Craig Wright and Peter McCormack

Craig Wright vs Peter McCormack analysis

Because so much of the media has been talking about the recent court case between Dr. Craig Wright and Bitcoin video blogger Peter McCormack, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t address it for the record.

First, for the record, none of this drama matters in the grand scheme of things in the bitcoin ecosystem. If you are building on a technology platform, it doesn’t matter to you so long as the platform scales to the needs of your business. Similarly, you shouldn’t care about the day-to-day antics of Elon Musk before you decide to buy a Tesla car. These things are just orthogonal to the operation and the car’s reliability, which should be judged on its own merit.

That said, as we are in the middle of a transitional period where people are increasingly influenced by social media network’s agendas1, we as objective technical journalists have a moral duty to offer balanced dialogue and opinions to counter the well-funded propaganda campaigns by those who have skin in the game who benefit directly by misleading of others.

Therefore, let’s go over the details of the case and analyze the results, starting from the original source document of the court judgment.

The facts:

– McCormack was found guilty on all charges of defamation against Craig Wright.

– The judge did agree that Wright’s side proved to the court that McCormack’s defamation caused serious harm.

Furthermore, because the judge felt that some evidence was put forth in an attempt to show serious harm by Craig was not entirely supported, the judge awarded just a nominal award to the plaintiff.

So this sounds like a WIN from the perspective of Peter. After all, he may get off the hook without having to pay much in damages (though there still is the matter of significant legal fees, which are not yet settled). However, from the judgment perspective, Peter got off the hook with as light a sentence as he could have possibly hoped. So this is a win for him financially because he was looking at utter bankruptcy.

What the social media trolls won’t mention is the fact that even though it may be a personal financial win for Peter, this is a big win for Craig, who is setting out to defend his legacy of creating Bitcoin and his claim as Satoshi Nakamoto, inventor of Bitcoin.

Many on the internet wish him to sign and move some of the Satoshi coins to prove that he is indeed the inventor of Bitcoin, but he has on countless occasions stated that that would prove nothing. Proving that one can move coins does not show that one owns them.

For instance, a trustee can move money on their beneficiary’s behalf, but they are not in any way the owner of the assets of the trust. In fact, the demand for signing proof is only a popular internet social media claim. No true expert or academic, legal or technical, believes that signing coins or moving coins proves anything. But it could undoubtedly appease the masses.

However, Craig, time and time again, stated that he would only prove in a court of law and with real-world evidence, which, unfortunately for us this time, the opportunity was missed.

Why was it missed? To look for the blame here, one has to look no further than McCormack himself. Initially, his defense on the charges of libel was based on a defense of truth, which meant that he intended to prove his innocence by showing that Craig ISN’T Satoshi Nakamoto. This would have necessitated Craig to show the judge and convince him that he was, with evidence. But soon after the discovery process, Peter’s lawyers convinced him to switch his defense to one which claims that his libelous acts did not cause Craig Wright serious harm. So if you didn’t get a chance to see the evidence that Craig is Satoshi, you only have Peter to blame for that.

One thing is for sure; this is just the first of many cases lined up in which people who have been claiming that Craig is not Satoshi will have to make their case in a court of law. So far, Craig has been able to defend his claim through two legal suits, each one he wins, adding to the common likelihood that he is Satoshi. After all, if he wasn’t and he was just a fraud, as so many of his detractors would claim, then indeed, it would’ve been easy to have his cases thrown out of court by now.

However, this seems to be the opposite of what is happening. Everyone who challenges him ends up getting wrapped up in a lengthy and costly multi-year court process and ends up retracting their defense of “I am innocent of calling you a fraud, because you are a fraud,” which literally translates to (if you read between the lines): you are not a fraud, you are Satoshi, and I just hope I can get away with slandering you with minimal penalty. Which seems Peter appeared to achieve. Next up, the BTC celebrity HODLonaut!

/Jerry Chan


[1] Facebook under Senate investigation for paying $15m to CDC to help spread COVID-19 propaganda.

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