Craig Wright also formally claimed the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto – the mysteriously anonymous creator of Bitcoin who Wright outed as himself in 2016.
Wright’s copyright registration was announced in a statement sent to cryptocurrency news websites by the Bitcoin Association.
According to the announcement, “the registrations issued by the US Copyright Office recognise Wright as the author – under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto – of both the white paper and code.”
This pushed up the price of Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) – Wright’s rival to the Bitcoin standard BTC – from a month-long lull at around $US60 to over $US100 per coin.
The US Copyright Office issued a statement saying that, after receiving an application for copyright registration, it does not investigate the truth of any statement made, effectively clarifying that, no, it does not automatically recognise Wright as the Bitcoin author.
On the day after his copyright registration, Wright posted a blog that began with a quote from US Supreme Court Justice Louise Brandeis: “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
It is still uncertain what Wright will do with his new copyright claim.
Wright is trying to build a new kind of internet called the Metanet that is built on blockchain technology.
As Wright wrote in a piece for Medium earlier this year, “If a user wishes to engage with the site and use the services being provided, they could put up an escrow amount [of Bitcoin] that they could get back at the end of the session.
“The site could charge small micropayments for continued use, or it could allow free access with a small deposit.”
According to Wright, Metanet would greatly discourage attackers while also building an online economic environment that does not rely on selling user data.
In the Bitcoin whitepaper, Nakamoto references Wei Dai’s publication ‘b-money’ which looked to build a theoretical framework for the function of crypto-anarchist communities.
Metanet could be seen as forming the basis of crypto-anarchist communities – based on Tim May’s ‘Crypto Anarchist Manifesto’ – in which “two persons may exchange messages, conduct business, and negotiate electronic contracts without ever knowing the True Name, or legal identity, of the other.”
Wright is a divisive figure in the cryptocurrency community with many calling him a fraud.
He has filed to sue bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver and podcaster Peter McCormack for libel, and has offered a $5,000 bounty for information to identify Twitter user Holdonaut because of their public opposition to Wright’s claim over the Satoshi Nakamoto name.