Bitcoin.org Gets Bitcoin White Paper Back After Craig Wright Claims Debunked

The Bitcoin white paper has been reuploaded to Bitcoin.org following a significant legal setback for Craig Wright, who has long claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. This development restores access to the foundational document of Bitcoin after it was removed due to a 2021 copyright infringement lawsuit won by Wright.

In 2021, Wright, infamously known as Faketoshi, successfully sued Cobra, the anonymous entity operating Bitcoin.org, which led to the removal of the white paper and payment of Wright’s legal fees after Cobra chose not to defend the case. This restriction affected UK users, who could no longer access the white paper on the site. However, the recent legal defeat for Wright, who has been discredited in his claims of being Nakamoto, has allowed Hennadii Stepanov, the current maintainer of Bitcoin.org, to reupload the document. Stepanov announced the return by sharing a link to the PDF on platform X, ensuring the Bitcoin community can once again freely access this crucial piece of digital currency history.

Wright’s Legal Battles and Discredited Claims

Craig Wright’s efforts to assert his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto have been fraught with controversy and legal challenges. In 2019, Wright filed for U.S. copyright registration of the Bitcoin white paper, a move that some media outlets mistakenly interpreted as government recognition of his claims. Wright’s aggressive legal strategy continued into 2023, with lawsuits against 13 Bitcoin Core developers and several companies, including Blockstream and Coinbase, alleging copyright violations related to the Bitcoin white paper and the Bitcoin blockchain.

Despite these efforts, Wright’s credibility has taken significant hits. The Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) launched a case against Wright, accusing him of forgery and deceit to fabricate evidence supporting his claim to be Nakamoto. The UK court’s ruling was damning, with Justice James Mellor stating that Wright “lied to the court extensively and repeatedly” and engaged in a “grand scale” forgery. As a result, Wright’s assets were frozen to ensure he covers court expenses, and his copyright claims over the white paper were invalidated.

Nakamoto: A Collective Identity?

Amidst the chaos of Wright’s claims, speculation about the true nature of Satoshi Nakamoto continues. Some recently gathered evidence suggests that Nakamoto might not be a single individual but a collective entity. The language used in the Bitcoin white paper, alternating between “we” and “I,” hints at multiple contributors. Additionally, linguistic analyses reveal differing writing styles in Nakamoto’s various communications, further supporting the theory of a group effort.

This collective identity theory aligns with the disciplined and low-profile nature of Nakamoto’s communication style, contrasting sharply with Wright’s boastful and litigious approach. Nakamoto’s careful and reasoned demeanor, exemplified by his decision to step away from the project in 2011, underscores a stark difference from Wright’s behavior, leading many in the Bitcoin community to dismiss Wright’s claims outright.

Moving Forward

The reinstatement of the Bitcoin white paper under an MIT open-source license signifies a return to Bitcoin’s foundational principles of openness and decentralization. This license allows anyone to reuse and modify the code, ensuring that the Bitcoin project remains a community-driven effort, free from proprietary claims and legal threats.

Craig Wright’s persistent yet ultimately unsuccessful attempts to claim Bitcoin’s intellectual property have had a mixed impact on the community. While his actions have introduced significant stress and legal expenses for many, they have also galvanized the community’s commitment to maintaining Bitcoin’s decentralized ethos.

The return of the Bitcoin white paper to Bitcoin.org symbolizes a victory for the Bitcoin community against attempts to monopolize its foundational text. Craig Wright’s legal defeats highlight the resilience of the community and the legal system’s role in protecting open-source projects. As the dust settles, the focus can now return to Bitcoin’s development and adoption, free from the shadow of contentious and unfounded claims. The legacy of Satoshi Nakamoto, whether a single individual or a collective, continues to guide the decentralized vision that underpins Bitcoin’s ongoing evolution.

Featured image courtesy of pixabay

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