Connect with us


Bitcoin creator claim: U.K. court freezes £6M of Craig Wright’s assets



Bitcoin creator claim: U.K. court freezes £6M of Craig Wright’s assets

Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist, found himself in a legal tangle as a United Kingdom court froze £6 million of his assets amidst claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto, the elusive creator of Bitcoin.

The freezing of assets came as a response to Wright’s maneuver of transferring some of his holdings outside the UK following a court ruling that discredited his assertion of being Nakamoto. This prompted him to shift shares of his London firm, RCJBR Holding, to a Singaporean entity on March 18, according to court documents.

Judge James Mellor, in the document, expressed concerns about Wright’s actions, suggesting that he might be trying to evade the costs and consequences of his trial loss. The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) sought a ‘worldwide freezing order’ endorsed by the judge to address COPA’s hefty court expenses amounting to $8,471,225.

COPA, established in 2020, aims to promote cryptocurrency technologies and eliminate patents as a barrier to innovation. Its membership includes prominent entities like Coinbase and MicroStrategy among others.

Wright had leveraged his claims of being Nakamoto to file copyright assertions regarding the Bitcoin network, such as demanding the removal of the Bitcoin white paper from certain websites.

However, COPA contested Wright’s assertions by filing a lawsuit against him in April 2021, disputing his claims of being Nakamoto and thereby holding copyright to Bitcoin. Testimonies from early Bitcoin developers led the judge to conclude that the evidence overwhelmingly suggests Wright is not Nakamoto.

In a separate legal battle in 2023, Wright sued 13 Bitcoin Core developers and several companies for copyright violations related to the Bitcoin white paper and its associated rights. However, the court ruled that the file format for Bitcoin cannot be protected by copyright. 

In his ruling at the high court of England and Wales, Mellor said, “I do not see any prospect of the law as currently stated and understood in the case law allowing copyright protection of subject-matter which is not expressed or fixed anywhere,” Mellor added,  “It remains the case that no relevant ‘work’ has been identified containing content which defines the structure of the Bitcoin File Format,” although Wright and the two investment companies who made the claim had  “ample opportunity” to do so, 

Responding to the lawsuit, the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund highlighted the concerning trend of abusive lawsuits against prominent Bitcoin contributors, which hinder development due to associated time, stress, expenses, and legal risks. Speaking at Bitcoin 2023 Miami, the Chief Legal Officer of BLDF said the current greatest threat to the existence of Bitcoin and its development was Craig Wright.

The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund (BLDF) offers legal aid to individuals and businesses dealing with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Founded by Roger Ver in 2014, the BLDF assists clients facing various legal challenges related to Bitcoin use, regulatory issues, copyright violations, and more.

Funded by supporters who believe in protecting Bitcoin rights, donations to the BLDF are tax-deductible. The organization provides expert legal representation through a team of specialized lawyers and access to pro bono attorneys.

While Wright had filed a United States copyright registration for the Bitcoin white paper and its code in 2019, it is now subject to an MIT open-source license, allowing free usage and modification. An injunction from the court would halt any further attempts by Wright to assert copyright claims over it.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
1 Comment
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Crypto News Update

Latest Episode on Inside Blockchain

Crypto Street



ALL Sections

Recent Posts

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x