Craig Wright and his lawsuit: a real danger for Bitcoin and the world of open source

Bitcoin in danger in the face of justice? – From 18 to 20 May takes place the Bitcoin 2023 conference in Miami. On this occasion, many players in the ecosystem will be brought to discuss various topics related to Bitcoin. On this occasion, jessica jonas of the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund addressed the legal consequences potential of a lawsuit large-scale against lead developers of Bitcoin.

Legal action: what consequences for Bitcoin?

jessica jonas, legal director of the non-profit organization Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund, spoke at the Bitcoin 2023 Miami conference. During her speech, she discussed the potential consequences of legal action against Bitcoin developers.

Thus, it referred in particular to thelegal action registered in England by Craig Wright. As a reminder, Craig Wright is known to have self-proclaimed the creator of Bitcoin and claimed to be the person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

His case in England pits his company Tulip Trading against 14 people directly or indirectly involved in the development of Bitcoin Core. In more detail, Wright argues that the developers owe him a fiduciary supportnamely that they must act to protect its interests.

Tweet from Craig Wright on the case – Source: Twitter

In reality, the case concerns the 111,000 BTC hack allegedly owned by Tulip Trading.

“An allegation that Tulip Trading allegedly owns 111,000 bitcoins and allegedly was hacked and lost those 111,000 bitcoins in an Ocean’s 11 style hack.”

Through his action, Craig Wright asks developers to create a backdoor in code BitcoinCore so that the company is able to recover the funds. Just that! Obviously, this request, in addition to being completely outlandish, is not feasible, as pointed out by Jonas:

“They are asking the court to order this group of software developers to write a fix in the software that embezzles the funds. This is not how Bitcoin works. It’s impossible. »

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Serious consequences for Bitcoin

At first, Jonas explains that the request is unfeasible. In fact, it requires a hard fork code and, consequently, an adoption of this fork by the nodes of the network. Even if the developers agree to create this fork, there is little chance that the node operators will adopt it and allow Tulip Trading to recover its hypothetical BTC.

However, it could well go further. Indeed, this trial opens the question concerning the fiduciary duty from developers of open source code to people who use such code.

“This case has already gone through appeal, and the Court of Appeals found that the question of whether open source developers should owe a fiduciary duty to people who use their code is important. »

jessica jonas

Indeed, the open-source software constitute 97% software around the world. Beyond cryptocurrencies, a resolution in favor of Wright would be a thunderclap for the entire open source ecosystem.

On his side, Craig Wright is not not at his first attempt. Indeed, he goes through legal battles all over the world. However, these rarely go as planned. Indeed, in October 2022, he lost a case against Hodlonaut and still has not settled the 385,000 euros damages.

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