Cryptocurrency

‘Fake’ Bitcoin founder ‘used ChatGPT’ to ‘tell a brazen lie’


Dr Craig Wright, 53, is claiming to be the mysterious founder of Bitcoin (Picture: Getty/PA)

A computer scientist lied that he is the founder of Bitcoin and used ChatGPT to forge documents to help his case, the High Court has been told. 

Dr Craig Wright, 53, has claimed to be ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, the pseudonym of the person credited with founding the cryptocurrency.

Nakamoto, the secretive software engineer who vanished from the Internet some 13 years ago with more than one million of Bitcoin to his name, has fuelled speculation ever since.

There was hope that the mystery would finally be solved after Wright said he had founded the cryptocurrency – but alas, the court heard it was all a ‘lie’.

He is being sued by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (Copa), a non-profit group including cryptocurrency firms, who say that he created an ‘elaborate false narrative’ and forged documents to suggest he was Nakamoto and had ‘terrorised’ those who questioned him.

The Australian computer scientist, who attended the start of the five-week trial in London over whether he was the pseudonymised inventor, denied the allegations.

Wright (centre) arrives at the Rolls Building in London for a hearing over the identity of the creator of Bitcoin (Picture: PA)

On Monday, Jonathan Hough KC, representing the non-profit group, said Wright’s claim ‘is a brazen lie and elaborate false narrative supported by forgery on an industrial scale’.

He continued in written submissions: ‘Copa’s case is, simply, that Wright’s claim to be Nakamoto is a lie, founded on an elaborate false narrative…

‘As his false documents and inconsistencies have been exposed, he has resorted to further forgery and ever more implausible excuses.’

Mr Hough added: ‘Dr Wright has consistently failed to supply genuine proof of his claim to be Nakamoto instead, he has repeatedly proffered documents which bear clear signs of having been doctored.’

The original Bitcoin founding document, a white paper named Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, was released in 2008, and was authored under Nakamoto’s name.

The hearing is being held to determine whether or not he is the pseudonymous ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ (Picture: PA)

The barrister told the court that despite various efforts by Wright to prove his identity, he had ‘singularly failed to give that proof’, and that some aspects of his story entered ‘the realm of farce’.

He also accused Wright of using the artificial intelligence software ChatGPT to forge documents ‘due to the pressure of time’ needed to substantiate his claims.

Experts on both sides agreed that the original white paper was written on OpenOffice software.

But the version provided by Wright as evidence had been found to have been created on software called LaTeX, which did not exist when it was written, Mr Hough said.

The scientist first claimed to have founded Bitcoin in 2016 and has been involved in several legal claims against those who have questioned his identity.

His barrister Lord Grabiner KC said he had released the white paper after ‘having spent many years devoted to studying and working on concepts underpinning Bitcoin’ and there was ‘clear evidence’ demonstrating his creation of the digital currency.

In written submissions, he added: ‘This issue has been the subject of extensive media comment since early 2016, as well as multiple sets of legal proceedings in this jurisdiction and elsewhere.

‘If Dr Wright were not Satoshi, the real Satoshi would have been expected to come forward to counter the claim.’

‘Dr Wright’s use of the Satoshi pseudonym has its roots in his deep admiration for Japanese culture and a desire to maintain a certain level of privacy while developing and ultimately creating Bitcoin,’ Lord Grabiner added.

The trial before Mr Justice Mellor, in which Dr Wright is expected to begin giving evidence on Tuesday, is set to conclude next month with a decision in writing at a later date.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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