An Australian man is testifying in court that he is the mysterious creator of Bitcoin.
Computer scientist Craig Wright told the High Court in London on Tuesday that he is the man behind “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the pen name used in the original white paper launching the original cryptocurrency.
Wright is being challenged by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), an organization of crypto companies seeking to oppose Wright as he attempts to gain control of the intellectual property rights behind the digital currency.
“Wright’s claim to be Satoshi is a lie, founded on an elaborate false narrative backed by forgery of documents on an industrial scale,” claimed COPA attorney Jonathan Hough.
He continued, “As his false documents and inconsistencies have been exposed, he has resorted to further forgery and ever more implausible excuses.”
Wright has filed three separate lawsuits seeking to block crypto developers from capitalizing on Bitcoin after claiming he was the creator in 2016.
The original Bitcoin white paper attributed to the mysterious “Satoshi Nakamoto” was published in 2008 and introduced the idea of cryptocurrencies as an untraceable, decentralized alternative to traditional money. Satoshi Nakamoto remained active and collaborated with others in developing the Bitcoin technology through 2010 before largely disappearing from the community.
“This allowed me to focus on my work and ensured that the spotlight remained on the innovation and potential of bitcoin rather than the individual behind it,” Wright claimed.
Wright’s critics point to a lack of hard evidence confirming his role as Satoshi, inconsistencies in the documents he has submitted as proof, as well as his refusal to publicly move a token amount of Bitcoin to prove his claims.
The Bitcoin wallet belonging to Satoshi Nakamoto still contains billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin — and since Bitcoin transactions are public, transferring a coin to a predetermined location could easily prove control over the fortune. Wright has thus far refused to make such a gesture.
“Wright has threatened to bankrupt developers, sent notices of his intent to sue, and has, in fact, engaged in scorched earth litigation against these volunteers, all premised on the baseless assertion that he is the founder of bitcoin,” COPA said in a Monday statement.
The trial is expected to continue for a month with a judge to make a final ruling at a later date.