Wright (appellant) v McCormack (respondent)

Thursday 15 June 2023

The Claimant appeals against orders made by Chamberlain J on 1/8/22 ordering that D pay C £1 in damages.

The C claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. D tweeted and said in a recorded discussion that C is not Satoshi, and that his claims to be Satoshi are fraudulent. C brought a claim for libel against D. D established at trial that some of D’s publications were defamatory and caused serious harm to C’s reputation.

The judge concluded that a Claimant in C’s position would ordinarily be entitled to substantial damages. But in this case only nominal damages were justified. The reasons was that in an attempt to establish that D’s publications had caused serious harm to his reputation C had advanced a deliberately false case until shortly before trial. When the falsity was exposed, C changed his case, explaining that he had made inadvertent errors. The judge rejected that explanation as untrue.

View hearing:

Part 1

Part 2