It’s been more than three years in the making, but this week, Satoshi Nakamoto—better known in the English and American courts as Dr. Craig S. Wright—finally extracted his pound of flesh from disgraced podcaster Peter McCormack.
For years, Wright graciously endured a torrent of abuse from the self-styled ‘crypto expert,’ remaining mum as McCormack attacked Wright’s character, his colleagues and his life’s work—all in the pathetic pursuit of getting a rise out of the man who birthed the technology that McCormack has since dedicated his professional life to covering.
But everyone has their limits.
Wright’s limit, as the proceedings demonstrated, was a fourth direct invitation from McCormack to sue him for his libelous and defamatory statements.
Well, be careful what you wish for.
That such hubris was ultimately the downfall of McCormack will likely come as a surprise to very few, other than perhaps, himself.
And while the conclusion of the protracted legal battle may have come with more of a whimper than a bang—the verdict released unceremoniously online, rather than before what would have certainly been a capacity crowd in the courtroom supporting Bitcoin’s creator—the result was all that mattered.
Another W for Dr. Wright.
Another W for Satoshi.
And a resounding blow for bullies the world around who think that the shield of a keyboard and computer screen will protect them from the repercussion of online abuse.
Welcome to law, Mr. McCormack.
That the damages awarded to Wright totaled a pound sterling (as opposed to a literal pound of flesh, or, say, a tier 10 English football club) may come as something of a disappointment to some of Satoshi’s most fervent supporters, many of whom wanted to see McCormack justly endure a hefty penalty financially as well as reputationally for his derision of Satoshi.
But let’s be clear, this was about so much more than any punitive measures a judge could have inflicted upon McCormack. For Craig, this was never a case about trying to personally enrich himself. This was about proving what’s Wright and what’s wrong. And on that front, today’s ruling could not have been more decisive.
15 guilty verdicts.
15 for 15—assuredly the first time anyone dumb enough to dispute clear facts, backed up by a mountain of unimpeachable evidence before a court of law, has earned a perfect score in anything.
And you can be sure, this isn’t a scorecard McCormack will soon forget.
Because make no mistake, despite the mercy offered by Justice Chamberlain in Monday’s ruling—sparing McCormack from the indignity of certain bankruptcy that a truly just award would have almost certainly inflicted upon him—this lesson in law and civics will still come at a steep price.
Already the courts have awarded Wright more than £100,000 in legal costs—predominantly as a result of McCormack’s shenanigans and cowardice—with the prospect of a further costs order still looming large. Just how vociferously Wright opts to pursue this legal avenue remains to be seen. Will he show the same compassion that Justice Chamberlain did and let him off the hook to scamper home and lick his wounds?
I wouldn’t be so sure.
But regardless, chin up Pete. Bedford Town’s season officially kicks off this weekend, so further opportunities to pay handsomely in the pursuit of taking very public Ls are just around the corner.
On a more serious note, though, if I may, a word of advice.
While you patrol the sidelines in Stratford this weekend, I hope you take the time to reflect; to reflect on the falsities you were all too quick to propagate; to reflect on the damage you inflicted to both your bank balance and reputation; to reflect on the stain you have left on the entire digital asset industry as a result of this saga; and ultimately, to reflect on the simple truth that actions have consequences.
And while this extended episode will no doubt be a sore spot for some time to come, always remember that nobody is beyond redemption. The Satoshi I know is a humble, kind and generous man, so when you see the error of your ways and seek to repent—and that day is coming, be it today, tomorrow or perhaps even decades from now—I have no doubt he will graciously accept your apology for the harm you caused.
The McCormack verdict is a win for Bitcoin.
It’s a win for truth.
It’s a win for justice.
It’s a win for everyone bold enough to stand up to bullies, no matter the personal cost.
And perhaps most importantly, it’s a win for everything Wright.
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