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McCormack Decision to Fight Wright Libel Case

The bitcoin blogger and podcaster Peter McCormack has decided to defend Wright’s £100k libel action against him.

UK bitcoin trader and writer Peter McCormack, founder of the site and podcast whatbitcoindid.com, had until today to decide on how to proceed in the ongoing libel case against him. Having publicly called out Craig Wright as a fraud for claiming to be Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto, McCormack is now being sued for £100,000. In a recent tweet McCormack has revealed his intentions to defend himself.

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In an earlier Twitter thread, McCormack explained the factors he had to consider in this case and it’s not been an easy decision:

  • Whether to contest the case or not, or whether to opt for mediation.
  • Not contesting the case would mean paying £100k, but would deprive Wright of publicity.
  • Contesting the case could ultimately have costs of up to £1.5 million, if he did not succeed, since he would also have to pay Wright’s legal costs.
  • He believes the case is part of Wright’s ‘ongoing narrative’ to establish BSV as the ‘real’ Bitcoin.
  • Losing the case may have implications for Bitcoin as well as McCormack personally.
  • There is no guarantee he would win; it is difficult to prove a negative (that Wright is not Satoshi).
  • He has not decided whether to crowdfund his defence yet, but is unwilling to take money from individuals. ‘This is your Bitcoin and I did not want this to go to lawyers.’
  • ‘Whatever decision I make, it is a tough one. I am fighting the bullying and intimidation of people with very deep pockets, with a history of disingenuous behaviour.’
  • Cases like this can go on for years.
  • ‘One thing I refuse to do is accept or say in court that Craig Wright is Satoshi and that BSV is the real Bitcoin.’
  • Since starting that thread, he has been the victim of ‘relentless’ attacks from ‘BSV shills or sockpuppets’.

It appears unlikely that the court will require Wright to prove he is Satoshi to continue with the case. Discovery may be an important process in this regard, but another relevant trial in the US shows that this will be lengthy and expensive. And the findings from that trial, while intensely relevant here, may not be admissible in a UK court.

In an interesting plot twist McCormack has noted that Craig Wright was convicted by Australian authorities for contempt of court in 2004 and sentenced to 28 days in jail, which was later switched to community service after appeal. An article on the topic also reveals that Craig Wrights property was raided on a personal tax matter in 2015. We can only speculate, but these revelations may prove useful in McCormack’s defense.

At the end of the day this is about far more than two men in a libel case. This is about the narrative and future history of Bitcoin. We are watching closely.

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