This document aims to provide an exhaustive reference of publicly available documents for all legal disputes involving Craig Wright, with original and archival links to all publicly available sources. Key quotations from these sources are provided to make this page a searchable index of statements by legal professionals on Craig Wright's credibility or the strengths of his claims relevant in each case.
A note on sources: all locally hosted documents from UK courts were obtained by application to the court by a member of the public who is not a party to any of the cases. They are presented as received from the court, except in cases where they contained personal information, which has been redacted. This includes any document containing personal information about Craig Wright. Some publicly available documents containing personal information about Craig Wright that could not be redacted have not been, and will not be, uploaded.
- original: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2003/1011.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/foG52
Judge J McDougall
23 I am satisfied, particularly having regard to the evidence relating to an alleged e-mail approach by Mr Wright to Mr Dave Spencer of the RIC, and to Mr Wright’s dealings with Mr Tristan Geering of the ASX, that there is a serious question to be tried in relation to the alleged breaches by Mr Wright of cl 13 of the shareholders’ agreement. There is evidence that would show, if accepted, that the approaches made by Mr Wright to, or the dealings between Mr Wright and, the ASX and the RIC were conducted not for the benefit of the company, but for the benefit of Mr and Mrs Wright, either directly or through Ridge’s Estate.
25 I am satisfied that there is a real threat that, unless restrained, Mr Wright will continue to approach, or deal with, customers of the company.
27 Further, having regard to the clandestine nature of the dealings between Mr Wright and the company’s customers, I am satisfied that it would not be appropriate to permit Mr Wright to deal with customers of the company on the basis that he do so as the company’s agent and for the benefit of the company. I think that there is a real risk that Mr Wright, if permitted to deal on a limited basis with customers of the company, might seek to undermine the company and its business. In this context, Mr Anthony Wilkes, a system administrator employed by the company and, perhaps, a member (see para  above), says in an affidavit that on 15 October 2003 he met and had lunch with Mr Geering of ASX. He says that in the course of that lunch Mr Geering confirmed that Mr Wright “is still working in the ASX”. Further, he says, Mr Geering said that Mr Wright “said openly that he would spend over a million dollars to see DeMorgan go under”.
- original: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2004/749.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/s2AEl
Judge J. Gzell
56 It was submitted that a reasonable doubt existed in the absence of direct proof that Mr Wright sent the emails or conducted the telephone conversations charged to his mobile. It was submitted that anyone with access to the internet could have sent the emails using Mr Wright’s email address. It was submitted that anyone with access to his mobile could have made the telephone calls.
58 When the evidence is viewed as a whole the inescapable inference is that Mr Wright sent the emails and Mr Wright made the telephone calls. He was the party with the interest in performing services for ASX, RIC, News, Val Morgan and HREOC. He was the person who signed himself in at ASX on behalf of Ridges. He was the person identified by ASX and News as providing services to them.
62 In my view, the charges against Mrs Wright should be dismissed and a declaration that Mr Wright is guilty of contempt of court in terms of paragraph 1 of the notice of motion should be made.
- original: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2004/1019.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/I7IGJ
Judge J Gzell
8 In his affidavit and in cross examination Mr Wright swore that he prepared a document for ASX in the name of Ridges because his solicitor advised him not to use the name DeMorgan. No evidence was tendered from the solicitor. I find that explanation implausible and I reject the testimony.
9 Both in his affidavit and in cross examination, Mr Wright spoke of contact with employees of customers of DeMorgan. He said he did not understand the undertakings as restraining him from communicating with employees who were not officers of customers of DeMorgan. There was no basis for Mr Wright to limit his undertakings in that fashion.
13 On the other hand, there was no suggestion of contrition on the part of Mr Wright. Having stated that he disagreed with my findings and had instructed his solicitors to lodge an appeal and he understood a holding appeal had been lodged, he stated:
“In spite of that appeal, if the Court ultimately maintains that I have breached my undertakings and/or the orders of the Court then I apologise to the Court. It was never my intention to breach the undertakings that I gave or the orders of the Court.”
14 In the course of his solicitor’s final submissions, I asked whether Mr Wright freely and willingly apologised to the court. His solicitor took instructions from his client and said he did. I do not accept that belated indication of an apology as a purging of Mr Wright’s contempt. The whole tenor of his affidavit and his manner in the witness box under cross examination was one of belligerent adherence to his views.
23 In my view Mr Wright’s deliberate flouting of his undertaking makes this a serious offence. His lack of contrition exacerbates its seriousness. There is a need to bring home to a contemnor the seriousness of his contempt. For the purposes of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, s 5(2) these are my reasons for my determining that a sentence of imprisonment is required in this case. I propose to sentence Craig Wright to a term of imprisonment of 28 days. Under s 46 I am not required to set a non-parole period.
- original: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWCA/2005/368.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/ihtZX
Judge J.A. Handley
63 The probative force of the new evidence depends in large measure on the appellant’s credibility and reliability. His explanations and interpretations of these and related documents are contradicted at critical points, on which there is no independent evidence to support him. The appellant’s contradictory evidence about the email of 11.16 am on 10 September 2003 raises doubts about his credibility, as does his evidence based on the calls from his mobile phone that day.
Judge J.A. Hodgson
77 I agree with Handley JA that the proposed fresh evidence lacked the necessary credibility and materiality, particularly in circumstances where it depended in essential respects on the appellant’s own credibility, which was strongly under challenge.
- original: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/HCATrans/2006/307.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/u7fjQ
- original: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2008/1061.html
- archive: https://archive.is/IxXwv
- original: http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/nsw/NSWDC/2010/28.html
- archive: https://archive.is/x0C42
District Court Judge Levy SC
22.(e) Mr Craig Wright was called by the defendant, mid-way through the trial, to support an application made by the defendant to have the plaintiff’s computer produced for forensic examination. In a separate judgment I refused that application. Mr Wright’s evidence had no bearing on any other issues in the case and I have not summarised his evidence in these reasons.
