In brief

  • Craig Wright filed a lawsuit against Blockstream CEO Adam Back last year.
  • He claimed that Back libelled him by calling him a fraud.
  • In January, he dropped the lawsuit and paid Back's legal fees.

nChain chief scientist and self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright has abandoned his lawsuit against Blockstream CEO Adam Back and paid all legal costs incurred.

Back tweeted yesterday that the case was dropped in January 2020 when Wright told the court he was discontinuing the case. He said that Wright agreed to pay 100% of his legal fees, which he claimed was unusual and that, typically, around 75% of fees are usually met. Back received £6,666 ($8,400) in fees.

Why did Craig Wright sue Adam Back?

The lawsuit was originally served on April 16, 2019. At the time, Wright filed lawsuits against Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver, podcaster Peter McCormack and pseudonymous Twitter individual “Hodlonaut.” All the individuals claimed that Wright was a fraud for claiming that he invented Bitcoin.

Wright filed in the UK where libel laws are stricter than elsewhere. There, the onus is on the person who published the allegedly libellous statement, who has to prove that it was true or otherwise not libellous. However, Wright had his lawsuits against Ver and Hodlonaut thrown out because neither lived in the UK.

Back had claimed Wright was not Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin. He had made further claims that Wright published fake proofs to back his claim up.

When the lawsuit was filed, Coingeek founder Calvin Ayre tweeted, “Adam Back back got his letter from Craig today so he will also have a chance to tell his story under oath in a UK court. He must really be happy about this given how loud he has been in the last week on his opinions.”

Back explained that, after receiving a letter on April 16, the lawsuit was filed in June and documents were provided in July. At this time he retained London-based law firm RPC, as McCormack had.

Shortly after, his lawyers were informed that Wright had notified the court he was discontinuing the case and that they should stop preparing a defense. Wright’s lawyers declined to give an explanation for why the case was dropped, he said.

“Consequently Craig agreed to reimburse 100% of my costs, which is unusual: standard is 'reasonable costs' (65-75%), vs fault assumed 'indemnity' costs (80%). probably whole thing cost Craig > 20k GBP,” Back tweeted.

After the case was dropped, Wright paid the fees the next day.

McCormack simply tweeted, “Me next.”