Craig Wright Jail
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Will Craig Wright go to Jail?

A lie has a short life, but truth lives on forever. In the Case of Craig Steven Wright, the lies have been piling up for over eight years. Now, his claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto have been proven false by a UK court and he may face legal consequences for lying under oath.

COPA vs ‘Faketoshi’ CSW

Dr. Craig Steven Wright (CSW) is currently encountering significant legal repercussions following his protracted assertions that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous architect of Bitcoin. Will Craig Wright go to jail for what he has done? Let’s start with some background first.

The ongoing litigation between Wright and the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) has attracted considerable legal and public scrutiny, with COPA endeavoring to hold Wright accountable for alleged fraudulent declarations and misrepresentations (Chohan, 2021). This case has seen noteworthy developments, including prospective sanctions that encompass substantial financial penalties and potential incarceration.

The legal confrontation commenced in February when COPA initiated proceedings to definitively resolve the contentious debate surrounding Wright’s self-proclaimed identity as Nakamoto. In a pivotal ruling rendered in March, the court adjudicated in favor of COPA, determining that Wright is neither the creator of Bitcoin nor the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper. This judicial verdict constituted a substantial blow to Wright, who has long purported to be Nakamoto (Chohan, 2021).

Judge may impose ‘extraordinary’ response

In the latest phase of the proceedings, COPA has petitioned the court to impose substantial financial penalties on Wright, demanding that he bear 85% of their legal expenses, which have become considerable due to the prolonged litigation. Jonathan Hough, representing COPA, also advocated for a civil restraint order designed to preclude Wright from initiating further legal actions based on his claims of being Nakamoto. Hough posited, “There is a powerful public interest in [Wright’s claims] being brought to an end now” (COPA v. Wright, 2023). But will Craig Wright go to Jail? you may ask.

The hearings have illuminated the profound personal impact of Wright’s actions on members of the Bitcoin community. Peter McCormack, a prominent industry figure, experienced stress-induced cardiac issues and hospitalizations due to the strain of defending himself against Wright’s claims. Another individual, known by the pseudonym Hodlonaut, faced surveillance, threats, and had to relinquish his teaching position, adversely affecting his young daughter. Hough underscored the severe repercussions on these individuals, stating: “Their lives were upended by CSW and Ayre’s actions” (COPA v. Wright, 2023).

COPA’s demands extend beyond financial restitution. They are advocating for an injunction to prohibit Wright from publicly asserting that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. This includes the removal of previous statements from online platforms, a measure that Wright’s defense contends is excessively onerous. Additionally, COPA seeks a court order mandating Wright to disseminate the court’s findings on various platforms, including Twitter, Slack, his personal website, and The Times newspaper, ensuring these posts remain visible for six months.

Hough further argued that Wright and his associates, specifically Stefen Matthews, should face criminal prosecution for perjury and document forgery. He presented video evidence of Wright acknowledging alterations to documents and discussing the severe penalties for perjury, thereby emphasizing the gravity of the allegations (COPA v. Wright, 2023). In one excerpt, Wright can be heard stating: “Yes, there are altered pages […] So, I’m going to court on this; you know what happens when you lie in the court […] you get 20 years. That’s how real things work in the real world […] In the real world, people have evidence and rules” (COPA v. Wright, 2023).

Wright’s defense team has challenged COPA’s demands, asserting that they infringe upon Wright’s human rights, particularly his right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act. Craig Orr, representing Wright, contended that Wright genuinely believes he is Satoshi Nakamoto and that Article 10 safeguards his right to make such assertions. The defense also argued that the court’s findings have already been extensively publicized, rendering additional public declarations superfluous (COPA v. Wright, 2023).

Orr further criticized COPA’s motivations, asserting: “COPA seeks wide-ranging orders to stop CSW re-litigating. COPA is motivated by a desire for revenge and a desire to punish and humiliate CSW. That is not legitimate.” He maintained that COPA had not incurred any direct harm, stating, “COPA is not Satoshi, COPA did not assert IP rights. None of COPA’s IP rights have been violated. COPA has not been defamed, the same applies to the developers.” Orr described COPA’s sought remedy as “very wide-ranging, novel, and unprecedented” (COPA v. Wright, 2023).