- original: http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/qld/QCAT/2011/538.html
- archive: https://archive.is/eBQOB
Mr Brock Miller and Ms Sandra Deane (members of the Tribunal):
 Expert evidence was then submitted by Craig Wright and Bradley Schatz. Each of those persons went to great lengths to identify that they were experts in the field of IT security. The Tribunal listened to the extensive evidence of both of those witnesses, but was singularly unimpressed with the evidence of Bradley Schatz whose intent seemed simply to impugn the reputation and methodology of the witness Wright. It became quite obvious that at one point in time, Wright had been subject to certain legal process as a result of his failure to honour an undertaking given to a New South Wales Court. The Tribunal is satisfied that the explanation proffered by Mr Wright in response adequately answered any suggestion that he was an unreliable witness. In fact, we found his evidence to be far more reliable than that of the witness Schatz who did not impress the Tribunal.
- original: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/qld/QCAT/2012/44.html
- archive: https://archive.is/iUYE0
- original: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/SearchResultDetail?inquirytype=EntityName&directionType=Initial&searchNameOrder=WKINFODEFENSERESEARCH%20L110000199040&aggregateId=flal-l11000019904-dce79b55-176a-4442-93a7-3c8896316aa2&searchTerm=W%26K%20Info%20&listNameOrder=WKINFODEFENSERESEARCH%20L110000199040
- archive: https://archive.ph/MD9XM
Formation of W&K Info Defense Research LLC by David Kleiman as Managing Director and Sole Shareholder (2011/2/14)
- original 1: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/ConvertTiffToPDF?storagePath=COR%5C2011%5C0216%5C90321539.tif&documentNumber=L11000019904
- archive 1: https://archive.ph/GIGq4
- local 1:
- original 2: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/1/4/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive 2: https://archive.ph/xat36
- local 2:
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/24/11/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/ilNfk
Documents contained in that file, in order:
- Statement of Claim (2013/8/13) pp. 2-5
- Signed Affidavit to the Facts of the Previous by Wright (2013/8/12) pp. 6-7
- Statement of Claim (2013/7/25) pp. 8-12
- Signed Affidavit to the Facts of the Previous by Wright (2012/8/23) (sic—incorrect year entered on form) pp. 13-15
Wright—Claiming to be the Sole Living Shareholder of W&K—Holds a Shareholders Meeting Appointing J. Wilson as Director (2013/8/16)
(see the Further Affidavit Filed by Wright in Support of His Claim (2013/10/31))
Wright Files 2 Acknowledgements of Liquidated Claim on Behalf of W&K Info Defense with Himself as Named Plaintiff and Defendant (2013/8/19)
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/24/30/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/4D1cY
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/24/19/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/saf7Q
Affidavit by Wright Describing the Shareholders Meeting of 2013/8/16 (made 2013/10/31; filed 2013/11/4)
- original 1: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/24/4/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive 1: https://archive.ph/rvg2W
- local 1:
- original 2: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/511/12/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive 2: https://archive.ph/vJNzL
- local 2:
Documents contained in the second file, in order:
- Another copy of #1 immediately above: Statement of Claim (2013/8/13) pp. 1-4
- Another copy of #2 immediately above: Signed Affidavit to the Facts of the Previous by Wright (2013/8/12) pp. 5-6
- Signed Affidavit to Additional Claimed Facts Submitted by Wright (2013/10/31) pp. 7-12
Wright's description of the 2013/8/16 shareholder meeting:
23. On 01st August 2013 a shareholders meeting was called for "W&K Info Defense LLC" to be held on the 16th August 2013. The meeting was emailed to the company address as well as send [sic] to the address of the shareholders and company. The shareholding of "W&K Info Defense LLC" was:
- Craig S Wright 50.0%
- David A Kleiman 50.0%
24. The meeting from point 23 meeting [sic] was held on the 16th August 2013. The following people were present:
- Jamie Wilson
- Craig S Wright
25. "W&K Info Defense LLC" was an incorporated partnership. All shares are held jointly. The constitution states there is to be a resident US director. Shares were held jointly as per the US Companies Act, 1956.
26. The following points were moved at the meeting:
- Jamie Wilson will act as director for the purposes of consenting to orders and the company to be wound down.
- The vote was Craig Wright — "Yes". No other parties.
- It was agreed that following the motion to accept the debt owed by the company (W&K Info Defense LLC), it would be closed.
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/24/22/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/6jyhC
- original: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/ConvertTiffToPDF?storagePath=COR%5C2014%5C0331%5C58356362.tif&documentNumber=L11000019904
- archive: https://archive.ph/vVOjA
- original: http://search.sunbiz.org/Inquiry/CorporationSearch/GetDocument?aggregateId=flal-l11000019904-dce79b55-176a-4442-93a7-3c8896316aa2&transactionId=l11000019904-re-42d2ae10-fbd1-4902-8f7e-f57e746413cf&formatType=PDF
- archive: https://archive.ph/AwX8D
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/547/3/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/oaa9P
- local copy:
Fabrication of documents
94 ...It follows that these documents (including any related purported invoices or tax invoices) can be considered a nullity based on sham.
Backdating of documents
156 All of the transactions were planned to take place in the same tax period — 1 July 2013 to 30 September 2013. You have admitted to backdating tax invoices to the beginning of that tax period because ‘it made sense to [you]’ because those were the dates on which you had wanted the transactions to occur.
157 The NSW SC settlement agreement appears to be back-dated to 9 July 2013 in order to come within this period, despite the fact that the decision in these matters was handed down in November 2013. This appears to be a deliberate attempt to ensure that the acquisition of the legal title to the W&K software was recorded at a time which enabled you to transfer those rights to DeMorgan and for DeMorgan to supply that software before 30 September 2013.
