Satoshi ‘Narcomoto’: Before Craig Wright, the Escobar Family Owned Bitcoin’s Trademark

Greg Thomson @gregthomson88
May 26, 2019 06:02 UTC

By CCN: Before Craig Wright, the Bitcoin trademark was registered to none other than the Escobar family. That’s according to official documents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which show Pablo Escobar’s brother, Roberto Escobar, as the former main signatory on Bitcoin’s naming rights.

Bitcoin Formerly Registered to Escobar-Owned Business

The U.S trademark office document 88055293 details the Bitcoin trademark’s former ownership under Coin Legal Ltd – a UK registered company.

Over on the UK company database, Companies House, we see that Coin Legal Ltd was founded in June 2018, and is headed up by director Olof Kyros Gustafsson. This is the same Olof Gustafsson who acts as the CEO of Escobar Inc – as per his Twitter bio:

“Investor, Philanthropist. CEO of Escobar Inc.”

Going back to the U.S trademark office, we see that Coin Legal’s initial application for Bitcoin’s naming rights was signed off by the founder of the company – one not listed on the UK database.

That founder is Roberto de Jesús Escobar Gaviria – otherwise known as El Osito (Little Bear) – the drug kingpin brother of deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The application for Bitcoin’s trademark was filed in July 2018 – just one month after Coin Legal Ltd registered with UK business authorities. By the time Craig Wright came along with his own trademark claims, Roberto Escobar’s company had been in control of the Bitcoin name for just four months.

Bitcoin’s Naming War: From the Escobar Family to Craig Wright

Indeed, when Craig Wright filed his own claim in November 2018, it triggered a silent countdown that gave the former owners six months to contest. The following document was sent to Coin Legal notifying them of the deadline.

The document states:

“To avoid abandonment of applicant’s trademark application, the USPTO must receive applicant’s complete response to this letter within 6 months of the issue/mailing date below.”

No reply ever came back, and six months later the man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto suddenly had free reign to declare the Bitcoin trademark his. Which Wright and his supporters did with glee.

Coin Legal Ltd’s original claim on Bitcoin gave the following description of what exactly had been trademarked:

“Financial services, namely, providing a virtual currency for use by members of an on-line community via a global computer network.”

Wright Wants Bitcoin… and More

The description of Wright’s claim goes much further, in what looks like his attempt to snare ownership of Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general. It states:

“Cryptocurrency, namely, providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an on-line community via a global computer network; Cryptocurrency, namely, a digital currency or digital token, incorporating cryptographic protocols, used to operate and build applications and blockchains on a decentralized computer platform and as a method of payment for goods and services.”

That could apply to just about all of the +2,000 coins and tokens listed on CoinMarketCap. The U.S Copyright Office was compelled to remind everyone that Wright’s successful registration doesn’t amount to proof that Wright was Satoshi, or that his claims were complete. They noted:

“As a general rule, when the Copyright Office receives an application for registration, the claimant certifies as to the truth of the statements made in the submitted materials. The Copyright Office does not investigate the truth of any statement made.”

Recently Craig Wright declared that Bitcoin would eventually disappear owing to its use in criminal enterprises. Wright called this a perversion of his original vision for the cryptocurrency.

Olof Gustafsson and Coin Legal Ltd were contacted for comment. Neither had responded by time of publication.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.