Why Bitcoin whitepaper drama likely heading to court

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The fight over the legal ownership of the Bitcoin whitepaper could carry it all the way to the courts when one website owner refuses to relinquish Craig Wright’s legal threats.

The unfolding drama involving the possession of the Bitcoin (BTC) whitepaper could very well make its way to the courts, after both sides of the conflict had told Cointelegraph that they were able to “go all the way.”

On January 21, the founders of two Bitcoin websites were charged with legal action by attorneys defending Craig Wright, the man who claims to be the founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright claims to be the original copyright holder of the Bitcoin Whitepaper and requested that all sites delete copies of their locally-hosted documents at the risk of court action.

One website, Bitcoincore.org, has since removed the whitepaper, reasoning that becoming entangled in a costly legal battle with the litigation-happy Wright would achieve little, and isn’t a hill worth dying on.

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However, the publisher of Bitcoin.org, who was also threatened by Wright, has so far declined to delete the whitepaper and has said that he has no intention of doing so.

Speaking exclusively to Cointelegraph, the pseudonymous hacker known as Cobra said that he would be able to protect himself in court should legal action be taken against him.

“No legal proceedings have actually started, but we’re prepared to go all the way and defend ourselves if it comes down to it.”

Ed Pownall of CoinGeek, who speaks on behalf of Craig Wright in the past, told Cointelegraph that Cobra and those who failed to cooperate had four choices ahead of them:

  1. Do not respond and do nothing: this will result in Craig issuing court proceedings against them for copyright infringement”
  2. Respond to our letters and tell us where to go: as above”
  3. “Respond to our letters telling us they are taking down the WP / the publications of the WP from their websites, and they actually do so: no action to take against them”
  4. “Do not respond to our letters but still take down the WP / the publications of the WP from their websites: as per 3”
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When faced with this 4-point ultimatum from Wright’s squad, Cobra’s response was direct, seeming to suggest a preference for option number 1. He said that:

“Seems like what I thought, and we’ll just not respond, f*** them.”

Pownall argued that in the event that Cobra fails to respond to civil action, Wright’s lawyers will be able to appeal to the courts for a default verdict if the defendant who fails to respond or to offer a defense is judged without trial.

In 2019, Wright attempted to sue Ethereum (ETH) creator Vitalik Buterin for defamation after Buterin ridiculed Wright’s claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto, calling him a fraud. In this instance, Buterin simply didn’t respond to the letter and the deadline eventually ran out.

Wright has recently conducted litigation against various cryptocurrency personalities, including Blockchain podcaster, Peter McCormack, Bitcoin creator, Adam Back, and founder of Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver—all with differing degrees of performance.

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