Scientist claims ‘spy in the bag’ helped create Bitcoin, court told

1 views 7:49 am 0 Comments February 7, 2024
  • Dr Craig Wright accused of forging documents to suggest he was founder 
  • High Court heard he told separate hearing in US Gareth Williams played key role
  • Mr Williams was found dead in holdall in his Pimlico flat, London, in 2010

A computer scientist claiming to be the founder of Bitcoin has insisted that an MI6 spy found dead in a holdall helped him to create the cryptocurrency, a court has been told.

The High Court heard Dr Craig Wright told a separate hearing in the US that ‘spy in the bag’ Gareth Williams played a key role in its creation.

The Australian programmer is being sued by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (Copa), a non-profit group including cryptocurrency firms, which has accused him of lying and forging documents to suggest he is the pseudonymous figure ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’.

‘Nakamoto’ is widely credited with founding the cryptocurrency in 2008. 

Dr Wright denies the claims in a trial in London and today in the first of several days of his giving evidence, said he had not forged any documents.

Mr Williams was 31 when he was found dead in zipped-up padlocked holdall, naked and decomposing in his flat in Pimlico, central London in 2010, eight days after he was last seen alive.

The code breaker and exceptional mathematician was working for MI6 on secondment from GCHQ. 

Dr Craig Wright wearing a striped aqua blue suit and purple tie arrives today at the Rolls Building, part of the Royal Courts of Justice, where he is standing trial accused of forging documents and lying to suggest he is the founder of Bitcoin

A separate hearing in the US was told by Dr Wright that 'spy in the bag' Gareth Williams (pictured) played a key role in creating the cryptocurrency

Dr Wright claims that Mr Williams was one of three key players behind Bitcoin have been described by Copa as a pattern of him having ‘implausible dealings with people who have died’, reports the Telegraph. 

Copa also accused Dr Wright of claiming to have spoken with Mr Williams a year after he died in 2011.  

Today, Dr Wright was asked by Jonathan Hough KC, representing Copa: ‘Have you ever forged or falsified a document to support your claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto?’

Dr Wright replied: ‘No.’

Mr Hough asked: ‘Have you ever knowingly presented a forged or falsified document to support your claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto?’

Dr Wright replied: ‘I have not.’

Copa has accused Dr Wright of telling a ‘brazen lie’ and creating an ‘elaborate false narrative’ about being Satoshi and using ‘forgery on an industrial scale’ to substantiate his claims.

Dr Wright denies the allegations, and when asked by Mr Hough about whether he forged one document, he replied: ‘If I forged that document, it would be perfect.’

The Australian programmer is being sued by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (Copa), a non-profit group including cryptocurrency firms, which has accused him of lying and forging documents to suggest he is the pseudonymous figure 'Satoshi Nakamoto'

Dr Wright claims that Mr Williams was one of three key players behind Bitcoin have been described by Copa as a pattern of him having 'implausible dealings with people who have died'

Barristers representing the Australian, who moved to the UK in 2015, have said that he had the relevant skills and knowledge needed to create Bitcoin and write the document which led to its founding, which he began drafting in 2007.

The document, known as the Bitcoin white paper, was released under Satoshi’s name, with the pseudonym last heard from in 2011.

After he was first linked with being Satoshi in late 2015, Dr Wright publicly claimed to be behind the figure in May 2016.

He said in written documents that he ‘did not want to be revealed’ and wished to ‘remain in the background’, with his public naming leaving him feeling ‘violated and deeply pained’.

The court heard today that the Satoshi pseudonym was inspired by the Japanese philosopher, Tominaga Nakamoto, with written submissions from his barristers stating that he had a ‘deep interest’ in Japanese culture and had ‘adopted various Japanese pseudonyms’ throughout his life.

Dr Wright, wearing a pale blue suit, also claims he had access to the email accounts used by the pseudonym but now no longer had it.

This afternoon, Dr Wright’s barrister, Lord Grabiner KC, criticised the ‘extremely oppressive’ conditions during the trial in the Rolls Building, which has been affected by high temperatures inside the packed courtroom.

Large fans have been used during breaks in the trial to try and regulate temperatures.

He said: ‘The working atmosphere in this room is extremely oppressive and is not a great advert for the system we are trying to run here.

Williams was found in north face holdall, padlocked together. There were no fingerprints found on the bag, padlock or bath and the key to the padlock was found inside the bag, underneath Williams body

Police discovered Williams' body inside a padlocked red North Face sports bag in the bathtub. His duvet was pushed onto the floor, while £20,000 worth of women's clothes were in the spare bedroom. A lady's orange wig was draped over the chair in the living room

Peter Faulding attempts to lock himself inside a holdall

Peter Faulding attempts to lock himself inside a holdall

‘There is no air in here, it is intolerable. I am not sure what, if anything, can be done about it.’

In response, judge Mr Justice Mellor said he hoped to move the trial to a cooler courtroom by Friday, saying he would transfer to a different room ‘at the drop of a hat’ if one became available sooner.

The issues are thought to be connected to a power outage at the building last month, with the judge joking that those inside the courtroom will have lost ‘quite a bit of weight’ by the end of the trial, which is expected to conclude next month.

The judge will issue his decision in writing at a later date.