Some 400 people from around the world have received permission to watch live-streamed proceedings of a London Business and Property Courts case, the presiding judge revealed this morning. Mr Justice Mellor was addressing the court before the opening of two joined cases seeking to resolve a dispute over the identity of the person who invented the bitcoin digital currency under the pseudonym 'Satoshi Nakamoto'.

In Crypto Open Patent Alliance v Wright, COPA, an alliance of US-based software developers is seeking a declaration that UK-resident computer scientist Dr Craig Wright is not Satoshi, as well as an injunction barring him from taking legal action based on this claim.  

In an opening statement, Jonathan Hough KC, for COPA, said: 'Dr Wright's claim to be Satoshi is a lie, founded on an elaborate false narrative and backed by forgery of documents on an industrial scale.'

Wright denies these allegations. In his skeleton argument he invites the court to resolve the 'identity issue' in his favour. His arguments include that he had a unique set of skills, knowledge and qualification to come up with bitcoin - and his opponents do not propose an alternative candidate for 'Satoshi'. 

Addressing a packed Court 30 in the Rolls Building this morning, Mr Justice Mellor revealed that everyone who had applied for remote access to the hearing had so far been granted it. He called attention to a court order made last week setting out the rules for such access. The order includes a warning that: 'Recording or reproducing the video or audio or photographing the video (including taking a screen grab) is prohibited and constitutes a contempt of court.'

The judge revealed that he had received numerous communications in the run-up to the trial, including 'various books which appear to be related to this issue'. He added: 'I say "appear to be" because I have not read them.' 

He declined as 'far too late' an application over the weekend by an individual named as Paul Lamb to be joined to the case. He also told the court that his clerk had received an email, including purported cryptographic evidence, from someone claiming to be the originator of the seminal 2008 bitcoin white paper. 

The case continues. 


This article is now closed for comment.