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Craig Wright in court for the copyright of Bitcoin’s whitepaper
Craig Wright in court for the copyright of Bitcoin’s whitepaper
Crypto

Craig Wright in court for the copyright of Bitcoin’s whitepaper

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 14 Apr 2021

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The COPA (Crypto Open Patent Alliance) has dragged Craig Wright to court in England to have a judge rule that the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto does not hold the copyright to the Bitcoin whitepaper.

Far from being upset, Craig Wright instead welcomed this initiative, stating: 

“This is exactly what we have wanted to happen for some time and I am very pleased this body has agreed to stand up in court as I can now have my credentials judged legally. It will also give me the chance to highlight exactly why BTC is not Bitcoin as set out the White Paper the copyright of which will now, finally, be defined”.

He concludes:

“It goes without saying that this has enormous ramifications for Coinbase, their IPO and the value thereof”.

The story

Bitcoin’s whitepaper was drafted in 2008. But until 2019 no one ever thought to register it. Craig Wright did, and he registered both the whitepaper and the Bitcoin code with the US Copyright Office. This move of his is part of the attempts he has been making for years to prove that he is the inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. The truth is that few believe his version. 

In January of this year, he decided to claim copyright on the Bitcoin whitepaper and threatened the Bitcoin.org website with legal action for publishing the Bitcoin whitepaper in its entirety.

Craig Wright’s argument is simple: the Bitcoin whitepaper and BTC as we know it today are not the same thing. Bitcoin has moved far away from the whitepaper project. In contrast, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), the cryptocurrency born from a fork of a fork of Bitcoin, and endorsed by Craig Wright, has been developed by faithfully following the whitepaper drafted by Satoshi Nakamoto. 

The latest episode in this story is dated April 12th, when COPA, i.e. the alliance created by Jack Dorsey’s Square to disseminate blockchain and cryptocurrencies by protecting their patents, decided to sue Craig Wright. The aim, in line with the alliance’s mission, is to defend those who have been threatened by Wright for publishing the Bitcoin whitepaper.  

Craig Wright, Bitcoin’s copyright and Coinbase’s IPO 

COPA also includes Coinbase, which today debuts on the stock exchange. In theory, if the lawsuit goes wrong for COPA, according to Craig Wright, there would be serious consequences for Coinbase as well. Indeed, according to this reasoning, Coinbase, as well as the other COPA member companies (Kraken, Blockstream, to name a few), have every interest in seeing BTC associated with the “real Bitcoin”, the one narrated in the Whitepaper. 

If a judge were to rule that the real Bitcoin is BSV and not BTC, Coinbase’s own valuation would suffer. At a time when BTC is at the height of its glory with a record price of $63,000, and Coinbase is one of the leading exchanges to trade BTC, a ruling that BTC is not what Satoshi Nakamoto wanted could have serious implications. 

In any case, Craig Wright says that his actions are not intended to obscure Bitcoin’s whitepaper, quite the contrary, 

“Dr. Wright and BSV supporters would prefer more people to read the white paper, in order to see that BTC does not represent its vision”.

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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