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Craig Wright Court Case: Self-proclaimed Bitcoin Founder Forgets Who He Sent BTC to as Satoshi Nakamoto

Last Updated February 14, 2024 11:53 AM
James Morales
Last Updated February 14, 2024 11:53 AM

Key Takeaways

  • In the second week of Craig Wright vs. the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), Wright faced questions about early Bitcoin transactions.
  • When asked, Wright struggled to name the recipients of BTC from Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallet.
  • Meanwhile, his claim that he sent BTC to the ZCash inventor Zooko Wilcox was contested.

In the first week of Craig Wright’s latest court case, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto argued that evidence presented by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) was misconstrued as forgery, and could be explained in other ways.

During the second week of the hearing, the focus has moved on to some of the earliest Bitcoin transactions initiated by the cryptocurrency’s inventor. When questioned, however, Wright failed to recollect the details of early Satoshi payments he claims to have sent.

Craig Wright Fails to Identify Recipients of Satoshi BTC

In recent days, questions posed by COPA lawyer Jonathon Hough have followed a simple line of reasoning. Namely, if Craig Wright really is Satoshi Nakamoto, he would be able to remember who received BTC from Satoshi’s wallet.

“You said you transferred to hundreds of people,” Hough prompted at one point on Tuesday, February 7. “I don’t remember all of them now,” Wright responded.

At this, Judge James Mellor interrupted to express mild disbelief. Attempting to explain his forgetfulness, Wright responded “it had no value at the time, my Lord. Most were pseudonymous.” 

As well as exposing Wright’s lack of knowledge about activity originating from Bitcoin wallets that are known to have belonged to Satoshi Nakamoto, Hough also cast doubt on alleged transactions the computer scientist does claim to remember.

Did ZCash Inventor Receive Bitcoin From Satoshi?

During Tuesday’s cross-examination, Hough raised the issue of transactions Wright claims he sent to the ZCash inventor Zooko Wilcox. But “In reality, Satoshi never transferred to Zooko,” the COPA lawyer alleged.

Wright then reasserted his claim, to which Hough responded: “So he’s wrong when he says he never received from Satoshi?”

For his part, Wilkox will testify in court this week as one of COPA’s witnesses. But his antagonistic relationship with Wright goes back years.

Zooko Wilcox Thinks Craig Wright Is a Fraud

In the past, Wilkox has made no secret of the fact that he thinks Craig Wright is “scammer scum” who has created “bogus evidence” to support his claim.

In 2017, for example, he wrote  that “Craig Wright doesn’t understand [cryptographic] domains well enough to design anything like Bitcoin.”

Meanwhile, Wright has called Zooko a “communist,” and the 2 men have often clashed over ideological matters, with Wilcox’s brand of cypherpunk libertarianism at odds with Wright’s more corporate, legalistic approach.

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