Dr Craig Steven Wright v The Person or Persons Unknown Responsible for the Operation and Publication of the Website (including the person or persons using the pseudonym “CØbra”)

Shaman Kapoor has been successful in resisting the appeal before the Honourable Mr. Justice Richard Smith, representing Craig Wright.  The case raised practical, procedural and legal questions around the extent to which “persons unknown” could take positive action in proceedings whilst doing nothing more to reveal their identity.  It raised arguments about natural justice, open justice, publicity, fair trials and explored the possible tension between a party being subjected to the court’s jurisdiction and that party’s right to be heard.

The substantive proceedings concerned the claimant’s claim for infringement of copyright in a literary work entitled “Bitcoin: a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” which had become known as “the White Paper”, and which the defendant made available on the website.  The pseudonym CØbra was used on the website to describe the domain owner.  The White Paper was itself released under a pseudonym of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ and the author of the White Paper is widely thought to be the creator of Bitcoin.  Since at least 2016 the Claimant has maintained that he did create Bitcoin and was the author of the White Paper.

Shaman was instructed by Travers Smith LLP and, in particular, Huw Jenkin, Natalie Puddicombe, Kasope Sonola and ONTIER LLP, in particular, James Dixon and Simon Cohen.

Judgment was handed down on 18 September 2023 and can be found here.