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Revelations in the COPA Trial: Craig Wright's Edits to the Bitcoin White Paper

COPA trial unveils new details concerning the Bitcoin whitepaper

The Crypto Open Patent Alliance's (COPA) legal battle against Craig Wright has captured the attention of the cryptocurrency world: Is Craig Wright the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin? As the trial unfolded into its third week, a surprising admission from Wright himself has thrown a spotlight on the authenticity of the Bitcoin white paper he presented. 

Wright conceded to altering the document, a revelation that emerged during his testimony, heightening the stakes of the trial. This case, spearheaded by COPA and backed by the expertise of Bitcoin developers' lawyer, Alexander Gunning, seeks to dismantle Wright's claim through meticulous examination of evidence and witness testimonies. The alliance aims to expose what they argue are "industrial style forgeries" by Wright, challenging the veracity of his claim to the digital currency's origins.

Craig Wright's admission

During an intense cross-examination, Craig Wright was confronted with his own modifications to the Bitcoin white paper. Alexander Gunning, representing the Bitcoin developers, meticulously pointed out changes Wright made to his "LaTeX files," a detail Wright acknowledged as true. 

Gunning asserted:

"You were not showing this to anyone, we know the times you were showing this to Shoosmiths, you were doing it for yourself," 

Wright's adjustments were not mere clerical updates but were framed as efforts to align the document's parameters with the original Bitcoin white paper's layout. This scrutiny revealed that the file had been altered as recently as November 2023, casting further doubt on Wright's claims. 

Gunning's questioning culminated in a direct challenge to Wright's identity as Satoshi Nakamoto, asking: 

"Your claim to be Satoshi Nakomoto is a fraudulent claim isn't it?" 

Wright disputed this, but the question left a lingering impact on the proceedings.

Testimonies and evidence

The trial's third week was not solely focused on Wright's admission but also featured compelling testimonies from key figures in the cryptocurrency world. Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn, founder of Zcash and a renowned computer scientist, took the stand, downplaying his relationship with the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator by stating: 

"I wouldn't call myself 'pals' with Nakamoto." 

This sentiment was echoed in the varied confidence levels of other witnesses regarding their interactions with Nakamoto. Marti Malmi, another computer scientist, challenged Wright's account of their interactions, specifically disputing the timeline Wright proposed. Malmi clarified: 

"Wright said in his witness statement that I approached Nakamoto in Feb. 2009 but this was 'incorrect,' and that the date was actually May 1, 2009," 

Additionally, Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, provided testimony about his correspondence with someone claiming to be Nakamoto. Back presented an email dated Aug. 20, 2008, highlighting Nakamoto's intention to cite his work on proof-of-work systems. Wright's portrayal of Back's interactions with Nakamoto as "dismissive" was firmly rebutted by Back, underscoring the inaccuracies in Wright's claims.