Craig Wright Registers Bitcoin Whitepaper Copyright as Creator Satoshi Nakamoto

By Craig Wright has filed copyright registrations for the bitcoin whitepaper and the early Bitcoin code with the US Copyright Office. It’s the latest step in Craig Wright’s battle to prove he is bitcoin’s creator and the man behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin’s mysterious creator finally revealed?

Since 2015, Craig Wright, chief scientist of nChain and proponent of Bitcoin SV, has repeatedly claimed he is the creator of the world’s largest cryptocurrency but has been unable to provide hard evidence.

He was recently asked to provide a list of bitcoin addresses by a US court to back up his claims. A request he complied with, but the addresses were redacted on public release.

Copyright registration for bitcoin whitepaper and code

Wright has filed copyright registrations for the bitcoin white paper and most of the 0.1 version of Bitcoin’s early software. Below are the two registrations in full:

U.S. copyright registration no. TXu 2-136-996, effective date April 11, 2019, for the paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, with year of completion 2008. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

U.S. copyright registration no. TX-8-708-058, effective date April 13, 2019, for computer program entitled Bitcoin, with year of completion 2009 and date of first publication January 3, 2009. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright wrote most of version 0.1 of the Bitcoin client software, and the registration covers the portions he authored.

However, as the executive director of CoinCenter, Jerry Brito, points out, anyone can register a copyright claim. It’s not necessarily proof of ownership or recognition by the US Copyright Office itself.

A controversial move?

Despite the registration filing, many in the cryptocurrency community will still have their doubts about the validity.

Numerous bitcoin industry giants have slammed Wright as a “fraud” and labeled him “Faketoshi.” Wright has recently launched a series of lawsuits against his detractors and doubled down on his claims.

Wright filed a libel lawsuit against bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack, seeking damages of $130,000. He also took aim at Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and threatened to reveal the identity of crypto influencer Hodlonaut.

The community kicked back, with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao delisting Wright’s Bitcoin SV from the exchange platform. 

Craig Wright: I am Satoshi

The copyright registration will act as new ammo for Wright to support his claim to the Satoshi name. He maintains that he wanted to create an honest system of cash and that Bitcoin SV is the true vision.

“In order to clear up some areas around my history as the creator of Bitcoin for people, I need to point out a few fallacies. Firstly, there is the fallacy that Satoshi acted in a particular way. The reality is that as Satoshi, I interacted with people who held views that differed from mine. In creating Bitcoin, I sought to create an honest and legally enforceable cash system. To be cash, that is to be money, Bitcoin needs to be neutral. It is not a system that is friendly to crime but a system that is friendly to most people. Such are people who act across the law in a variety of ways.”

Last modified: March 4, 2021 2:33 PM

Ben Brown

Ben is a journalist with a decade of experience covering financial markets. Based in London, UK, his writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and he was Chief Editor at Block Explorer, the world's longest-running source of Blockchain data. Reach him at Twitter at _Ben_Brown. Email ben @