Self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor gave ‘deliberately false’ evidence in High Court

A man who claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin “deliberately” gave false evidence in a High Court libel trial, a judge has ruled.

Craig Wright had sued YouTube blogger Peter McCormack over a series of tweets and a video claiming Mr Wright lied about creating the cryptocurrency.

Judge Chamberlain awarded Mr Wright just £1 in damages after finding he had presented ‘deliberately false evidence’ for his defamation case against Mr McCormack.

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The judge described key elements of the cryptocurrency expert’s case as “purely false at almost all material damages.”

The lawsuit focused on the identity of “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the so-called inventor (or inventors) of Bitcoin. Mr Wright alleged that he used the pseudonym to publish an academic paper in 2008 which laid the foundations of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

The case was brought following a series of tweets from Mr. McCormack questioning Mr. Wright’s credentials as a cryptocurrency expert. These caused the cancellation of 10 invitations to speak at cryptocurrency conferences in 2019, an alleged Mr Wright.

The conferences were to take place in France, Vietnam, the United States, Canada and Portugal.

Yet the blogger featured testimonials from academics disputing Mr. Wright’s claims that he was asked to speak publicly about Bitcoin and published peer-reviewed articles.

There was also no “supporting documentary evidence [Mr Wright’s] case he had invitations to the lectures”.

Of the cryptocurrency expert’s 15 detailed claims, 14 were dismissed as a result, with the judge ruling that “Mr. Wright’s original serious harm case, and supporting evidence, which both were maintained until a few days before the trial, were deliberately false”.

The judge convicted Mr. McCormack on one count: that the words “Craig Wright is a liar, and he is an impostor; and he’s a moron; he is not Satoshi” were defamatory because they convinced a prominent YouTuber, Hotep Jesus, that Mr Wright was an impostor.

Mr McCormack’s lawyers argued that his tweets were written in “glib and light-hearted terms” and responded to posts by Calvin Ayre, a Canadian businessman, “urging others to accuse Dr Wright of be a fraud”.

Mr Wright, who holds a doctorate in computer science, is said to claim ownership of Satoshi Nakamoto’s 1million bitcoin hoard, worth around £18billion.

Mined in the early days of Bitcoin’s existence, none of the coins have ever been used in a transaction.

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