21 May US Copyright Office says Craig Wright claims he is Satoshi Nakamoto
With the April 11, 2019, US copyright registration no. TXu 2-136-996, the US Copyright Office said that Australian Dr. Craig Wright claims he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
The registration covers the paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” created in 2008 and published in 2009 anonymously by Satoshi Nakamoto, whose identity has never been before, confirmed.
The copyright registration claims the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright says he wrote most of version 0.1 of the Bitcoin client software, and the registration covers the portions he authored.
In recent years, Wright has claimed to be Nakamoto, without offering conclusive proof, but also issuing lawsuits against industry critics and others who questioned his credentials.
Following a tsunami of social media questions, the US copyright office issued a news release to clarify:
“As a general rule, when the Copyright Office receives an application for registration, the claimant certifies as to the truth of the statements made in the submitted materials. The Copyright Office does not investigate the truth of any statement made,” the Copyright Office stated . “In a case in which a work is registered under a pseudonym, the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”
The USCO added, ” Disputes over the claims in a registration may be heard before federal courts, including disputes over authorship of a work. Someone who intentionally includes false information in an application may be subject to criminal penalties. “
Proof, promotion or more controversy?
Wright is the controversial founder of nChain, a London-based firm that has developed Bitcoin SV, a fork from Bitcoin Cash. SV stands for Satoshi’s Vision, and the project claims it is the rightful owner of the original bitcoin vision of cryptocurrency.
Coingeek, a cryptocurrency news site owned by gambling billionaire Calvin Ayre, who supports BSV and Wright’s claims, posted a news release about the copyright registration. Ayre says Wright intends to assign copyright to the Bitcoin Association in the near future.
“We are thrilled to see Craig Wright recognized as author of the landmark Bitcoin white paper and early code. Better than anyone else, Craig understands that Bitcoin was created be a massively scaled blockchain to power the world’s electronic cash for billions of people to use and be the global data ledger for the biggest enterprise applications. We look forward to working with Craig and others to ensure his original vision is recognized as Bitcoin and is realized through BSV,” a statement says on Coingeek.
US copyright registered for Satoshi Nakamoto paper
The US Copyright office registration reads:
- US copyright registration no. TXu 2-136-996, effective date April 11, 2019, for the paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, with the year of completion 2008. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonymSatoshi Nakamoto.
- US copyright registration no. TX-8-708-058, effective date April 13, 2019, for computer program entitled Bitcoin, with the year of completion 2009 and date of first publication January 3, 2009. The registration recognizes the author as Craig Steven Wright, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright wrote most of version 0.1 of the Bitcoin client software, and the registration covers the portions he authored.
In recent years, Wright has had financial and legal disputes from Australia to the US, UK and around the globe as he emerged to claim to be the originator of bitcoin.
In the instant online news universe, that claim has led to counterclaims, lawsuits and no shortage of online disputes, conflicting claims, and vicious trolling that makes President Trump pale by comparison.
While Wright’s supporters may feel vindicated, some critics remain unconvinced, saying that this is an attempt to take control of bitcoin and promote Bitcoin SV and nChain to the advantage of its investors.
Early industry response
Let’s just say early industry response is “mixed.”
The CoinGeek Toronto Conference, owned by Calvin Ayre Media, takes place on May 29-30 in Toronto, and it is now relentlessly hyping Craig Wright’s presentation “Unlocking Mysteries of Bitcoin Script.”
On Twitter, executive director of CoinCenter, Jerry Brito, says ” Registering a copyright is just filing a form. The Copyright Office does not investigate the validity of the claim; they just register it. Unfortunately, there is no official way to challenge a registration. If there are competing claims, the Office will just register all of them.”
The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance had threatened to delist Bitcoin SV (BSV) in April over the boiling controversy and concerns for investors. Binance, Shapeshift, Blockchain.com, Bittylicious, and Kraken exchanges subsequently delisted BSV. Other exchanges are examining the cryptocurrency and regulators may soon look into what’s really going on behind the scene.
On the news today, Bitcoin SV shot up to more than $140 before pulling back to $102 compared to recent weeks trading at around $52.
Writing on Coindesk, John Biggs says Wright is playing three-dimensional checkers. “To be fair, there’s a certain game-theoretical logic to Wright’s move. Suppose (humor me here) Wright is Satoshi, as he has claimed for years. Then his copyright should hold up against any court challenge, settling once and for all the question of who Satoshi is… right? If Wright isn’t Satoshi and the real Satoshi wants to claim copyright, she still would have to go to court and exhibit prior proof of authorship, which Twitter pumpers will say is also good for bitcoin somehow.”
Just as bitcoin was beginning to attract renewed interest and retrieve long-lost value, boom! More controversy and uncertainty.
One thing’s for certain. This gunfight or knife fight is just getting started. To coin a rodeo phrase, is Wright “all hat and no cattle?” Stay tuned as the cryptocurrency world digests this latest development.
Post updated May 23 to reflect the addition of information from the US Copyright Office news release.