Who is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin? It’s not Craig Wright according to a UK judge

The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, is the biggest mystery in the crypto world. There’s been a lot of speculation as to who the person or persons behind the first and most valuable crypto really are—and there are a few claimants too. The most publicized of whom is Australian academic Dr Craig Wright. However, after years of litigation, a UK high court judge has ruled that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto.

The lawsuit was brought by a conglomerate of cryptocurrency companies called the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA). It sought a judgment preventing Wright from continuing to claim he was Satoshi Nakamoto, and using this recognition to expand his influence over the sector.

Reporting from The Guardian includes quotes from Jonathan Hough KC, a lawyer representing COPA. He argued that Wright’s claim that he created Bitcoin and wrote its whitepaper was a “brazen lie and elaborate false narrative supported by forgery on an industrial scale”. He also added “there are elements of Dr Wright’s conduct that stray into farce.”

The group argued Wright’s supporting evidence included provably forged documents, backdated edits and even traces of ChatGPT usage, even though ChatGPT was not released until years later.

The judge overwhelmingly agreed, unusually issuing a verdict immediately after the conclusion of the case. According to court reports, Justice Mellor said “I’m prepared to say this: Dr Wright is not the inventor of bitcoin” and “Dr Wright is not the author of the bitcoin white paper and he is not the person who adopted the name Satoshi Nakamoto.”

Wright has spent years claiming he invented Bitcoin, fighting lawsuits across different jurisdictions. One of the well-known examples involved defending against a fraud lawsuit filed in 2018 by the estate of Dave Kleiman, a US computer scientist. Kleiman died in 2013 and some even suggest he could be Nakamoto himself. Wright lost the lawsuit and was ordered to pay $100 million in damages.

Well over a decade has passed since Satoshi Nakamoto’s last publicly known message was posted to the Bitcointalk forums. The message gave no hint that he would be going anywhere. Did he die? Did he wish to step away in order to promote decentralization? Or was “Satoshi Nakamoto” a group that subsequently disbanded?

Satoshi Nakamoto leaves behind dormant wallets estimated to contain as many as 1.1 million Bitcoins. That amounts to some $75 billion at Bitcoin’s current price. If Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto, accessing those early coins would have strengthened his case immensely. He never did.

We may never know who the real person or persons behind Bitcoin are, but if Justice Mellor’s judgment is the final word, the saga of “Faketoshi” is done and dusted.