Notably, the court is contemplating stringent penalties for Wright, including the possibility of a custodial sentence. Under the Perjury Act 1911, the maximum sentence for perjury in the United Kingdom is seven years, accompanied by a potential fine. Judge James Mellor has indicated a willingness to impose these severe sanctions (Perjury Act 1911; COPA v. Wright, 2023).

Will Craig Wright go to Jail?

The likelihood that Dr. Craig Steven Wright (CSW) will face jail time hinges on several legal factors, including the strength of the evidence presented against him, the specific charges considered by the court, and the judicial discretion exercised by the presiding judge.

Lying under oath, forgery and the criminal qualities could have severe consequences.

The court was not impressed with Craig Wright: “He lied repeatedly throughout the day” and “Dr Wright proved to be an extremely slippery witness. In many answers he included some slight qualification. He rarely gave a complete answer and this was deliberate – he was giving himself an ‘out’ for later. On occasion he was extremely pedantic. Initially I was inclined to give him some leeway due to his ASD, but his pedantry was not consistent. He was pedantic when it suited him and not when it didn’t.” The Judge initially gave him benefit of doubt but then judge began to see through CSW’s bullshit.

According to the Perjury Act 1911, the maximum sentence in the UK is seven years and a fine.

“If any person lawfully sworn as a witness or as an interpreter in a judicial proceeding wilfully makes a statement material in that proceeding, which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, he shall be guilty of perjury, and shall, on conviction thereof on indictment, be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding seven years, or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding two years, or to a fine or to both such penal servitude or imprisonment and fine.”

Will Craig Wright go to Jail? The question remains as in the UK, perjury is an indictable-only offense, meaning it must be tried in the Crown Court, which typically involves a trial by jury.

If Craig Wright were to be sentenced for perjury, he would need to undergo a new trial by jury. This is because perjury is considered a serious offense that undermines the administration of justice, and the legal process requires a thorough examination of evidence and testimonies, which is best conducted in a Crown Court setting with a jury.

Perjury and Document Forgery
These are serious charges. Under the Perjury Act 1911, perjury in the United Kingdom carries a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment (Perjury Act 1911, c. 6). If it is proven that Wright altered documents or lied under oath, the court could impose a stringent penalty.

Civil vs. Criminal Proceedings
The ongoing proceedings are primarily civil, focusing on Wright’s claims and the associated financial consequences. However, COPA has also indicated a desire for criminal prosecution on grounds of perjury and forgery. Criminal proceedings would significantly increase the likelihood of a custodial sentence if Wright were found guilty.

Video and Documentary Evidence
COPA has introduced video evidence where Wright allegedly discusses altering documents and the implications of lying in court (COPA v. Wright, 2023). The weight and credibility of this evidence will play a crucial role in the court’s decision-making process.

Historical Actions and Statements
The body of evidence regarding Wright’s historical claims and actions will also be considered. Consistent evidence of fraudulent behavior would increase the probability of severe penalties.

Judicial Discretion
The presiding judge, James Mellor, has expressed willingness to impose severe penalties. Judicial discretion will ultimately influence the sentencing, taking into account factors such as the severity of the wrongdoing, any prior criminal history, and mitigating circumstances.

Precedents and Legal Context & Historical Legal Context
In the UK legal system, penalties for crimes such as perjury are often determined based on both statutory guidelines and case law precedents. Courts historically do not hesitate to impose custodial sentences for serious violations of public trust, such as perjury.

Public Media Attention
High-profile cases with significant public and media interest often lead to more stringent judicial action to uphold the integrity of the judicial system itself. The extensive attention this case has garnered could be a factor influencing a move towards severe penalties.

Will Craig Wright go to Jail?


While it is impossible to predict with certainty whether Wright will face jail time, given the serious nature of the allegations and the evidence presented, there is a substantial possibility of incarceration if the court finds him guilty of perjury or document forgery. The final outcome will depend on the court’s assessment of the evidence and the relevant legal standards.


– Chohan, U. W. (2021). The Decentralised Autonomous Organisation & Dispute Resolution. Available at SSRN:

– Crypto Open Patent Alliance v. Wright, [2023].

– Perjury Act 1911, c. 6.

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