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/510/12/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/8NdAG
- local copy:
Assessment of Andrew Sommer, Wright's lawyer
You can see the differences between the ATO’s records and the records in your submission. The differences are intended to support the position Craig wanted to advance. In each case the “supportive” wording does not appear on the ATO version of the emails but only on the version of the emails contained in the submission of 26 June. ... This is extremely serious.
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/510/13/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/BohLo
- local copy:
Statement of Andrew Sommer, Wright's lawyer
Information has been provided to our firm which raises serious questions about the integrity of documents provided by Dr Craig Wright, both to our office and to the Australian Taxation Office. We believe this information to be credible. In these circumstances, we can no longer represent DeMorgan Limited in the disputes it and its subsidiaries has with the Australian Taxation Office.
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/547/7/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/TAQP7
- local copy:
Sham legal contract & use of forgeries
221 Considered cumulatively, we consider that these anomalies and inconsistencies lead to the conclusion that the purported agreement [between C01N and W&K] amounts to a sham. It is considered that the purported agreement was not intended to create the legal rights and obligations it gives the appearance of creating, but was, rather, intended to be a disguise for some other transaction or for no transaction at all.
222 At the outset, we note that the taxpayer’s contentions rely almost exclusively electronic evidence that cannot be verified by independent third parties, and in some instance has been proven to have been fabricated.
Claim the company owned a “supercomputer” was an egregious lie, supported by multiple frauds and manipulated evidences
224.1 none of the information supplied to the ATO by the taxpayer is sufficiently reliable to support the assertion that it has access to, or built, a supercomputer matching the specifications of the purported C01N supercomputer.
224.2 the results shown on screen of the hardward suggest that someone has manipulated the results in an attempt to replicate the specifications of the purported C01N supercomputer, however, when examined more closely, the results show inconsistencies and errors which should not occur.
...[various evidences are listed]...
224.4 These errors and inconsistencies would not occur if a legitimate system with the specifications claimed to have been acquired by the taxpayer was being interrogated.
224.9 ...The most reasonable conclusion to draw from the material presented is that someone has produced reports and then deliberately modified the results, with the intention of misleading the ATO into accepting that a supercomputer, as described by the taxpayer, had been acquired.
224.10 Given Dr Wright’s relevant qualifications and experience we understand that he would have sufficient computer programming skills to be able to make the system appear to be using known commands but program those commands to produce the results he wants to show.
225 From these anomalies, and our conclusions below regarding the purported agreement and payment, we conclude that the taxpayer did not have access to the purported supercomputer. Given Dr Wright’s extensive IT qualifications, it is inconceivable that he was unaware of this fact. We therefore conclude that the evidence provided to us was manufactured by the taxpayer in an attempt to deceive us.
Creation of fraudulent documents to support the claim of a contract betwen C01N and W&K
229 ...In fact, we infer that these documents were created with the intention of deceiving the Commissioner and in order to support the false and misleading statements of the taxpayer.
Claim to be associated with a successful and famous mathematician (Prof David Rees) and passing off software code from a publicly available library as his own
265 Professor Sarah Rees [Professor David’s daughter] indicated that she was only aware of one unpublished paper written by her father and that the content of that paper was later published in an updated form. We also asked to see evidence of the software provided under licence. The taxpayer showed us one piece of software and refused our request to run it. Professor Sarah Rees advised us that her father did not write software. We further note that the software showed to us resembles that available from the CoCoA library. The taxpayer provided no evidence of the ‘algebra’ provided. All four of Professor Rees’ daughters advise they have never heard of the taxpayer or Dr Wright. Professor Sarah Rees also advised that Professor Rees did not undertake consulting work. Accordingy, we do not accept that the taxpayer acquired anything from Professor Rees.
Claims to have made payments in Bitcoin through untraceable means, fabricating a "trust" to explain away lack of evidence
267 The taxpayer has not substantiated that it paid Professor Rees, and has provided anomalous accounts of this. The taxpayer first advised that it had instructed an amount be held in trust for Professor Rees. The taxpayer then advised that it provided private keys to Professor Rees on 28 June 2013. Then it advised the Bitcoin was held in trust for Professor Rees until the keys were released.
...[various anomalies are listed]...
269 The taxpayer has not provided any evidence to substantiate the statement in the background to the Software Development Agreement that Mr Kleiman funded the agreement and then advised that following Mr Kleiman’s death, Hotwire funded the agreement. The taxpayer declined to sign messages within the relevant addresses to evidence that it controlled them, stating that once the keys had been released to third parties, they cannot be recreated.
- original: https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/journals/eJlTaxR/2019/16.html
- archive: https://archive.is/l0u8h
- original: http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/qld/QCA/2014/353.html
- archive: https://archive.is/mqh41
- original: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2019/879.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/diMWe
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2020/2529.html
- archive: https://archive.is/unc84
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2020/3242.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/77Puh
49. Dr Wright gave evidence. He was an unsatisfactory witness in many respects. He was belligerent, argumentative and deliberately provocative. He evaded questions to which he did not wish to give a straight answer. On occasion he refused to accept what documents plainly indicated. He was prepared to make grave and unsustainable allegations, for example in relation to the supposed fabrication by or on behalf of Reliantco of an email from him of 3 September 2017. He sought on occasion to blind with (computer) science. I came to the conclusion that I could not rely on Dr Wright's evidence as to whether and how particular events had happened unless it was supported by documentation, other evidence I could accept or by the inherent probabilities.
- original full court docket: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/kleiman-v-wright/
All numbers refer to the entry number in this court listener docket
Order on Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings — Document #265
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/265/kleiman-v-wright/
- archive: https://archive.ph/t55rR
Judge Bloom, pp. 4-5
In his Motion, Defendant argues that both Nguyen and Coin-Exch were members of W&K, and that their membership would destroy diversity in this action. ECF No. , at 11-13. Then, for the first time in his Reply, the Defendant argues that his ex-wife Lynn Wright was also a member of W&K. ECF No. , at 6-7.
“Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
Sir Walter Scott, Marmion (1808).
This is not the first time that the Defendant has made certain representations regarding the membership of W&K. Indeed, the Court notes that the Defendant has made several conflicting statements regarding even his own ownership of W&K. ECF No. , at 29:24-25 (“Judge, I get that there are a number of different statements by Dr. Wright.”)
These statements include:
On April 2, 2013, the Defendant signed a contract, representing that Dave Kleiman is 100% owner of W&K, which was filed before the Supreme Court of New South Wales. ECF No. [83-5], at 1.
On or about July and August of 2013, the Defendant filed a sworn affidavit in the Supreme Court of New South Wales declaring that he and Dave Kleiman each owned 50% of W&K. ECF No. [83-4], at 4.
On April 16, 2018, in a sworn affidavit the Defendant stated that he has “never been a member of W&K.” ECF No. [12-2], at ¶ 12 (emphasis added).
On June 28, 2019, during his deposition the Defendant testified under oath that he has “no idea” who the owners of W&K were, and unequivocally stated that he was not an owner of W&K. See ECF No. [242-1], at (233:12-14) (“Q: Who owned W&K in reality? A. Not me.”) and (233:22-23) (“Q. You have no idea who owns W&K? A. I do not know that.”).
Now, in his Motion and contrary to the statements above, the Defendant argues that three additional parties may be members of W&K. ... The Court has thus conducted a careful review of the evidence presented by the Defendant and the record in this case, and finds, however, that the Defendant has failed to present any credible evidence showing that any of the parties he suggests are members of W&K.
At the Hearing, Defendant argued that the Court cannot both rely upon and find that the statements and evidence provided by him are untrue. See ECF No. , at 100:6-9 (“Judge, if everything’s a lie, then the stuff they rely on when Wright files a contract, or when Wright makes a statement, can’t be credited either.”). Here, Defendant’s argument is novel. He seems to argue that even though his numerous conflicting statements are the very reason confusion has been created as to the ownership of W&K, the Court should nonetheless use these statements as a basis to challenge the Court’s subject matter jurisdiction. In essence, the Defendant uses the evidence proffered as both his sword and his shield. Unfortunately, the record is replete with instances in which the Defendant has proffered conflicting sworn testimony before this Court.
Order — Document #277
- original: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6309656/277/kleiman-v-wright/
Judge Reinhart, p. 2
Two preliminary points. First, the Court is not required to decide, and does not decide, whether Defendant Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of the Bitcoin cybercurrency. The Court also is not required to decide, and does not decide, how much bitcoin, if any, Dr. Wright controls today. For purposes of this proceeding, the Court accepts Dr. Wright’s representation that he controlled (directly or indirectly) some bitcoin on December 31, 2013, and that he continues to control some today.
The Court ruled that Plaintiffs were entitled to a list of Dr. Wright’s bitcoin holdings, but granted Dr. Wright leave to file a motion for protective order based on undue burden. Id. at 22-23. Notably, the Court did not specify the information Dr. Wright was required to use to generate the list. Specifically, the Court did not order production of a list of public addresses.
Dr. Wright was deposed on April 4. During his deposition, he testified that a trust called the Tulip Trust was formalized in 2011, but never owned or possessed private keys to bitcoin addresses. DE 270-1 at 22. He also testified that Uyen Nguyen had ceased to be a trustee of any trust related to Dr. Wright in 2015. Id. at 24. He further testified that he had stopped mining bitcoin in 2010. He declined to answer questions about how much bitcoin he mined in 2009-2010; this issue was reported to the Court during the deposition.
In his response, Dr. Wright conceded that he has not complied with the Court’s order, but argued that compliance was impossible. DE 204 (redacted version filed at DE 211). Expanding on the representation made in Paragraph 23 of his declaration, he argued that information necessary to produce a complete list of his bitcoin holding on December 31, 2011, was in the Tulip Trust I in a file that is encrypted using “‘Shamir’s Secret Sharing Algorithm’, an algorithm created by Adi Shamir to divide a secret, such as a private encryption key, into multiple parts.” DE 211 at 5. Dr. Wright asserted that he could not decrypt the outer level of encryption because he did not have all of the necessary decryption keys. Id. He stated that after using a Shamir system to encrypt this information, “The key shares were then distributed to multiple individuals through the [blind] trusts” and “he alone does not have ability to access the encrypted file and data contained in it.” Id.
The Court held a hearing on June 11 on the Motion. DE 221. Plaintiffs’ counsel pointed out that under oath in his deposition Dr. Wright denied ever putting bitcoin into a trust, and denied putting any private keys into the Tulip Trust. DE 221 at 8-9.
Although I find clear and convincing evidence that would support a civil contempt, the sanctions available under Rule 37 are sufficient, so I exercise my discretion and do not certify facts to Judge Bloom for civil contempt proceedings.
Fourth, I impose the following sanctions pursuant to Rule 37(b). For purposes of this action, it is established that (1) Dr. Wright and David Kleiman entered into a 50/50 partnership to develop Bitcoin intellectual property and to mine bitcoin; (2) any Bitcoin-related intellectual property developed by Dr. Wright prior to David Kleiman’s death was property of the partnership, (3) all bitcoin mined by Dr. Wright prior to David Kleiman’s death (“the partnership’s bitcoin”) was property of the partnership when mined; and (4) Plaintiffs presently retain an ownership interest in the partnership’s bitcoin, and any assets traceable to them. To conform to these established facts, the Court strikes Dr. Wright’s Third Affirmative Defense (Good Faith), Fourth Affirmative Defense (Accord and Satisfaction), Fifth Affirmative Defense (Release), Sixth Affirmative Defense (Payment), Seventh Affirmative Defense (Set-off), Eighth Affirmative Defense (Failure to Mitigate Damages), Seventh [sic] Affirmative Defense (Waiver), and Tenth Affirmative Defense (Statute of Frauds).
