Kurt Wuckert Jr.

On Day 4 of Satoshi Trial in Norway, 4 key witnesses in Granath v Wright are put on record

CoinGeek’s Kurt Wuckert Jr is present at the Satoshi Trial in Oslo, Norway, and this is his CoinGeek Livestream Special edition covering day four of Granath vs. Wright trial.

Dr. Craig Wright’s resistance to signing to prove his identity

Wuckert takes a moment to remind newcomers what this trial is about: Magnus Granath, aka Hodlonaut, launched a cyberbullying and defamation campaign against Bitcoin’s inventor, Dr. Craig Wright. A lawsuit filed by Dr. Wright led Granath to countersue in Norway, claiming that Wright had somehow violated his rights.

After recapping, Wuckert explains that these events have put immense pressure on Dr. Wright to sign publicly with Satoshi Nakamoto’s private keys. However, he’s deeply philosophically opposed to this and has maintained for years that possession of keys does not prove identity.

There are huge implications for identity (both digital and physical), the law, digital signatures, and more at stake in this, and Dr. Wright will not budge from his position, preferring to prove who he is in court.

However, many BTC advocates and other “crypto” types either do not believe Dr. Wright or reject him because they don’t agree with his worldview. Whereas many of them are anarchists, Dr. Wright is a conservative capitalist, and they simply can’t accept that he is Bitcoin’s inventor.

Witnesses take the stand

Wuckert begins to explain what happened in court on Thursday, explaining that witnesses for both sides took the stand. He once again comments on the cultural difference in the Norwegian court compared to British and American courts, which are much more hostile environments. He believes this puts the witnesses at ease and allows them to speak more freely.

“We heard from three witnesses from the plaintiff’s side,” Wuckert said, joking that he isn’t even going to attempt to pronounce their names. However, on content, he says they basically all said the same thing. He notes that the whole Granath side seems steeped in BTC culture, assuming that what’s said anywhere on the internet including Reddit, Twitter, etc., is reality.

Magnus Granath’s witnesses

Diving deeper into what the witnesses said, Wuckert points out that most of it were the repetition of opinions. They repeatedly made reference to how there’s a broad consensus in BTC that Dr. Wright is a fraud, that people don’t like how he talks, and that he doesn’t sound like Satoshi Nakamoto did. All three said Bitcoin SV is about worshiping Dr. Wright as a leader, and they objected to this, claiming it’s not what Bitcoin is about. They also repeatedly told the judge that BSV doesn’t matter to anyone in the industry.

What about the technical expert who spoke about the Jean-Paul Sartre blog post? Wuckert says he dismissed that post as “trash and garbage.” He said that he could see why a non-technical person would be taken in by it, but that he read it in 2016 and immediately knew it was bunk. When Mr. Manshaus, Dr. Wright’s attorney, pressed about what the text file said, the so-called expert paused, and it was clear he didn’t know. In fact, he didn’t even know who Jean-Paul Sartre was.

When pressed on how they know BTC is Bitcoin, two of the three witnesses referred to its $20,000 price, Wuckert told us. Noting the disconnect between how they thought they were coming across and reality, he notes how Granath was visibly pleased by all of this and seemed to think they were killing it.

Stefan Matthews tells how he heard about Bitcoin before it was invented

Wuckert says that Dr. Wright’s first witness was Stefan Matthews and that this is the first time he’s ever been on the stand. He is an old colleague of Dr. Wright’s, going all the way back to 2005. They worked together to bring the company Matthews was working at (Centrebet) to IPO, with Dr. Wright leading the BDO auditing team.

Matthews told the court how Dr. Wright had explained Bitcoin in detail to him throughout their working relationship, although it wasn’t called Bitcoin back then. He even brought him a copy of the whitepaper, which he read but wasn’t overly impressed with. He also said Dr. Wright offered him 50,000 bitcoins at one penny each, which he declined.

Delving deeper, Matthews explained how they met Robert MacGregor and formed an IP strategy for packaging Dr. Wright’s intellectual property. He recalled how some of the papers they looked at went back to 2006 and were loosely related to Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Speaking about the body language of other people in the courtroom during Matthews’ testimony, Wuckert notes that the judge found the story compelling, but Granath himself was caught between laughter and attempted intimidation at various points.

“You can tell he just thinks the story is laughably absurd,” he said.

Wuckert labels the cross-examination of Matthews as “meandering,” saying that the judge cut her off to check where her line of questioning was going. She tried to trip him up using public information from Wikipedia, yet he held his cool and told the story as he experienced it.

Rob Jenkins speaks highly of Dr. Wright’s technical abilities

Next, Rob Jenkins, a former Web Environment Manager at Vodafone, took the stand. He was tasked with hiring someone to make the mobile company’s tech next-generation back in the late 90s, and he hired Dr. Wright. Wuckert tells us he sang Dr. Wright’s praises, telling the court he did some of the best work he’s ever seen related to security and networking. He said that, to this day, he hadn’t seen better security apparatus than the one Dr. Wright built.

Interestingly, Jenkins also told the court how he and Dr. Wright would have deep conversations about the problems with fiat currency, bearer assets, debt notes, commodity-backed currencies, and other related topics. He said Dr. Wright pitched him the idea of blockchain technology long before Bitcoin was invented.

Questions and Answers

As usual, Wuckert opens the stream to questions from the audience. Here are some of the most relevant ones to the trial.

Q. What are they trying to discover?

The plaintiff is just trying to prove that Dr. Wright is a liar and a fraud, Wuckert says. Dr. Wright is defending his reputation and showing that he is Bitcoin’s inventor.

Q. What is KPMG making false and misleading views about evidence related to Dr. Wright?

Wuckert says he doesn’t necessarily think it is false and misleading. He says they have simply analyzed the metadata they have received, and there’s lots of confusion and a mass volume of documents. For example, Dr. Wright has said he has been hacked; there are scans of old documents, etc.

Q. Do you believe the judge understands all or most of the technicality of what is being said?

“For the most part,” Wuckert says. He says she was an intellectual property attorney before she was a judge, so she’s well equipped for the task at hand.

Q. Did the judge understand why Dr. Wright did not want to sign with keys?

Wuckert says she absolutely did. She even said she respects his opinion. However, she did tell Dr. Wright that he has chosen a hard path, to which he said that was his choice and was for the betterment of humanity.

Q. How did Stefan Matthews come across?

Wuckert says he came across as sincere and warm. “He was super chilled,” he said, noting that he was comfortable and seemed totally genuine.

Watch: What you have to believe to think Craig is not Satoshi

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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