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Craig Wright hits COPA trial with 164,000 pages of evidence

source-logo  protos.com 22 February 2024 13:34, UTC

Tuesday was Day 13 of the Coinbase, Kraken, Block, and MicroStrategy-backed Crypto Open Patent Alliance’s (COPA) court battle with self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright.

Early in the morning, observers gasped as Wright dumped another 164,000 pages in front of them. As we learned on February 12, Wright wants to use his wife’s mysteriously discovered box of documents from his attic as evidence.

Naturally, skeptics of Wright like BitMEX Research asked why Wright needed so many pages if he really was Bitcoin’s creator. After all, he could prove his identity with just 150 bytes — one transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain.

And a REAL proof of Satoshi would only be like 150 bytes in total, instead he produced a 160,000 page fake proof

— BitMEX Research (@BitMEXResearch) February 21, 2024
Two pro-BTC influencers joke about BSV’s big data blockchain.

First witness of COPA v. Wright day 13: Martti Malmi

During the 13th day of COPA v. Wright, one of the earliest living Bitcoiners, Martti Malmi, testified as a witness and faced cross-examination.

Malmi is an early Bitcoin developer who communicated directly with Satoshi Nakamoto via email and IRC chat in 2009. While Wright’s legal team cross-examined him on Wednesday, he politely distinguished Satoshi from Craig Wright by refusing to refer to them as the same person.

Malmi initially helped manage the forum for the early SourceForge account hosting Bitcoin’s repository. Malmi was also an enthusiastic website contributor, earning Satoshi’s first-ever control turnover of Bitcoin.org.

The website hosted the Bitcoin forum before it moved to another domain, Bitcointalk.org.

As the first successor to Satoshi in managing Bitcoin’s website, Malmi made various design and copywriting updates. For example, Malmi created the content for the website’s FAQ page based on answers from Satoshi. To be clear, Malmi wrote some of the content, and he quoted other parts using Satoshi’s own words.

Cross-examiners drew Malmi’s attention to various parts of the website. For example, Malmi disputed Wright’s claim that the server for the forum that became BitcoinTalk was migrated. He may have simply had the URL pointing at the same server using Domain Name System (DNS) standards.

Malmi did admit that the forum later moved from one hosting service to another, though that had little to do with DNS ability to have a domain name point at any server specified by the entity that controls the domain name.

He also admitted that admin privileges didn’t automatically transfer to a new server during a website migration, though he said it was possible to use the same credentials. He denied that the move was for the express purpose of removing Satoshi’s access — even though it did have that effect.

W: "The intention of moving to a new server was to remove Satoshi's access"
M: "No that was not the purposes"
W: "But that was the effect"
M: "Yes but I have great respect for Satoshi and he could always have asked for creds if he wanted them"

— CryptoDevil (@CryptoDevil) February 21, 2024

Read more: COPA trial: ‘Very annoying’ Craig Wright was ‘into Japanese stuff’

Separately, Malmi only recalled one exchange in which Satoshi mentioned the possibility of adding timestamps to files. The pseudonymous Bitcoin creator theorized that it would be possible to add a few lines of code to expand Bitcoin’s timestamps beyond transactions.

Satoshi publicly supported using sidechains for some applications like a theoretical ‘BitDNS.’ (After Satoshi disappeared, other people renamed BitDNS as Namecoin and listed its altcoin for trading in 2013.)

When discussing BitDNS, Satoshi noted that sidechains like BitDNS could share hash power with Bitcoin.

At Wednesday’s cross-examination, Malmi didn’t recall any private communications with Satoshi via the SourceForge code repository. Wright claims that he communicated with Malmi over another direct message (DM) system.

Judge Mellor released Malmi after asking whether Satoshi had ever requested access to the servers to which BitcoinTalk had migrated. Malmi answered that Satoshi had not asked.

M: "No he did not"
W: "CSW disputes that. Do records of those SF messages exist?"
M: "Yes I checked my messages on @bitcointalk and I saw just the one old message there. All the old SF messages are archived there"
W: "Who did you request archive access to?"

— CryptoDevil (@CryptoDevil) February 21, 2024

Second witness of COPA v. Wright day 13: Adam Back

After a break, Adam Back was sworn in as a witness in the UK High Court of Justice.

Back first proposed HashCash in a 1997 paper he published. He’d originally envisioned HashCash as a method for combatting email spam by charging a small fee for each email sent. Such a system could make it more costly than it was worth to send millions of spam emails.