As will be discussed below, the evidence in the record demonstrated that Dr. Wright (directly and through counsel) made inconsistent statements about material matters.
Apparently, dead men tell no tales, but they (perhaps) send bonded couriers. See John Dryden, “The Spanish Fryar or The Double Discovery”, Act IV, Scene 1 (1681) (“there is a Proverb, I confess, which says, That Dead men tell no Tales.”). I completely reject Dr. Wright’s testimony about the alleged Tulip Trust, the alleged encrypted file, and his alleged inability to identify his bitcoin holdings.
Dr. Wright’s story not only was not supported by other evidence in the record, it defies common sense and real-life experience. Consider his claims. He designed Bitcoin to be an anonymous digital cash system with an evidentiary trail. DE 236 at 15. He mined approximately 1,000,000 bitcoin, but there is no accessible evidentiary trail for the vast majority of them. He is a latter-day Dr. Frankenstein whose creation turned to evil when hijacked by drug dealers, human traffickers, and other criminals. Id. at 16-17. To save himself, he engaged David Kleiman to remove all traces of his involvement with Bitcoin from the public record. Id. at 16. As part of his efforts to disassociate from Bitcoin and “so that I wouldn’t be in trouble,” he put all his bitcoin (and/or the keys to it – his story changed) into a computer file that is encrypted with a hierarchical Shamir encryption protocol. See Id. at 23. He then put the encrypted file into a “blind” trust (of which he is one of the trustees), gave away a controlling number of the key slices to now-deceased David Kleiman, and therefore cannot now decrypt the file that controls access to the bitcoin. His only hope is that a bonded courier arrives on an unknown dated in January 2020 with the decryption keys. If the courier does not appear, Dr. Wright has lost his ability to access billions of dollars worth of bitcoin, and he does not care. Id. at 21-22. Inconceivable.
During his testimony, Dr. Wright’s demeanor did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth. When it was favorable to him, Dr. Wright appeared to have an excellent memory and a scrupulous attention to detail. Otherwise, Dr. Wright was belligerent and evasive. He did not directly and clearly respond to questions. He quibbled about irrelevant technicalities. When confronted with evidence indicating that certain documents had been fabricated or altered, he became extremely defensive, tried to sidestep questioning, and ultimately made vague comments about his systems being hacked and others having access to his computers. None of these excuses were corroborated by other evidence.
Sadly, Dr. Wright does not write on a clean slate. As Judge Bloom recently noted in denying Dr. Wright’s Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, Dr. Wright has taken directly conflicting factual positions at different times during this litigation. DE 265 at 10 (“[T]he record is replete with instances in which the Defendant has proffered conflicting sworn testimony before this Court.). As discussed below, that behavior continued before me. Dr. Wright has a substantial stake in the outcome of the case. If Plaintiffs succeed on their claims, Dr. Wright stands to lose billions of dollars. That gives him a powerful motive not to identify his bitcoin. As long as the relevant addresses remain secret, he can transfer the bitcoin without the Plaintiffs being able to find them. After all, Bitcoin is an anonymous cybercurrency.
Similarly, Dr. Wright had many reasons not to tell the truth. Most notably, Dr. Wright might want to prevent the Plaintiffs (or others) from finding his Bitcoin trove. Alternatively, there was evidence indicating that relevant documents were altered in or about 2014, when the Australian Tax Office was investigating one of Dr. Wright’s companies. Perhaps Dr. Wright’s testimony here is motivated by certain legal and factual positions he took in the Australian Tax Office investigation and from which he cannot now recede.
There was substantial credible evidence that documents produced by Dr. Wright to support his position in this litigation are fraudulent. There was credible and compelling evidence that documents had been altered. Other documents are contradicted by Dr. Wright’s testimony or declaration. While it is true that there was no direct evidence that Dr. Wright was responsible for alterations or falsification of documents, there is no evidence before the Court that anyone else had a motive to falsify them. As such, there is a strong, and unrebutted, circumstantial inference that Dr. Wright willfully created the fraudulent documents.
Dr. Wright’s false testimony about the Tulip Trust was part of a sustained and concerted effort to impede discovery into his bitcoin holdings. Start with Dr. Wright’s deceptive and incomplete discovery pleadings. He testified at the evidentiary hearing that at least as early as December 2018 he knew that he could not provide a listing of his bitcoin holdings. Yet, the Court was not told this “fact” until April 18, 2019.
Nevertheless, having failed to hold off discovery on legal grounds, after March 14, Dr. Wright changed course and started making affirmative misleading factual statements to the Court. His April 18 Motion argued for the first time, “In 2011, Dr. Wright transferred ownership of all his Bitcoin into a blind trust. Dr. Wright is not a trustee or beneficiary of the blind trust. Nor does Dr. Wright know any of the public addresses which hold any of the bitcoin in the blind trust. Thus, Dr. Wright, does not know and cannot provide any other public addresses.” This pleading was intended to communicate the impression that Dr. Wright had no remaining connection to the bitcoin. It was also intended to create the impression that the bitcoin themselves had been transferred to the trust.
Dr. Wright almost immediately made irreconcilable statements about the Tulip Trust. The April 18 Motion stated it was a blind trust and he was not a trustee. His sworn declaration three weeks later stated that he is one of the trustees of the Tulip Trust. The trust can hardly be considered “blind” (as represented in the April 18 Motion) if Dr. Wright is one of the trustees. At least one set of these representations about the trust and Dr. Wright’s status as a trustee necessarily is intentionally misleading.
Dr. Wright also changed his story about what is in the alleged trust.
