Dr. Wright’s settlement offer to COPA and all opposition parties

This post originally appeared on ZeMing M. Gao’s website, and we republished with permission from the author. Read the full piece here.

On January 24, 2024, Dr. Wright sent to his opponents in the COPA litigation (Claim No. IL-2021-000019), the passing-off claims (Claim No. IL-2022-000035 & Claim No. IL-2022-000036) and database-rights claims, (Claim No. IL-2022-000069) a non-negotiable offer to settle each of these cases, which is reproduced in its entirety below.

See the offer in its entirety here.

Here is a quick summary and analysis of the offer.

Foundation:

All lawsuits and claims dropped; the Opposition implicitly recognizes that Dr. Wright is Satoshi but explicitly recognizes that BSV represents the original Bitcoin intended by Satoshi.

Concession:

BTC, BCH, and ABC enjoy perpetual free licenses to the Bitcoin database rights and copyrights and can continue to use the name Bitcoin (under a broader umbrella of Bitcoins), having been recognized to have separate purposes and uses not contemplated by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Implications:

With this offer, the recognition of Dr. Wright as Satoshi will be only implicit. There will be no formal explicit acceptance or announcement that Dr. Wright is Satoshi, and, with a settlement, there will be no official court judgment on the identity issue. Per the settlement, the Opposition will not do any media campaigns against Dr. Wright, but such a pledge is only from an institutional point of view. The anti-Wright campaigns on social media are expected to continue, and the wide rejection of Dr. Wright’s Satoshi identity in the media, especially social media, is likely to continue.

However, the settlement will have an explicit recognition of BSV as the original Bitcoin protocol, and it is going to be helpful for BSV development. Being recognized as the genuine Bitcoin (BSV) is no small matter. In this sense, Dr. Wright offers to partially sacrifice to his reputation for the sake of the genuine Bitcoin.

Note that BSV, being the original Bitcoin protocol, can be factually proven. I am not afraid of debating anyone in the world about this particular matter. Dr. Wright’s making a sacrifice for advancing this rightful status and its wider recognition is appreciated. But one should realize that it is not some kind of otherwisely undeserved artificial right that can only become real as a result of a compromising negotiation. Rather, it is a natural right that has been wrongfully deprived.

And for the Opposition, accepting this does not mean giving up anything that belongs to them. It is just to acknowledge an evident fact.

At the same time, for BTC, having been recognized to have separate purposes and uses not contemplated by Satoshi Nakamoto is not a loss but a gain. The emphasis here is the phrase “separate purposes and uses” because it means legitimacy. It means even though BTC’s purpose is different from what was contemplated by Satoshi originally, it now has its own legitimate, separate purposes and uses.

On the other hand, even though it is recognized as being legitimate, it is separate from what was contemplated by Satoshi. The separation is factually true. Any insistence that BTC is truthful to Satoshi’s Bitcoin is simply hypocrisy.

Being different from Satoshi’s Bitcoin doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong. Violating Satoshi’s property rights for the database and copyright was, but it is forgiven with this offer. The separation is what BTC should have acknowledged when they pushed for SegWit. But they couldn’t then because BTC’s very existential foundation is the coin price, not utility, and acknowledging that BTC was a fork from the original Bitcoin in 2017 would have killed its price, and thus its very existence.

Seven years later, however, BTC can stand on its own feet. Given the market’s acceptance and adoration of “digital gold,” it may finally muster enough courage to proclaim, “We thank Satoshi, but we disagree with him.”

BTC betrayed Satoshi in 2017 but may come to make it public now. Satoshi just said to you, “if you accept this offer, I forgive you for everything you did.”

Therefore, with this offer, BTC is likely to continue under the name Bitcoin, albeit only one of the multiple forms of “Bitcoins” – as described in the offer. It will keep its current path and enjoy the wide coin market recognition without utility (until the illusion pops, but no one can tell when).

Some believe that the offer does not give the name Bitcoin away. But it does. Explicitly.

Satoshi wanted one of the largest technological advancements in human history, but BTC succeeded in becoming one of the largest mass psychological tests ever done to mankind. Satoshi can continue his effort with Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV). If BTC thrives or dies, it does so with market sentiment, not with Satoshi. It’s not the end. It’s a new beginning for both sides.

Prediction:

Likelihood of acceptance by Opposition before trial: close to zero.

There are many parties involved in Opposition, with diverse motivations and cognition levels. I cannot imagine the parties will come to an agreement within a week.

If the offer is for parties individually, it would be interesting to see if anyone takes the offer separately. But I doubt anyone will. Under the current BTC culture, any Core developer who does that will likely be instantly banished.

In any event, the main party, COPA, is unlikely to accept such an offer because it would defeat their litigation purpose.

BTC Core and the crypto exchanges may be more inclined to like the offer because it is good for their existing and continuing business.

But COPA’s position is very different. COPA’s purpose is not to fight for freedom of operation in view of the Bitcoin database and the whitepaper (the founders of COPA take that for granted). Its real purpose is to thoroughly discredit Dr. Wright, kill BSV, and render nChain’s IP less effective. They looked at nChain’s patent portfolio and decided it was necessary to do something about it. Hence the lawsuit. On the surface, the lawsuit is about the Satoshi identity and whitepaper copyright, but the true target is BSV blockchain and nChain’s patents.

COPA’s name stands for “Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance.” COPA filed COPA v. Wright about seven months after it was formed, just about enough time to prepare for the lawsuit. Dr. Wright’s patents (which are assigned to nChain) seem to be COPA’s primary concern. Even though a COPA win would not destroy nChain patents outright, disabling the main underlying business can nevertheless make the associated IP portfolio much less potent.

Therefore, accepting this offer would be a defeat for COPA’s purpose.

Under only one condition would COPA accept this offer: after seeing the evidence, they have concluded their chance to win is small, and they have no better choice. But so far, there is no sign that COPA is losing confidence in its case.

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