Dr. Craig Wright in a gray suit with background of a building

Cases involving Dr. Craig Wright’s Satoshi identity

This post originally appeared on ZeMing M. Gao’s website, and we republished with permission from the author. Read the full piece here.

The trial of COPA v. Wright is set to start in mid-January 2024. For the first time, the central issue of a lawsuit is the truth (Satoshi’s identity) itself. Thus, the case has a unique significance.

Briefly, COPA (Crypto Open Patent Alliance), a coalition of some of the most powerful companies in Silicon Valley, wants the court to declare that Dr. Craig S. Wright is not Satoshi.

At the same time, the public remains misinformed about the cases involving Dr. Wright’s Satoshi identity. People’s general impression, including that of many otherwise highly intelligent individuals, is that ‘Craig Wright has been proven a fraud in all lawsuits he is involved in’.

In anticipation of COPA v. Wright, I wrote a separate analysis of that case: The key issue in COPA v. Wright.

The present article provides a brief summary of several major cases involving Dr. Wright’s Satoshi identity.

We look at the court records at two different levels:

(1) the judgments (the court decisions); and
(2) specific pieces of evidence.

The judgments

Let’s first see what has happened at the first level, i.e., the court judgments:

1. Kleiman v. Wright

The court decided that there was no partnership between Dr. Craig Wright and David Kleiman, because, after hearing two weeks of evidence and testimonies, the jury decided that Dr. Wright alone created Bitcoin.

The court also decided that the post-Bitcoin-release intellectual property belonged to W&K, a company created by Wright and Kleiman, and therefore, Wright should return $100 million to W&K.

Note it is a fact that the judgment against Dr. Wright in that case was about intellectual property created after the creation of Bitcoin, not the Bitcoin creation, which was allegedly valued (by the plaintiff, Kleiman estate) at over $100 billion, rather than $100 million.

The media has not truthfully reported the decision.

Further, it would be irresponsible for anyone to fail even to see the distinction between Bitcoin creation and post-creation activities (prior to David Kleiman’s death in April 2013), as indicated by the difference between $100 billion and $100 million. The former is a thousand times greater than the latter.

2. Wright v. McCormack

The court decided that Peter McCormack committed defamation against Dr. Wright by calling him a liar for claiming himself to be Satoshi. Because McCormack prudently maneuvered the case to avoid a trial, the court did not have a trial to test the evidence. But McCormack’s own decision to avoid trial was based on the quality of the evidence presented to him before the trial.

If anything, nothing negative came from the court against Dr. Wright.

3. Magnus v. Wright

The court declared that Magnus’ written statements did not constitute defamation under Norwegian law.

The court heard evidence presented by both sides. The presentation from Dr. Wright focused on evidence to prove that Dr. Wright created Bitcoin, while the presentation from Magnus’ side focused on incidences where they believed Dr. Wright lied or presented false evidence.

But strangely, the court did not decide on the question of ‘truth’ (that is, whether Dr. Wright is Satoshi or not), but declared that, as a matter of law, Magnus’ statements did not constitute defamation under Norwegian law, whether the statements are true or not. (Many jurisdictions, including Norway, do not require a statement to be true as a defense to a defamation charge.) In any event, the case is on appeal.

The lower court decision is clearly a negative to Dr. Wright’s defamation claim against Magnus. Unfortunately, the lower court did not decide on the truth but only on legality. But that does not stop the media from reporting it as if the court decided Dr. Wright was not Satoshi.

Given the facts, one should wonder why people still think every one of these cases was a decision against Dr. Wright.

4. COPA v. Wright

This case is ongoing, and the trial is set for January 2024. COPA wants the court to declare that Dr. Wright is not Satoshi. COPA focuses on negative evidence showing incidences where they believe Dr. Wright failed to prove he is Satoshi. Dr. Wright is expected to present positive evidence showing that he is indeed Satoshi.

The trial has not started, so one should not reach any conclusion about this case.

This case is uniquely important. I wrote a separate analysis of the case: The key issue in COPA v. Wright.

Specific pieces of evidence

Let’s then look at the second level: specific pieces of evidence.

Literally thousands of pieces of evidence have been presented so far in court proceedings. But the media so far only focused on about five pieces among the thousands where the authenticity of the evidence was called into question by the court.

On one occasion, the judge even explicitly said that Dr. Wright was not a trustworthy witness because he had submitted false evidence. This is in the Kleiman case, but it happened during the pretrial stage when Judge Reinhart decided to deny Wright’s plea for summary judgment (meaning that a trial on the facts was necessary, which trial, of course, eventually did happen, making the pretrial decisions irrelevant).

However, the upcoming COPA case trial will highlight these incidences again because that is all COPA could rely upon.

COPA must focus on the negatives because too much positive evidence points to Dr. Wright’s Satoshi identity. We shall wait and see what happens in the COPA trial.

But at the same time, even if assuming the worst case against Dr. Wright, that the court finds Dr. Wright has lied in the several alleged pieces of evidence, one should remember that this is about only several specific pieces of evidence, not all evidence which literally has thousands of pieces, and further not the overall case (which is the first level discussed above).

See more analysis of the COPA case: The key issue in COPA v. Wright.


These cases, especially COPA v. Wright, are important to watch because the final result not only concerns the identity of the person who started a new technology that may bring profound transformations to the whole world, but may also determine which vision and version of implementation of the technology works and is good for the world.

Anyone who takes Satoshi’s identity seriously should give it a deeper and more careful look into the matter. That requires going beyond the dominating media noises.

Watch: Dr. Craig Wright discusses Satoshi’s Vision

YouTube video

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