The hearing testimony that the trust holds only keys, not bitcoin, cannot be reconciled with the statements in the April 18 Motion and the May 8 declaration that it contains bitcoin. At least one of these representations is intentionally false. During his testimony at the evidentiary hearing, Dr. Wright made a point of being precise in his use of terms, including contesting whether a document was an email or a pdf of an email. It is not credible that, given his claim to have an unmatched understanding of Bitcoin, he would have mistaken the Bitcoin currency for the keys that control the ability to transfer the currency. I find instead that he belatedly realized that any transaction(s) transferring bitcoin into the alleged Tulip Trust would be reflected on the Bitcoin master blockchain, that he would then be required to identify those transaction(s), and that Plaintiffs could use that information to trace the bitcoin. So, Dr. Wright changed his story to say that only the keys had been transferred.
After observing Dr. Wright’s demeanor and the lack of any other credible evidence in the record that this file exists, I find that a preponderance of the evidence establishes that no such file exists and that Dr. Wright’s testimony was intentionally false.
Another aspect of Dr. Wright’s story also changed at the evidentiary hearing. He argued for the first time that a list of public addresses was meaningless. This position is particularly disturbing because it was Dr. Wright who first injected the idea of public addresses into this discovery matter.
Either his delay in to doing so is deceptive and misleading, or his testimony that the public address is a meaningless piece of evidence is intentionally false.
In sum, after days of testimony, multiple discovery hearings, and lengthy pleadings, the sole evidence supporting Dr. Wright’s claim that he cannot comply with the Court’s Orders is the uncorroborated word of Dr. Wright. That word is insufficient to meet his evidentiary burden. Moreover, the totality of the evidence, including a negative inference drawn from Dr. Wright’s incredible testimony and use of fraudulent documents, is more than sufficient to meet Plaintiffs’ burden.
Dr. Wright argues that he would never risk going to jail for contempt or having sanctions imposed against him if he could produce a list of his bitcoin holdings. He argues it would not be credible that anyone would make that choice. Equally, if not more incredible, is the idea that someone who controlled almost 1 million bitcoin would encrypt it in a way that he could not access it, and then would not care if he lost it all. Additionally, as discussed above, there are many reasons a person in Dr. Wright’s situation would take that risk.
There is clear and convincing evidence that Dr. Wright’s non-compliance with the Court’s Orders is willful and in bad faith,
I have found that Dr. Wright intentionally submitted fraudulent documents to the Court, obstructed a judicial proceeding, and gave perjurious testimony. No conduct is more antithetical to the administration of justice.
These are publicly available documents available by request to the UK court. Made available here for convenience in the public interest.
Two copies of this document were provided by the court.
- local A:
- local B:
The court provided two documents with the same filing date:
- local amended defence:
- local draft (of the above?):
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2021/2671.html
- archive: https://archive.is/o51dH
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2019/2094.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/bhDs6
Judge Nicklin's comments on "damage" to Wright's reputation:
46. Mr Wolanski QC confirmed that there is no other evidence as to the extent of the Claimant's reputation in the UK (or elsewhere). Specifically, there is no evidence at all of any actual reputational harm that the Claimant has suffered as a result of any of the Defendant's publications.
47. Mr Tomlinson QC submits, correctly in my judgment, that the Claimant has not provided the Court with any evidence (beyond the limited material I have set out above) as to the global reputation he enjoys and, more particularly, the extent to which it has been damaged by the Defendant's publications. With some justification, Mr Tomlinson QC suggests that the Court has been "blindfolded" as to where the Claimant has suffered serious reputational harm.
50. In my judgment, the Claimant's evidence as to the extent of harm that the publications have caused (or are likely to cause) is weak, lacks detail and the three paragraphs I have set out ( above) put forward evidence at a level of generality that is almost entirely speculative. There is no objective evidence of any harm to reputation in England and Wales. The Claimant has failed completely to address whether and to what extent the publications complained of have harmed his reputation in other jurisdictions.
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2020/672.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/BVRp3
Hiatus while the UK Jurisdiction dispute was underway.
- original: https://lovdata.no/dokument/LBSIV/avgjorelse/lb-2020-22204
- archive: https://archive.md/pUiHA
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2020/51.html
- archive: https://archive.is/Ee070
91. ...I therefore hold that Dr Wright has no substantive right to sue in a situation where – as I have held - the lis pendens provisions of Article 27 of the Lugano Convention defeat his claim.
2. ...On 31 October 2008 an academic paper was published online under the name Satoshi Nakamoto describing the manner in which the electronic cash system operated.
Press release announcing the action
- original: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/uk-court-grants-permission-for-bitcoin-copyright-infringement-claim-301275909.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/DYISD
2021/3/31 Particulars of Claim
2021/4/29 Particulars of Claim
2022/1/5 Judgement on Security for Costs
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2022/2.html
- archive: https://archive.fo/YpApd
2022/3/25 Judgement on Jurisdiction
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2022/667.html
- archive: https://archive.ph/nl9zD
Mrs Justice Falk:
16. ...(One of the many disputes between the parties, which does not need to be resolved in these proceedings, is that the Defendants do not accept Dr Wright's claim that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.)
17. ...Dr Wright maintains that the original bitcoin, and the only one properly so-called, is that held though the BSV Network. My use of the term bitcoin in this judgment reflects common usage, rather than being intended to express a view on that point, which is not relevant to my decision.
