Wright & others (claimants/appellants) v BTC Core & others (defendants/respondents)

Wednesday 12 July 2023

The First Claimant, Dr Wright, claims to be the creator of the Bitcoin System, the person who wrote the original Bitcoin code and the author of the White Paper, a document entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, which essentially describes the Bitcoin System. He claims he was the person who made the White Paper available to the public on 31 October 2008 under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

This action was one of four in the Business & Property Courts involving Dr Wright and there is a common issue in all four actions – what has been called ‘the identity issue’, namely, whether it was Dr Wright who adopted the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto when announcing his creation of the Bitcoin System or, perhaps slightly inaccurately, whether Dr Wright was or is Satoshi Nakamoto. That issue will be the subject of trial in due course.

The hearing which gave rise to this judgment was concerned with an aspect of Dr Wright’s application for permission to serve this claim out of the jurisdiction. Some of the Defendants are in the jurisdiction and have been served already in a conventional way. The majority of the Defendants are outside the jurisdiction. There is clear authority that, in order to grant a litigant permission to serve his claim on someone outside the jurisdiction, the court must be satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried on the merits of the claim. This means that the claim must have a real (as opposed to a fanciful) prospect of success. This standard applies to each cause of action asserted in the claim.

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