Craig Wright – the self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto – only received £1 as the result of the defamatory case against crypto podcaster Peter McCormack, a well-known Bitcoin proponent who had called the computer scientist a liar on multiple occasions.
U.K. High Court Judge Martin Chamberlain ruled in favor of Wright, stating that the crypto influencer’s words had caused “serious damage” to the claimant’s reputation. However, the judge also pointed out that Wright had used deliberately false evidence to support his claim.
McCormack “Very Pleased” With The Ruling
Craig Wright sued in libel over 14 tweets published and words spoken by the high-profile influencer Peter McCormack, asking for $12,200 as compensation for damages to his reputation. The Australian computer scientist attributed his financial losses to which he did not get invited to conferences and events due to his name being tarnished.
The case centers on McCormack rejecting Wright’s claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto between March and October 2019, in which the podcaster and YouTuber referred to Wright as a liar, a moron, and a fraud on social media platforms, according to the press summary published on Monday.
It’s worth noting that Binance CEO CZ Zhao stood on the side of McCormack in 2019, supporting the notion that Wright isn’t Satoshi and calling him “a fraud” as well. In addition, the Binance boss viewed Wright as a “poison” of Bitcoin SV (BSV), a hard folk from the Wright-spearheaded Bitcoin Cash (BSH).
Despite ruling McCormack’s publications as “defamatory,” thus causing “serious harm to the reputation of Dr. Wright,” the judge noted that Wright had “advanced a deliberately false case and put forward deliberately
false evidence until days before trial.” For that, the claimant will only recover symbolic nominal damages as little as £1.
As some of you will now have seen, the judgement in my trial v Dr. Craig Wright has now been handed down.
I want to thank my lawyers for their diligent work on the case.
I also want to thank Mr Justice Chamberlain for this result. We are very pleased with his findings.
— Pedro ☠️ (@PeterMcCormack) August 1, 2022
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex and Tether, joked that the amount of money Wright receives is not even enough to buy a Starbucks coffee.
Wright is no stranger to launching legal action against industry proponents who called him “a fraud” for claiming he is the real Satoshi. In 2020, his lawyers sent a letter to the Ethereum cofounder Vitalk Butterin, asking him to retract his comments casting doubts on his identity as the Bitcoin inventor in a conference in Seoul by 2018. After Buterin ignored the letter, Wright dropped the libel lawsuit without pushing it further.
Speaking on the Lex Fridman Podcast, Buterin said Wright’s claim was simply a “marketing strategy,” adding that the Bitcoin SV supporter had a demonstrated history of saying technically wrong things, which further disapproved of his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto. He even compared Wright to Donald Trump, stating the man was good at provoking people’s resentment in the wake of the block size war.