25. TTL maintains that it is the owner of digital assets valued at over £3 billion at two addresses on the Networks, which I will refer to as "1Feex" and "12ib7". Its claim to ownership is supported by Dr Wright's witness evidence, but documentary support is limited. What documentary evidence there is also does not demonstrate that TTL, as opposed to another entity under Dr Wright's control (or that of his family), owns the assets. In summary:
a) There is some evidence of the purchase of bitcoin at the 1Feex address in February 2011, in the form of a contemporaneous purchase order prepared by Dr Wright's then wife, Lynn Wright. There are some issues with the content of that document, but not its metadata, which has been analysed by a third party, AlixPartners.
b) Dr Wright claims that the purchase was made by the trust which became the Tulip Trust, and that the bitcoin was transferred on to TTL. He says that this occurred in July 2011 when TTL was incorporated. However, there is evidence suggesting that TTL was not controlled by the family until October 2014, having remained a shelf company until that point.
c) There are also some contemporaneous accounting records of companies associated with Dr Wright that record bitcoin held at the two addresses following its acquisition. Two pieces of relevant accounting software have also been analysed by AlixPartners. These show bitcoin held in February 2011 at the 1Feex address in the case of one system, and by January 2014 at both the 1Feex and 12ib7 addresses in the case of the other system. As with the purchase order there are some issues with the content of the records, but they appear to show that entities related to Dr Wright recorded assets held at the two addresses from 2011 and at least 2014 respectively. However, the available financial statements for TTL for the period between incorporation and May 2017 appear to show no ownership of digital (or other) assets. Although I saw no evidence to this effect, I note that the absence of accounting entries might be explicable if TTL received the assets via a contribution from an associated entity, and paid nothing for them.
d) Control of both addresses was disclosed by Dr Wright to the Australian Tax Office ("ATO") in an email sent on 10 October 2013, and in the course of audits that followed. Whilst the Defendants rely on disclosure having been made in the context of a claim for tax credits, and on adverse findings made by the ATO, there is force in TTL's contention that it would have made no sense for ownership to be disclosed of assets that Dr Wright did not own or control, given the exposure to tax on capital gains on the very significant increase in value of digital assets.
e) Although some competing claims to ownership have been made in respect of the 1Feex address, TTL's position is that none are seriously credible or have been pursued.
52. ...I am satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried that TTL is the owner of the bitcoin at the 1Feex and 12ib7 addresses, and that the hack occurred. The Defendants challenge TTL's case on these points, pointing to a number of deficiencies in the quality of the evidence which they say are likely to remain at any trial. I agree that there are material deficiencies, but I do not consider that they justify a conclusion that TTL has no more than a fanciful prospect of establishing ownership and the fact of the hack. Dr Wright's evidence, which is not entirely unsupported by documentary evidence, cannot simply be dismissed as not being credible on a summary determination. Insofar as relevant to the jurisdictional gateways, I would also conclude that TTL has the better of the arguments on these points on the basis of the available evidence, or at least that there is a plausible evidential basis...
67. One difficult part of TTL's case, which was developed during oral submissions, was the extent to which it is founded on the alleged duties being owed to all participants in the Networks, or perhaps more strictly to all owners of digital assets recorded on the Networks, who are by definition an anonymous and fluctuating class with whom the Defendants have no direct communication, and certainly no contractual relationship....
72. At first sight it is very hard to see how TTL's case on fiduciary duty is seriously arguable. Having now given the matter more detailed consideration I have concluded that my initial impression was correct. Taking all the features relied on by TTL fully into account, and assuming in its favour that it would be able to establish the facts on which it relies at a trial, I am unable to conclude that TTL has a realistic prospect of establishing that the facts pleaded amount to a breach of fiduciary duty owed by the Defendants to TTL.
73. ...I do not think that bitcoin owners can realistically be described as entrusting their property to a fluctuating, and unidentified, body of developers of the software, at least in the sense and to the extent claimed by TTL.
75. ...As a general proposition it cannot realistically be argued that they owe continuing obligations to, for example, remain as developers and make future updates whenever it might be in the interests of owners to do so.
78. ...It is uncontroversial that a fundamental feature of the Networks, at least in their existing form, is that digital assets are transferred through the use of private keys. TTL effectively seeks to bypass that....
79. At a general level, some users may not agree that a system change that allowed digital assets to be accessed and controlled without the relevant private keys, contrary to their understanding of how the system is intended to operate, accords with their interests, even if made only following an order of the English court declaring that TTL owns those assets. The fact that the BSV Network may be preparing to make a system change to accommodate loss of access to private keys (see  above) does not mean that any such change, whether a general one or specific to TTL, can be imposed on others.
80. Further, acceding to TTL's demands could expose the Defendants to risk on their own account. Apart from the potential difficulty I have just mentioned about the general expectations of other users, more specifically a rival claimant to the bitcoin in issue in this case could have a legitimate complaint against the Defendants, a complaint which would not necessarily be brought in the English courts, and against which they would not be protected. This is a strong indication that the pleaded facts could not amount to a breach of fiduciary duty. Even if it could be argued that there was some form of relationship of trust and confidence, it does not follow that a duty of loyalty arises to TTL to the exclusion of the interests of others, whether third parties or the Defendants themselves.
83. As already indicated, at a general level I can see that any holder of digital assets on the Networks will have certain expectations, for example about the security of the Network and private keys, the efficacy of the "proof of work" processes and indeed anonymity. A software change that compromised these might engender some cause for complaint by users (although that is far from saying that any duty that might arise in those circumstances would necessarily be in the nature of a fiduciary duty). But what I cannot see is a realistic basis for concluding that the pleaded facts could provide a basis for the imposition of a fiduciary duty in favour of TTL, together with a conclusion that that duty has been breached.
97. I have already concluded that it is not realistically arguable that the pleaded facts amount to a fiduciary relationship. Based on Mr Wardell's oral submissions at least, that would indicate that the required special relationship to found a duty of care in respect of economic loss could not exist. I also cannot see that it is arguable that the necessary special relationship exists on some other basis such as to require the action that TTL seeks.
99. However, that is not the complaint in this case. As already indicated, the complaint made is of failures to act. Further, the failures alleged are failures to make changes to how the Networks work, and were intended to work, rather than to address a known defect. In addition, there is no allegation that any of the Defendants had any involvement with the alleged hack, or that they have done anything to create or increase a risk of harm. Rather, what is complained of is that the Defendants have not taken action to alter how the system works to ensure that TTL regains control of the bitcoin following harm allegedly caused by a third party. That would require both a) the existence, solely by virtue of the Defendants' alleged control of the Networks, of a special relationship that continues even if no steps are actually being taken to alter software; and b) a requirement to take positive action to make changes, and in circumstances where there is no known bug or other defect preventing the software from operating as anticipated.
