Craig Wright Demands Bitcoin Websites Remove Whitepaper, Cites Copyright Infringement

The Australian businessman, who has long professed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, has allegedly contacted two Bitcoin websites to claim ownership of the blockchain’s whitepaper.

Shutterstock cover by Viktar Dzindzikav

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org have received letters from Craig Steven Wright’s lawyers, according to a note posted by Bitcoin.org today.
  • The site says that Wright is making a copyright claim over the Bitcoin whitepaper and the Bitcoin name. He also claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • Bitcoincore.org removed the whitepaper from their site yesterday, but Bitcoin.org hasn’t relented.

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Craig Wright is fighting to lay claim to the creation of Bitcoin yet again. This time, his lawyers have contacted Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org, alleging copyright infringement of the Bitcoin whitepaper. 

Craig Wright Claims Bitcoin Whitepaper, Again

Craig Steven Wright isn’t ready to give up the fight for Bitcoin ownership. 

Lawyers for the Australian businessman have contacted Bitcoin.org and Bitcoincore.org alleging copyright infringement of the Bitcoin whitepaper, according to a note published by Bitcoin.org today. 

The note says that Wright is claiming ownership of the Bitcoin whitepaper, the Bitcoin name, and Bitcoin.org. He also professes to be Satoshi Nakamoto. 

For years, Wright has claimed to be the identity behind the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. Rumors of his links to Nakamoto first surfaced in December 2015, when Wired ran a piece noting that Wright could be the mystery figure.

Other reports supported the theory. Wright then wrote a blog post stating that he was Nakamoto in 2016. He’s maintained that he is Satoshi Nakamoto and received support from early Bitcoiners like Gavin Andresen. In 2019, he filed claims for the whitepaper and Bitcoin code with the U.S. copyright office.

He’s also claimed ownership of several early Bitcoin addresses, including one linked to funds stolen from Mt. Gox in 2011. 

Nonetheless, many crypto enthusiasts remain skeptical.

As Bitcoin.org noted today, “Satoshi Nakamoto has a known PGP public key, therefore it is cryptographically possible for someone to verify themselves to be Satoshi Nakamoto.” Many of those who doubt the veracity of Wright’s claims say that he would be able to produce Nakamoto’s private key if he was Bitcoin’s creator. 

Contrasting Responses to Wright’s Letter 

Bitcoin.org took shots at Bitcoin Core developers for their reaction to the lawyer’s letter.

The bitcoincore.org website no longer lists the whitepaper. “Without consulting us, [they] scrambled to remove the whitepaper,” the note reads. It also suggests that such a reaction fuels Wright’s claims to be the true Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin.org went on to say: 

“By surrendering in this way, the Bitcoin Core project has lent ammunition to Bitcoin’s enemies, engaged in self-censorship, and compromised its integrity.” 

Feuds among Bitcoin’s key insiders have marred the project over the years. It’s what led to Bitcoin Cash’s creation, a fork of the original blockchain proposed by Roger Ver. Bitcoin Cash was later forked to create Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, a lesser-known derivative of Wright’s original crypto helmed. 

Bitcoin.org concluded the note, stating their intentions to leave the Bitcoin whitepaper listed, further questioning Wright’s claims.

“We will continue hosting the Bitcoin whitepaper and won’t be silenced or intimidated,” they said. “Others hosting the whitepaper should follow our lead in resisting these false allegations.” 

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