The alleged Satoshi Craig Wright covers the ecosystem with legal threats — and welds them together. A common enemy unites even those who previously fought each other. At the same time, Wright must defend himself before an American court.
Lawyers around the London headquarters of Craig Wright’s nChain are likely to have anything but a shortage of contracts at the moment. Not only does the alleged Satoshi tirelessly patent everything that does not hide on three, but he is now beginning to send legal threats in all directions. We explain the legal deals into which Wright is intertwined, one by one. The most recent case comes at the end.
The Legal Consequences of Hardfork
It began several months ago, immediately after the disastrous Bitcoin Cash Hardfork. A Florida company began sending out lawsuits against ABC developers, Bitcoin.com, Kraken, and Bitmain accusing them of jointly planning a conspiracy against Bitcoin to establish BCH as the ticker symbol for the version boxed by ABC.
In the wording: The crime “involves a close network of individuals and organizations that have manipulated the Bitcoin Cash cryptographic currency market, effectively kidnapped the Bitcoin Cash network, centralized the market, and violated all kinds of accepted standards, protocols, and codes of conduct associated with Bitcoin. This triggered “a global market collapse” that “destroyed more than $4 billion and caused great damage to many U.S. investors, including the plaintiff”. In view of the fact that ABC has pre-delivered checkpoint versions of its software with some stock exchanges, this accusation is not entirely at the mercy of the law, albeit probably difficult to enforce in court.
The lawsuit is not filed directly by Wright’s nChain, but by a “United American Corp.” However, it is, of course, associated with Craig Wright and his ally Calvin Ayre, and generally seen as an attempt to legally attack open source developers. Among those affected are the ABC developers Amaury Sechet, Shammah Chancellor and Jason Cox. Within the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem, it has led to greater cohesion on the one hand but has also sparked a dispute on the other. For example, several actors involved in ABC — including Amaury and Shammah — have left Bitcoin Unlimited because they believe that Bitcoin Unlimited has not condemned the lawsuit decisively enough.
When your own creation sues you.
In the USA, Craig Wright finds himself on the other side of the dock. Ira Kleiman, brother of the late Dave Kleiman, who according to Craig Wright was his partner in the invention of Bitcoin, sues von Wright for the incredible sum of 10 billion dollars. The lawsuit became known about a year ago — we reported with great amusement how a protagonist of the Satoshi story presumably invented by Wright rises out of it to sue Wright for a share of a Bitcoin treasure that does not exist at all.
So now this lawsuit is actually going to be carried out. So far a first hearing of the lawyers has taken place, which was mainly about giving an overview of the incredible amount of documents that the poor lawyers have to pass through. There was also a telephone interview with Wright in London, but only a summary of the outstanding questions is available. Brisanterweise Wright refuses some answers with reference to “national security”. This is either interpreted as an attempt by him to get out of the affair imaginatively, or as an indication that Wright is in some way affiliated with intelligence services.
Wright himself extensively staged the lawsuit as a moment of truth. For him, privacy is finally lost; he is willing to take responsibility for the creation of Bitcoin, strip naked in court, prove it finally, that he is Satoshi, whatever the consequences. So far, however, it is not known whether he has implemented this announcement.
In the most recent and exciting case, the question is also whether Craig Wright is Satoshi or not. After Twitter became the trend to call him a cheater and Faketoshi, Wright threatened to accuse him of these alleged defamations. The (expectable) response of the community was that the “Craig Wright is not Satoshi” tweets became epidemic.
Now the first people have received mail from Wright’s lawyers. The first known case is a Twitter user named “Hodlonaut” who is best known for starting the Lightning Torch. He must have repeatedly accused Wright of “fraud” and said Wright wasn’t Satoshi. Above all, however, Hodlonaut has launched the Twitter hash day #CraigWrightIsAFraud, which can be interpreted as the initiation of a campaign against Wright. After his lawyers asked him to delete the tweets and publicly declare in court that Wright was Satoshi, Hodlonaut actually deleted or emptied his Twitter account.
Since Hodlonaut’s identity is unknown — the letter was delivered via Twitter — Wright puts a $5,000 bounty on the head for clues leading to it. There are suspicions that he lives in Norway and will attend the Baltic Honeybadger Conference, where bounty hunters can recognize him by certain tattoos on his arms. This bounty led (expectably) to Twitter immediately allying with Hodlonaut. Hundreds of people renamed their Twitter name Hodlonaut (or a variation of it), took the profile picture of Hodlonaut (a cat in an astronaut suit) and tweeted that Craig Wright was a fraud. Immediately, a website was launched to collect donations so that Hodlonaut could defend himself in court. So far it has raised nearly $30,000.