100. I do not consider that it is realistically arguable that the imposition of such a requirement could be treated as an incremental extension of the law, particularly bearing in mind that the alleged loss is an economic loss.
105. In addition to the unlimited nature of the class to which the alleged duty would be owed, it is also worth emphasising its open-ended scope. Based on the pleaded case, the Defendants would be obliged to investigate and address any claim that a person had lost their private keys or had them stolen. How they would go about that in practice, given the anonymity of the system as well as the scope for off-chain transactions, is wholly unclear. As discussed in relation to fiduciary duties, the declaratory relief sought would be on an in personam basis rather than in rem. It follows that even if relief against the Defendants were dependent on a declaration being obtained (as to which see the next section of this judgment) it would not provide protection against rival claimants, from whom the Defendants might be accused of having expropriated assets. It is far from obvious that the Defendants could take steps to protect themselves by insurance. This also strongly indicates that, based on considerations of fairness, justice and reasonableness, no duty exists.
123. I agree with the Defendants that this is quite a long way from the sort of case where quia timet relief has been granted. A notable feature of this case is that TTL has sought no relief against the alleged hackers. There are precedents for obtaining interim injunctive relief, combined with orders for disclosure, where digital assets have allegedly been lost. No such relief has been sought either in respect of the bitcoin allegedly taken from the Electrum wallet (see  above), or to seek to prevent transfer of bitcoin from the 1Feex and 12ib7 addresses. Interim relief has also not been sought against the Defendants. TTL's actions are not obviously consistent with a material concern about imminent harm. It is not the case that TTL considers that there is no risk that the bitcoin will be moved. Dr Wright's suggested explanations for that not having occurred were that the hackers had not yet navigated the algorithmic masking that he had put in place, that they may not yet have realised what they have got, or that they were simply waiting for attention to die down.
128. In reality, TTL's offer to pay underlines the weakness of its case. It does not fit with a claim that the Defendants are currently in breach of duty, or that they will be if they do not contest TTL's claim to ownership.
137. I would observe that there is a significant difference between the facts considered in that case (publication of an article authored by a person the subject of an interim injunction against publication) and this case. It seems to me very unlikely that a court would determine that actions by other developers, who are not parties to these proceedings and not acting together with those that are parties, could realistically be treated as giving rise to liability for contempt. However, it is not necessary to decide the point, the practical significance of which may also depend on whether TTL is correct in its disputed claim that the Defendants, and not other persons, are the controllers of the Networks, such that any action by other developers might be limited to the creation of one or more additional networks following a "fork"...
140. TTL maintains that the bitcoin held at the 1Feex and 12ib7 addresses constitute property, that the claim relates to that property and that it is located in the jurisdiction. It did not seek to rely on the private keys themselves constituting property.
141. The Defendants did not take issue in oral submissions with the classification of the bitcoin as property, or that the claim relates to property. Given the Taskforce Statement and the views expressed in cases that have considered the issue (AA v Persons Unknown  EWHC 3556 (Comm);  4 WLR 35 at ; Ion Science Limited & Anor v Persons Unknown (unreported), 21 December 2020 ("Ion Science") at ; Fetch.AI Limited v Persons Unknown  EWHC 2254 (Comm) ("Fetch.AI") at  – albeit all in connection with interim relief) I am satisfied that TTL has the better of the arguments on these points.
158. I therefore consider that there is sufficient to amount to a good arguable case that (a) TTL is resident in the jurisdiction; and (b) that the property is located here.
166. On the basis of the conclusions already reached on the merits it is not necessary to express a view as to whether England is the proper forum, but given the possibility of an appeal I will make some brief comments.
167. In summary, if there had been a serious issue to be tried I would have been satisfied that England is the appropriate forum for the trial of the dispute, and that the court ought to exercise its discretion to permit service of the proceedings out of the jurisdiction....
171. In conclusion, TTL has not established a serious issue to be tried on the merits of the claim. In those circumstances the appropriate order is to set aside the order of Deputy Master Nurse granting permission to serve the claim form out of the jurisdiction, and to set aside service of the claim form.
2021/5/26 Motion to Strike
2022/3/4 Amended Complaint
These are publicly available documents available by request to the UK court. Made available here for convenience in the public interest.
- COPA's announcement on Twitter: https://twitter.com/opencryptoorg/status/1381642092624015360?s=20
- archive: https://archive.is/qmxrp
2021/4/12 Particulars of claim (by COPA)
2021/5/14 Defence (by Wright)
I assess the plausibility of Wright's claim in §6 of this document here: https://cswarchive.info/nakamoto2
2021/6/15 Response to CSW's request for further information on the Particulars of Claim (by COPA)
2021/7/19 Reply to Defence (by COPA)
2021/8/4 Request for more Information (by COPA)
2021/9/10 Response to Request (by Wright)
2021/9/27 Amended Defence (by Wright)
2021/12/10 Judgement on Applications Regarding the Claims
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2021/3440.html
- archive: https://archive.is/8VuVr
(Purely incidentally, part of this judgement was cited as case law less than two months later in https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWFC/HCJ/2022/5.html)
2022/02/09 Judgement on Costs Related to the Judgement of 2021/12/10
- original: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2022/242.html
- archive: https://archive.fo/XJbo4
- Justia: https://dockets.justia.com/docket/georgia/gandce/1:2021cv04260/295592
- Court Listener: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/60780822/nakamoto-v-the-united-states/
- original: https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.gand.295592/gov.uscourts.gand.295592.3.0.pdf
- archive: https://archive.md/AC7ZO