For eight years, Craig Wright has claimed to be the elusive Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. On Monday, in the swelling heat of a UK courtroom, a trial began that will finally settle the question.
Wright, flanked by his legal team, appeared relaxed during opening arguments, leaning back in his chair with one leg crossed over the other. That calm belied both the stakes of the trial, which has major ramifications for the future of Bitcoin and the forceful rhetoric of the plaintiff’s lawyer Jonathan Hough, who called Wright’s claim to Satoshi-hood a “brazen lie.”
The lawsuit Wright faces was brought by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of crypto and tech companies. COPA claims that Wright’s recent history of filing intellectual property lawsuits—predicated on his claim of being Bicoin’s inventor—has had a “chilling effect” on Bitcoin, driving developers away. To prevent him from impeding the development of Bitcoin any further, it is asking the court for a declaration to the effect that Wright is not Nakamoto.
Nearly three years after filing the…