At the same time, other better-known protagonists of the crypto ecosystem received a letter from Wright’s lawyers. On the one hand the video journalist Peter McCormack, who achieved veritable fame with his interviews with “What Bitcoin did”. He caused a sensation only recently when he invited Lightning critic Peter Rizun for a Lightning series, invited him out again after pressure from the Lightning community and then invited him out again shortly afterward. McCormack published the lawyers’ letters, then shot a Selfie with a T-shirt printed with “Craig Wright is a fraud” on it, and posted his sharp but amusing reply. He’s confident it won’t come to trial but looks forward to it if it does.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has also received mail from lawyers. Buterin has repeatedly stated in the past that Craig Wright is a “fraud”. Only recently he was outraged that two Bitcoin SV supporters were invited to a panel at a cryptocurrency conference on scalability. How Buterin reacts to the lawyers’ letters is not yet known.
All in all, Craig Wright has made a lot of new enemies by involving a lawyer. One of them is the CEO of the large Altcoin exchange Binance.com. He initially threatened to take BSV off the market and today announced that he would do so. The stock exchange Kraken does not let itself be ragged and is going to take part in a survey as to whether it should remove BSV from trading. As a result, the price of BSV fell by around 10 percent, which means that Wright’s legal activities are now causing pain above all for the BSV scene.
Troll hunters and spilled milk
Craig Wright and his ally Calvin Ayre are currently staging themselves as “Troll Hunters.” In fact, their case is unique in that they are trying to take legal action against a phenomenon that is difficult to tame — the (alleged) slander of a mass of anonymous or pseudonymous participants in online discussions. Their plan is probably to achieve individual, exemplary hits in order to deter all others from repeating the accusations against Wright. Whether this works for a scene that tends to be anarchistic and not financially undersupplied, such as cryptocurrencies, whose players are also technically competent enough to maintain their anonymity on the Internet, can be doubted.
However, Calvin Ayre has only recently demonstrated that courts can also protect one from reputation-damaging information on the Internet. Ayre — a cheerful Canadian billionaire who lives in the Caribbean — regularly posts photos of him with lightly dressed women, usually on yachts, in luxurious dining rooms or pool parties. Recently, he posted a rather tasteless picture of dancers performing an ass-stressed dance and in another picture with Ayre, they looked as if they were under 16 years old.
Promptly the talk of “Pedo” went through Twitter — which is not justified by the picture, which is tasteless and undignified. The magazine CoinRivet, which had reported about it without keeping the necessary distance to the accusation, was legally approached by Ayre and published a formal apology.
What’s to be thought of all this? As someone who has more sympathy for Bitcoin SV and Craig Wright than probably 99.5 percent of the scene, I naturally have an opinion.
For one thing, I don’t think it was necessary to make the world so insistent at this point that Wright is an impostor. This has been preached on all channels for about three years now, and after Wright left Bitcoin first with BCH Bitcoin, and then with BSV Bitcoin Cash, he ended up in a relatively small corner anyway, from where the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash scene can ignore him with pleasure.
Apart from the fact that it’s not necessary, I also find it heroic to step up to someone who’s been shot at for years anyway. It’s all been said a thousand times; if you’re going to do it now, you’re probably less interested in educating people about Wright than in sharpening your own public profile.
On the other hand, I also have experience with inviting lawyers to send letters with thoughtless statements. Freedom of expression covers the expression of opinions, but not those of unproven or false facts. Since it is likely, but not proven, that Wright is not Satoshi, it is risky to express this as fact. It would have been so easy to say, “I doubt Craig Wright is Satoshi,” to name just one example.
If we add to this the statement that Craig Wright is a “fraud”, it becomes all the more delicate. While the word “fraud” is more ambiguous than the German word “Betray”, it could also imply that Wright takes money out of people’s pockets by making false statements. Since there hasn’t been a single person accusing Craig of losing money through him, this is likely to be on the verge of slander.
This again illustrates how unnecessary the anti-Craig wave was. There is an epidemic of fraud in the ecosystem where people actually lose money, every day, and where fraudsters come up with new ideas every day to rip off unneeded crypto novices. With that in mind, it is unnecessary to shout at people in the loop to warn against someone like Wright, who may be a charlatan, but not a cheater in that sense. This shows once again that it is less a matter of educating the public than of taking any position.
At the same time, I think it’s not too smart to shoot lawyers in all directions. The (expectable) reaction has only made the ecosystem more in opposition to Wright. No matter how many lawyers you employ, it will hardly be possible anymore to pour the spilled water back into the bottle, and the sympathizers are Bitcoin SV (BSV) and the (few) fans this crypto-currency has. It looks, so far, like a gigantic own goal, and the chances of success of such a lawsuit are manageable unless Craig Wright proves in court to be Satoshi. He may have announced this, but it would be more of a surprise, given his past actions, if he would make the announcement come true than if he didn’t.
And if he can prove to be Satoshi — then he should do this simply, instead of first burning more and more earth and breaking glasses. After all, he now seems to have maneuvered himself into a situation where he either actually proves that he invented Bitcoin — or will finally fail.
I hope you liked my article. Feel free to comment and let us discuss your opionion. You can also read and support this post on (Medium)[https://medium.com/swlh/come-on-sue-me-e649c7d66fbb?utm_source=cryptoconsultant-blog]. There is also a possibility to subscribe to my newsletter to get weekly updates about hot posts.