Breaking Bitcoin — The $5 Billion Court Action That Could Change Crypto Forever

Gem Jackson
Dismantle — Locate
4 min readMay 13, 2021

Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto is about to go before the British High Court in a landmark case that could seriously affect Bitcoin’s future

Craig Wright’s claim to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is not new, but in taking the matter to court, he is putting at stake not only his reputation, but potentially the security of Bitcoin itself.

Today (May 12th) Craig Wright has launched a legal action against 16 software developers to secure access to $5.7 billion worth of Bitcoin. The case rests on one extremely controversial claim — that Wright is famed Bitcoin developer Satoshi Nakamoto.

If Wright succeeds in his action, the legal consequences could potentially open a ‘backdoor’ to the notoriously secure crypto-currency.

A quick recap of events

The mystery of who created Bitcoin has swirled around the web for years. In short, the state of play is this; the seminal crypto-currency was created in 2009 by a person, or persons, using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The earliest clearly identifiable person to be involved in Bitcoin was Hal Finney who worked with Nakamoto to mine the first ten coins from block 70. Finney has always denied being Nakamoto.

Fast-forward to 2016 and Australian computer Scientist Craig Wright claimed to be the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto. He ‘revealed’ his identity to three news agencies, the BBC, the Economist and GQ, using cryptographic keys tied to block 70, thus arguing he was the person working with Hal Finney to mine the first coins.

“I was the main part of it, but other people helped me.”
Craig Wright, speaking to the BBC in 2016

Since then, Craig’s claims have been closely scrutinized and hotly disputed. There is no shortage of online conjecture regarding the veracity of Wright’s arguments.

What is clear is that Wright is prepared to double-down on his position. It’s the very first thing presented when visiting his website:

“Creator of Bitcoin — Satoshi Nakamoto.
Eternal student and researcher. nChain Chief Scientist. Lawyer, banker, economist, pastor, coder, investor, mathematician, stats, and…

Gem Jackson
Dismantle — Locate

Writer and educator in law and philosophy. Also wrote a book.