Who invented bitcoin?

Australian computer scientist Craig Wright claims that he invented Bitcoin; a court in London to take up this case on Monday
An undated image of Bitcoin. — Pixabay
An undated image of Bitcoin. — Pixabay

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, continues its wild ride. Decentralised digital daredevil? Supporters tout its financial freedom, while critics warn of environmental costs and shadowy uses. Love it or loathe it, Bitcoin's impact on finance — and beyond — is undeniable.

But while the world’s biggest cryptocurrency currency is attracting the masses, a question regarding who invented it has surfaced around.

Australian computer scientist Craig Wright claimed that he invented Bitcoin, adding that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym of Bitcoin’s creator and author of a white paper that introduced the cryptocurrency to the world in 2008.

A court in London will now take up the case on Monday to determine whether Wright’s claims have any substance or not.

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Meanwhile, the non-profit organisation Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) — which was set up to keep cryptocurrency technology free from patents — is suing Wright over his claims first made in 2016 that resulted in the trial at London’s High Court set to last six weeks.

The Australian scientist describes himself on X as the "Creator of Bitcoin".

"I conceived Bitcoin, and I unveiled it to the world," the enigmatic programmer wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) last month.

It should be noted that Wright, who on his website describes himself also as a businessman, has been involved in several lawsuits brought by himself but this time around is being asked to defend himself.

"The very concept of Bitcoin from the beginning was open source," a COPA spokesperson told AFP.

It "raises a reasonable question: is Satoshi Nakamoto the kind of person who would sue people for (re)publishing the white paper? We think not".


COPA brings together heavyweights in the industry, including cryptocurrency platform Coinbase and Block, which specialises in digital payments.

It accuses Wright, nicknamed ‘Faketoshi’ by his detractors, of lying about his identity and of forging and manipulating documents presented to try and prove his claims.

"Craig Wright claims to be the mysterious creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. He isn’t," Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal insisted before the start of the London hearing.

"But, undaunted by this basic truth, Wright has used his substantial financial backing to bring an endless stream of baseless litigations against crypto developers based on this lie, many of whom cannot even afford to present the most basic defence."

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The outcome of the upcoming case could determine that of another pitting Wright against 26 developers — including Coinbase — for allegedly infringing upon his intellectual property rights.

If not Wright then who invented Bitcoin?

Should it be judged that Wright is not the inventor of Bitcoin, ascertaining who is would prove another major challenge.

Dorian Nakamoto was one of the first to be suspected of shaking up the world of currency, following a report by Newsweek magazine that he was behind the digital token.

The Japanese-American engineer denies being Satoshi Nakamoto.

Others argue that work of such magnitude would more likely have been carried out by a collective rather than a single developer.