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Craig Wright Azzets Frozen By UK Court

Craig Wright Azzets Frozen By UK Court

UK court freezes £6M of Craig Wright assets amid disputed Bitcoin creator claims and legal costs.

Recently, Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator of Bitcoin, has seen £6 million ($7.6 million) of his assets frozen by a UK court. This decisive action comes as a safeguard to cover court costs amounting to nearly $8.5 million, linked to Wright’s contested claim of being the digital currency’s founder. The freeze aims to prevent Wright from potentially sidestepping these financial obligations following a court ruling that refuted his claim to the Nakamoto identity.

Wright’s asset transfer, notably his shares from his London-based RCJBR Holding to a company in Singapore on March 18, raised alarms about his intentions to evade trial consequences. This move led to the enforcement of a worldwide freezing order, initiated by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), to secure the sum needed for their court expenses.

COPA, established in 2020 with a mission to promote cryptocurrency technology adoption and eliminate patents as innovation barriers, boasts a membership of 33 notable entities. Moreover, among these are industry giants like Coinbase, Block, Meta, MicroStrategy, Kraken, Paradigm, Uniswap, and Worldcoin. Their collective effort underscores the industry’s stance against claims that could hinder cryptocurrency’s growth and innovation.

Legal Battles

Wright’s journey through the legal system follows his consistent assertion of being Satoshi Nakamoto, a claim that has led to several copyright disputes over the Bitcoin network. His most notable actions include demands in January 2021 for the removal of the Bitcoin white paper from two websites, asserting copyright ownership. Furthermore, this was followed by a lawsuit against him by COPA in April 2021, challenging his claims to the Bitcoin copyright and thereby his identity as Nakamoto.

The case saw testimonies from early Bitcoin developers, including Martti Malmi, and concluded with a ruling on March 14 of this year, overwhelmingly indicating Wright is not the Bitcoin creator. Furthermore, Wright’s legal actions extended to suing 13 Bitcoin Core developers and several companies over copyright violations related to the Bitcoin white paper, its file format, and blockchain database rights in 2023.

This pattern of litigation has highlighted a concerning trend of lawsuits that burden Bitcoin contributors with significant legal challenges, deterring further development within the space. However, the Bitcoin white paper remains under an MIT open-source license, ensuring its continued free and open use, safeguarding against further copyright claims by Wright.

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