Dr. Craig Wright has appointed market leading tech law firm Shoosmiths to take his U.K. litigation as he gears up for a packed legal calendar, signalling one, single-minded focus: victory in January’s joint identity trial, where parties will argue over whether Wright is the inventor of Bitcoin.
That trial will have a significant impact on all the U.K. lawsuits where Dr. Wright’s status as the inventor of Bitcoin is at issue, including lawsuits against Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN), Kraken and the BTC partnership for illegally passing off knock-off digital assets as Bitcoin. If Dr. Wright successfully satisfies the court that he is Bitcoin’s inventor when he heads to trial in January, those other cases will have to abide by that ruling. On that basis, it makes sense for Dr. Wright to assemble the best possible legal team as he enters the final months before trial.
This becomes even more obvious when you look at the newly appointed firm. Shoosmiths is renowned for its work in technology and in particular Web3: the firm won TMT (technology, media and telecommunications) Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards in London in 2023, in particular for its global work in Web3 and Metaverse. The firm came away with Firm of the Year at the same awards in 2022. Both Legal 500 and Chambers UK—the leading U.K. law firm rankers—have Schoosmiths’ IT and Technology team ranked number one in the country. It has advised global brands on NFT campaigns, digital asset issuance and intellectual property matters relating to Web3 and Metaverse projects.
There’s much at stake in January—not only for Dr. Wright personally, but for the wider digital asset industry. If Dr. Wright emerges victorious (and based on his track record, there’s every chance that he will) then the rest of the industry will have to confront the fact that large swathes of it is built from the theft of Dr. Wright’s intellectual property. BTC would become unviable more or less overnight, what with its reputation being built entirely on its perceived connection to the Bitcoin described in the original white paper. Exchanges—not just the Coinbase and Kraken defendants but any entity offering assets improperly bearing the Bitcoin name—will no longer be able to offer that asset under the name Bitcoin without Dr. Wright’s permission, which means they will lose out on the billions of dollars’ worth of fees they have been skimming off the BTC economy since their founding. If Dr. Wright pushes for an accounting of all of the profits made by these exchanges through the violation of Dr. Wright’s intellectual property rights, then they can expect a substantial bill on top of a lost gravy train.
Between the high stakes and now the appointment of Shoosmiths, it’s clear that Dr. Wright is focused on one thing: winning.
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