The first day of a London court hearing hoping to establish (in British law at least) whether or not Craig Wright invented Bitcoin saw the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) accuse Wright of “forgery on an industrial scale.”
On day 2 of the case, Wright took the stand to deny the allegations against him. Answering questions from COPA’s lawyer Jonathan Hough, Wright said he had never forged documents to prove his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto.
Directing his questions at Wright on Tuesday, February 6, Hough asked the Australian computer scientist: “Have you ever forged or falsified a document in support of your claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto?” Wright replied that he hadn’t, nor had he ever knowingly presented forgeries supporting his claim.
Among the evidence presented during questioning, Hough presented the infamous “origin myth” document: a research paper with Wright’s handwritten notes that he has claimed prompted his decision to use the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
The essay in question originates from the Japanese Studies Journal Monumenta Niponica and discusses the obscure Japanese philosopher Tominaga Nakamoto.
Among his fans, Tominaga is an undiscovered gem of Japanese Rationalism, who might have become the Eastern Voltaire had his ideas not been repressed by the dominant Confucianism of the time. But besides sharing a name, his relationship to the inventor of Bitcoin isn’t immediately clear.
Craig Wright first presented the Tominaga Nakamoto paper as evidence in a previous lawsuit, which also focused on the claim that he invented Bitcoin.
As with so much of the evidence Wright has presented to make his case over the years, he relied on the document’s timestamp, which shows that he downloaded the paper from JSTOR six months before the Bitcoin whitepaper dropped.
In a 2019 interview , Wright displayed the paper, with hand-written notes, declaring “I’ve just been digging up old documents. Trying to figure out what the horrible, horrible start of Bitcoin was.”
From a few scrawled notes, which read “Nakamoto is the Japanese Adam Smith” and then “Satoshi is Intelligent History,” Wright argued that “I have the origin of where I chose the name Satoshi.”
In a bid to poke holes in Wright’s story, COPA has claimed that the Tominaga Nakamoto paper contains a forged timestamp with numbers in visibly different fonts to make it look as if it pre-dates the Bitcoin white paper.
Questioning Wright during Tuesday’s hearing, Hough declared “this is a document forged by you as part of the origin myth.”
Wright denied the accusation, confidently asserting “if I forged that document, it would be perfect.”
Of course, even if the timestamp can be proven to be original, all that would demonstrate is that Wright first accessed the paper in May 2008. The Satoshi notes, however, could still have been added at a later date.