In a 2002 paper, Back also suggested using HashCash to counteract denial-of-service attacks. Wright’s attorney picked up on Back’s suggested alternative uses for HashCash, including one idea for creating an interface for HashCash and Wei Dai’s B-Money.

Back admitted that Wei Dai, one of the earliest Bitcoiners, might have posted his B-Money paper to the Cypherpunks mailing list, although he couldn’t confirm for certain. (Wei Dai interestingly proposed a system for rewarding parties that solved a cryptographic hash with ‘credits.’ Dai’s system had some similarities to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work system.)

In the courtroom, Wright’s legal team presented the original HashCash paper which Back originally sent to the Cypherpunks mailing list.

Wright’s attorney referred to Cypherpunks as “libertarians who believed in cryptography to bring about social change.” The group included Hal Finney and Zooko Wilcox. Back allowed that he “shared common interests” with Finney and Wilcox but denied that they were good friends. He mentioned that he’d never met them in person.

According to Wright’s attorney, Wilcox had said they were good friends. Again, Back denied that, saying that Wilcox blocked him for criticizing an altcoin that Wilcox created, Zcash.

Next, the attorney returned to HashCash, asking about its original suggested application: controlling spam emails. Back pushed the idea that it could be used for digital cash. The attorney tried pushing back, saying the original paper said nothing about digital cash. However, Back seemed to shrug it off, pointing out that the paper mentioned that HashCash could be “used in society for monetary value.”

A: "Well it says about stamps there which could also be used in society for monetary value"
W: "Is it fair to say your proposal to solve a computation puzzle to be allowed to send an email. That the first stage of the idea required the computation of puzzle"
A: "Yes"

— CryptoDevil (@CryptoDevil) February 21, 2024
Adam Back answers whether Hash Cash was a proto-cryptocurrency.

Read more: COPA witness says LEGO was ‘an inspiration’ for Craig Wright

The idea behind HashCash involved a system that Back described as being “like a stamp.” The first part involved a requirement to solve a hash before an email could be sent. The second part involved the receiver verifying the hash. Most people wouldn’t find this much of a barrier since they normally don’t send out very many emails. However, spammers could get charged a high price for sending millions of emails.

Back acknowledged citing a previous paper authored by Dalia Meliie and Matt Franklin. However, he claimed he’d been unfamiliar with other previous work by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor.

He also denied that he ever intended to create a ‘Bitcoin-like’ system with HashCash. He merely proposed it as a way to combat spam, not as a general-purpose digital cash system. He said Nick Szabo’s Bit Gold was probably closer to being Bitcoin-like.

Back doubted that Satoshi knew about Bit Gold when Satoshi created Bitcoin. This statement by Back counterargued Craig Wright’s claim that Satoshi was aware of it. Nor did Back think Satoshi was aware of B-Money.

Currently an executive at Blockstream, one of the longest-running Bitcoin development companies, Back defended Blockstream’s work on Lightning when Wright’s attorney mentioned that Wright had blistered Lightning as a “betrayal” of Bitcoin. Back says Lightning is a way to overcome the difficulty of scaling a blockchain like Bitcoin.

He also admitted that Blockstream patented some Bitcoin-related work. Nevertheless, it ended its ‘defensive patent program’ when it decided to collaborate with COPA. It open-sourced most of its patents when it joined the alliance.

Back also denied conjecture that Craig Wright’s demise would help Blockstream and similarly dismissed Wright’s BSV as a mere “fork of a fork.” (BSV forked from BCH during a falling-out between Roger Ver’s BCH community and Craig Wright’s BSV community.)

At one point, Back referred to Wright as “a bit of an Elvis impersonator” who might be able to temporarily fool some people but is not truly authentic.

“I find CSW a bit like an Elvis impersonator. I don't find anything he posts authentic”

– Adam Back https://t.co/PL9ZR9jsmN

— hodlonaut 80 IQ 13%er 🌮⚡🔑 🐝 (@hodlonaut) February 21, 2024

Read more: Craig Wright pulls mystery box, calls Satoshi ‘he’ during COPA trial

In summary, Martti Malmi and Adam Back testified Wednesday in the most important lawsuit of Craig Wright’s life. Both men are incredibly early Bitcoiners who have communicated with Satoshi Nakamoto directly.

These two witnesses covered highly technical ground during their testimony, ranging from DNS to touching on some of Bitcoin’s predecessors. Their cross-examinations will inform the final ruling on whether Craig Wright wrote Bitcoin’s whitepaper.