A UK court has ordered the freezing of Craig Wright’s assets

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A UK court has granted a request to freeze £6.7 million ($8.4 million) of Craig Wright’s assets to prevent him from avoiding court expenses. The decision was prompted by Wright transferring assets outside of the UK following a court ruling that refuted his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. This move included shifting shares of his London firm, RCJBR Holding, to a Singaporean entity on March 18.

The freezing order was endorsed by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) to cover its court expenses totaling £6.7 million. COPA, established in 2020 to promote the adoption and advancement of cryptocurrency technologies while eliminating patents as barriers to innovation, has 33 members including Coinbase, Block, Meta, MicroStrategy, Kraken, Paradigm, Uniswap, and Worldcoin.

Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist, falsely asserted he was Nakamoto to assert copyright over the Bitcoin network. In January 2021, he demanded the removal of the Bitcoin white paper from two websites. COPA subsequently filed a lawsuit against Wright, contesting his claims, which was ruled in COPA’s favor on March 14 by Judge James Mellor.

In 2023, Wright sued 13 Bitcoin Core developers and several companies, including Blockstream, Coinbase, and Block, for copyright violations related to the Bitcoin white paper, its file format, and database rights to the Bitcoin blockchain. The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund criticized these lawsuits as abusive and detrimental to Bitcoin development due to the associated time, stress, expenses, and legal risks. Wright had applied for US copyright registration for the Bitcoin white paper in 2019.

The Bitcoin white paper is now under an MIT open-source license, allowing anyone to reuse and modify the code for any purpose.

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