Craig Wright concedes to altering Bitcoin documents amid Satoshi identity trial

311
Craig Wright

24th February 2024 – (New York) Craig Wright, the computer scientist who claims to be the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, has acknowledged revising key documents submitted in the high-profile legal battle with the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA). As the trial against COPA enters its third week, the scrutiny of Wright’s evidence intensifies.

Alexander Gunning, the counsel for the Bitcoin developers, zeroed in on alterations within Wright’s “LaTeX files” – a type of document preparation system used for the Bitcoin whitepaper. Wright conceded that these amendments were made, albeit for illustrative purposes to aid his legal representatives at Shoosmiths in understanding the matter at hand.

This revelation has further stoked the already fiery proceedings tasked with resolving one of the cryptocurrency sector’s most enduring mysteries: the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. The decision of this case could have significant implications for the ownership and future of Bitcoin, as well as for Wright’s own reputation.

During the detailed cross-examination, Gunning posited that Wright’s document modifications were self-serving, aimed at bolstering his claim by mirroring the original format of the Bitcoin whitepaper. Gunning illuminated that one such file was altered as recently as November 2023, casting a shadow of doubt over the authenticity of Wright’s submissions.

The legal tussle reached a crescendo as Gunning openly questioned the veracity of Wright’s claim to the Nakamoto mantle. Wright maintained his stance, pushing back against the implications of Gunning’s line of inquiry.

As the trial concluded its third week, the court heard from Marti Malmi, an early Bitcoin contributor and computer scientist, who contested Wright’s version of their historical interactions with the enigmatic Nakamoto. Malmi refuted Wright’s assertion that they had been approached in February 2009, clarifying that their genuine correspondence with Nakamoto took place on 1st May, 2009. This claim found corroboration in emails that were later made public.

The trial proceedings have been meticulously dissecting Wright’s narrative, as both the defence and the prosecution present forensic analyses of digital footprints and historical correspondences. The veracity of Wright’s claims has been a subject of scepticism in the crypto community since he first came forward as Nakamoto in 2016. Sceptics have demanded cryptographic proof in the form of digital signatures from Bitcoin’s early blocks – a request Wright has so far not fulfilled to universal satisfaction.

Wright’s legal confrontations have been numerous, including a 2021 lawsuit where a US court found that he did not owe half of 1.1 million Bitcoins to the estate of David Kleiman, a deceased computer scientist whom some believe may have been part of the Nakamoto persona.