3. February 2023

McCormack vs Wright: Battle of Bitcoiners Comes to an End

• A judgment in Peter McCormack’s case against Craig Wright concluded that Wright must pay the court fees of McCormack on an indemnity basis.
• The conclusion of the trial also sets up an inquiry into Wright for contempt of court for breaching an embargo on a draft judgment.
• McCormack is being directed to pay approximately $1.1 million (900,000 British pounds) in legal costs.

In a case of David vs Goliath proportions, Peter McCormack, a British bitcoiner and podcaster, was recently in court to face off against Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s mysterious pseudonymous creator. In 2019, Wright had filed a defamation suit against McCormack after the podcaster called him a “liar” and “fraud”. After a long battle in the courtroom, a judgment has now been reached.

The court found that Wright must pay the court fees of McCormack on an indemnity basis. The conclusion of the trial has also set up an inquiry into Wright for contempt of court for breaching an embargo on a draft judgment. In particular, he had allegedly shared details of the judgment prior to the embargo date in the MetaNet Slack (MetaNet is a BSV education company). The judgment reads that “The Court of Appeal has signaled that breaches are likely to result in contempt proceedings.”

Though Wright is not faring particularly well in the case, McCormack is also not on the winning side. He is being directed to pay approximately $1.1 million (900,000 British pounds) in legal costs, subject to evaluation by a cost judge. McCormack himself has stated that “the stress of the last four years can’t be understated, it has had a significant impact upon me and my family.”

The case has been ongoing since Wright had first filed the defamation suit against McCormack in 2019. In the suit, Wright had argued that McCormack’s comments had caused monetary damages after he had speaking roles canceled. Though the court did rule in Wright’s favor, they pointed out that he had submitted false evidence, which in turn led to an awarding of only 1 British pound in nominal damages. In October of 2022, Wright had lost his defamation trial against pseudonymous Bitcoiner Hodlonaut. The lawsuit involved whether or not the defendant had, in fact, called Wright a fraud on Twitter.

This most recent judgment in the case of McCormack vs Wright is yet another example of the long-standing and ongoing power struggle between the two camps. While the result of this case does not appear to be in anyone’s favor, it does bring one step closer to the resolution of a battle which has been going on for several years now.