Editor's Note: Who is Satoshi? I'll Pay You $1 to Tell Me
Molly Jane Zuckerman writes...
Craig Wright, arguably the most famous claimant to the persona of Satoshi Nakamoto, has been awarded damages of £1 in his latest defamation court case over his true identity.
If you're not familiar with Craig Wright, he's the computer scientist who spends the majority of his time publicly claiming that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, while suing everyone who publicly claims that he is not.
In this most recent court case (because there are at least five others), Wright won a whole $1.23 in damages after a judge found that podcaster Peter McCormack's tweets that Wright was not Satoshi were, in fact, damaging enough to require compensation. But why was the compensation for such damaging reputational tweets less than even the cost of a McDonald's Big Mac?
Because, as the judge wrote, Wright had submitted false evidence before trial, leaving the judge no choice but to give "more than a mere reduction" in the amount of damages.
Crypto Twitter has been tickled by this £1 Satoshi case. Journalist Zack Voell tweeted, "that sum seems far too high" and The Block founder Mike Dudas tweeted, "judgment worth more than bsv," while Ayre Group founder Calvin Ayre instead tweeted "everyone smart who is not conflicted that has worked with Satoshi knows Craig is Satoshi."
This just shows how these continuous defamation cases (regardless of which side the judge lands on) will continue give fodder to both camps of the "who is Satoshi" battle — if it is defamatory to say that Wright is a liar and is not Satoshi, does that mean that legally, Wright is Satoshi, or does it mean that it is simply defamatory to call someone a liar? Is it possible to prove a positive with a negative?
Perhaps it will take proof of Satoshi's real identity that can stand up beyond court, to the real court of law — Crypto Twitter — to truly close the case. Until then, Wright's next defamation case against Hodlonaut is in about 50 days…
Dr Craig Wright — the man who claims he invented Bitcoin — has been awarded just £1 in damages by the High Court in the U.K. after a libel trial. He had launched legal action against What Bitcoin Did podcaster Peter McCormack, who has repeatedly said Wright wasn't Satoshi Nakamoto. A judge has now ruled some of the evidence submitted by Wright was "straightforwardly false in almost every material aspect" — and said he was "not a witness of truth." Justice Chamberlain added that it would be "unconscionable" for Wright to receive anything more than nominal damages.
Wright's legal team responded by saying they welcome the judgment "insofar as it finds that McCormack has defamed Dr Wright and caused serious harm to his reputation in all of his tweets and YouTube interview in issue." He plans to appeal the "adverse findings of the judgment in which my evidence was clearly misunderstood." McCormack also responded by saying that the process is not complete — and while he wasn't prepared to make a further comment, he said: "I want to thank my lawyers for their diligent work on the case. I also want to thank Mr Justice Chamberlain for this result. We are very pleased with his findings."
A music album that's being released as a non-fungible token could end up racing to the top of the British charts. Muse have announced that they're releasing their ninth record — Will Of The People — as an NFT later this month. The band could make history in doing so, as their past six albums have raced to No. 1. The Official Charts Company says it's "always strived to move with the times" — and take into account the new ways music is being consumed. Chief executive Martin Talbot said: "NFTs are a new, exciting format, the potential for which is only just beginning to be explored and I am sure will play a part in the Official Charts for years to come."
A woman who tried to hire an assassin using Bitcoin has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Jessica Sledge previously admitted that she had attempted to use WhatsApp on her cell phone to arrange a murder for hire in September 2021. But unbeknown to her, the 40-year-old had actually hired an FBI special agent to commit the killing. She paid Bitcoin worth $10,000 across three transactions in October of that year — and the undercover agent later called her, impersonating the hitman. Sledge confirmed she was paying for the murder of the victim in conversations that were covertly recorded. She was arrested after traveling to meet the supposed assassin and giving information about the target. The intended victim was not harmed.
Years after the initial coin offering craze, jail sentences are starting to be handed down to criminals who conned investors out of millions. Two men from California are waking up in federal prison after being sentenced for duping victims out of $1.9 million — and "lining their own pockets" with the proceeds. Jeremy McAlpine will spend three years behind bars, while Zachary Matar was handed a 30-month term in a separate hearing. Both men had founded Dropil, which promised to provide and manage crypto investments for users — including a new digital asset called DROP. More than 2,000 investors were taken in by false claims that they would receive profits every 15 days, with annual returns of between 24% and 63%.