Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto?

In mid-2019, the hashtags #CraigWrightisafraud, #CraigWrightisNotSatoshi, #Faketoshi began to become popular as a reaction to Craig Wright's declaration of being Satoshi Nakamoto (name attributed to the creator of bitcoin).

Who is Craig Wright? He is a computer scientist of Australian nationality, he moved to England in December 2015. Attributing the identity of Satoshi has cost him to be considered as “a controversial character in the crypto world”.

The counterpart in this lawsuit is the Norwegian citizen Magnus Granath. What did? On March 17, 2019, he tweeted through the account @Hodlonaut: “Forensic analysis of CSW's (Craig Wright) first attempt to fraudulently "prove" that he is Satoshi. Enabled by @gavinandresen. Never forget. #CraigWrightIsAFraud”. Subsequently, Mr. Wright's attorneys sent him a letter of claim for this assertion with the intention that the author of such tweet, until then unidentified: (i) identify himself, (ii) delete the tweets from his account, (iii ) undertake not to repeat the allegation of dishonesty and (iv) apologize and accept the making of a statement in public hearing.

For his part, on May 19, 2019, Mr. Granath initiated a liability waiver procedure before the court in Oslo (Norway). In response, Mr Wright sued a British court for defamation in reference to the March 17 tweet. In the first instance, this judgment was rejected, but later, the appeal court indicated that it was competent to hear this case.

The million dollar question: is Craig Wright Satoshi Nakamoto? In this regard, sentences  of the British court of appeal stated: “The Norwegian court was able to find that Dr. Wright was not Satoshi Nakamoto, but that his claim to be was honestly made, believed he had the right to claim to be the primary creator of Bitcoin, but the court held that someone else had made a better claim to be the primary creator".

Regarding Granath, the Norwegian court stated that “had honorable grounds to bring charges"And that their statements"are within the broad framework of freedom of expression established by these rules (…) and therefore their statements are not illegal".

The defense of Granath wanted to deny the jurisdiction of the British court to hear this claim on the basis that the same thing was allegedly being discussed in the Norwegian court, but this was denied by the British court as there are particularities that a process does not contemplate, and the other yes. Like the fact that in British headquarters it was important to determine the dishonesty of Dr. Wright, which does not happen in the case of the Norwegian court. In the same way, in the Norwegian headquarters it is important to determine the existence of negligence, which does not happen in the British headquarters.

As I briefly mentioned above, the British court had dismissed Wright's claim against Granath, but with this ruling, it was provided that the British court could hear the libel claim. We will have to wait a little longer to know the outcome of this defamation lawsuit.

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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.

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