The second week of the highly anticipated trial to determine whether Australian computer scientist Craig Wright invented Bitcoin commenced on Monday in a U.K. high court. During his cross-examination, Wright continued to shift blame onto various individuals and entities for inconsistencies in his arguments.
Wright, who is being sued by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a nonprofit supported by prominent crypto players such as Coinbase, Microstrategy, and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, made fresh allegations against several members of the crypto community. In response, he was accused of presenting different versions of the same story in court.
The trial, which has garnered significant attention, saw Wright being cross-examined by COPA’s counsel for the fifth consecutive day. The proceedings took a heated turn after a lunch break when Jonathan Hough, counsel for Bird & Bird LLP representing COPA, asked Wright to refrain from making “irrelevant allegations” and to simply answer the questions. Wright had just accused COPA members of turning Bitcoin into a “money-go-up-token scam.”
Presiding Judge James Mellor intervened, stating that arguments about the current state of the Bitcoin system would not assist him in making a judgment on the case. The focus of the trial is whether Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous author of Bitcoin’s white paper.
COPA has been attempting to undermine the credibility of the evidence presented by Wright, specifically the “primary reliance documents” that he submitted to the court to prove his invention of Bitcoin. In response to inconsistencies pointed out by Hough, Wright attributed similarities between his dissertation and a paper authored by Hilary Pearson, a former Bird & Bird alum, to an attribution error made by third-party editors. Wright also sought to blame his ex-wife Lynn Wright’s testimony in a previous case, where she claimed he never mentioned Bitcoin, on her battle with breast cancer.
In a surprising turn of events, Wright contradicted his previous testimony in another case, where he claimed to have typed an email to Dave Kleimann’s father stating that he and Kleimann were two of the “three key people behind bitcoin.” On Monday, Wright stated that he had someone under his employment type and send the email to make Kleimann’s father “feel proud of him.” He further clarified that he had typed the sentence but not the email itself. Hough pointed out the changing versions of Wright’s story, to which Wright denied any inconsistencies.
Wright also claimed that he did not think much of Bitcoin at the time of its creation in 2009, despite referring to it as his invention. He stated that he believed it might secure him a partnership or a professorship with tenure, and that was the extent of his expectations.
Wright’s cross-examination is set to continue until at least Wednesday, and the court may also consider new evidence that Wright claims his wife has recently discovered.