Dr. Craig Wright’s libel action against Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack has taken another step toward resolution.
In mid-April, Wright filed a formal claim of libel against McCormack, host of the What Bitcoin Did podcast. McCormack has very publicly accused Wright of being a fraud for maintaining that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous identity behind the development and public release of Bitcoin technology.
Last week, Wright’s attorneys filed their particulars of claim against McCormack in the UK High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division. The document cites numerous examples of McCormack’s official Twitter account calling Wright a fraud, initially in response to tweets from CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre, who announced that Wright had begun taking legal action against individuals denying his Satoshi claims.
McCormack proceeded to publicly invite Wright to pursue legal action against him, going as far as to publish a physical address to which legal documents could be sent. McCormack also encouraged his Twitter followers to retweet his accusations that Wright was (a) not Satoshi and (b) a fraud for claiming so.
McCormack only doubled down from there, publicly ‘demanding’ a lawsuit be filed against him, while accusing Ayre of “just trying to bully people into silence with empty threats.” When McCormack was served with legal papers from Wright’s attorneys, McCormack tweeted that he “absolutely” rejected the requirements specified in the correspondence, although he recommended that others not follow his lead.
McCormack also claimed that Wright was a fraud for “promoting a fake version of bitcoin.” That allegedly ‘fake’ version McCormack describes would be Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), which Wright and Ayre support as the only blockchain-based technology with the on-chain scaling capacity required to become a truly global payment platform.
In an April 16th interview with BlockTV.com, McCormack stated that he hopes the value of BSV “goes to zero” and urged investors to ditch their BSV holdings before that devaluation occurs and buy into Bitcoin Segwit Coin (BTC), the technology that McCormack publicly supports.
In the same interview, McCormack stated that if Wright were to sign a message from the Bitcoin blockchain’s Genesis block, it would give “quite a substantial amount of credibility” to Wright’s Satoshi claims.
But McCormack also stated that Wright signing such a transaction “does not prove [Wright’s claims] to me” and making an analogy in which McCormack might “steal my neighbor’s keys and drive their car … and claim it’s mine. But it’s not my car; I stole the keys.”
In other words, McCormack is daring Wright to provide evidence that supports his Satoshi claims while simultaneously admitting that this evidence wouldn’t change McCormack’s mind. McCormack appears to be hedging his bet so that he can claim to have emerged victorious regardless of how the case proceeds in court.
McCormack also stated that Satoshi’s true identity “doesn’t matter” and that, were this individual to emerge publicly without the Satoshi mask, his influence on the current cryptocurrency sector would be minimal.
Here again, McCormack appears to be hedging his bets, undoubtedly with the knowledge that the general public’s interest in Satoshi’s identity would offer the individual behind that alias a major public platform to influence the crypto sector’s future.
And if this Satoshi were to publicly declare that BSV is the only technology that honors the vision of Bitcoin laid out in Satoshi’s 2008 white paper, that would spell problems for the likes of BTC. So McCormack’s claims that he has ‘nothing to gain’ from his attacks on Wright appear as accurate as his claims that Wright is a fraud.
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