology, exploring BitMap and what it makes possible, and the possibilities/limitations of data on the various Bitcoin forks.
Gavin Mehl gives his overview on COPA v Wright and other trials
Gavin Mehl is a health and fitness guru who has recently been putting out some awesome Bitcoin-related content. He joins the discussions to talk about the COPA v Wright case. As it transpired, he’s optimistic that Dr. Wright will come out of it looking good.
Before getting into the details, Mehl gives his Bitcoin story. He heard about it from a friend in a health store. He bought Tezos and made good profits trading it. This led him down the rabbit hole, and he discovered Ryan X. Charles online. Later, Mehl went to a dinner in Silicon Valley and met Xiaohui Liu and Jimmy Nguyen. This led to him meeting Dr. Craig Wright in Dubai.
Mehl kicks off his overview of the legal proceedings by explaining that, in Kleiman v Wright, the jury decided that Dr. Wright alone invented Bitcoin. That decision has been upheld, and it’s super significant. While this wasn’t a direct Satoshi identity trial, Mehl thinks the verdict will be considered in future cases.
Focusing on COPA v Wright, Mehl explains that COPA is bringing a fraud case. They want to prove Dr. Wright is a fraud, and to do so, they have to establish five things:
- That he made false representations.
- He had knowledge of the falsity—he knew.
- He had the intent to deceive.
- Reliance – COPA relied on this information.
- Damages – COPA must establish it is entitled to damages.
Mehl says COPA has 50 files and documents. Getting these into evidence won’t be easy. Forensic experts will be required at the very least.
Should Dr. Wright lose COPA v Wright, the IP case against BTC Core will fall away automatically. If he wins, the opposite should occur. Mehl then points out something important: Dr. Wright doesn’t have to bring anything new forward. He already has the Kleiman v Wright victory on record, and that’s all he needs. He can bring lots of new evidence, but in Mehl’s opinion the court will assume he is Satoshi by default.
Why should anyone care about all of this? Mehl highlights how, in February 2023, there was a pre-trial order that came out in favor of Dr. Wright. This was in relation to the case against BTC Core, claiming they infringed on his intellectual property. All claims against BTC Core are now proceeding to trial. If Dr. Wright wins against COPA, he’ll likely win a derivative copyright claim. BTC losing this would be “catastrophic,” Mehl says.
Is it possible that this all happens, BTC Core changes the name, and nobody cares? Mehl says people care about prices. They’ll care when they see a change in the price of their coins. Mehl thinks the court will make an equitable decision, but overall, it will favor Dr. Wright.
To hear more about on-chain art, how Dr. Wright produced a record of his Bitcoin holdings after he was ordered to by a Florida court, and to learn more about the sheer volume of evidence in previous trials, tune in and listen to the discussion here.
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