Satoshi Defamation Trial in Norway to Begin Sept 12

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:

The parties in Granath v Wright in Norway have filed their closing arguments with an Oslo court as a trial is set to begin September 12.  Dr. Craig Wright is claiming that he's been defamed by Magnus Granath.  A Miami jury last year determined that Wright played a role in the creation of Bitcoin.

Granath is a Norwegian digital asset enthusiast and Lightning Torch project creator.

According to Jordan Atkins of CoinGeek, Wright claims that Granath used a pseudonymous Twitter handle @Hodlonaut without identifying his true identity in order to wage a campaign of harassment against him.  The alleged defamation includes referring to Wright as "a scammer" and "a fraud".

A complaint with the court filed in January of 2020 with Wright as the Claimant reads:

On 17 th March 2019 Mr Granath posted an anonymous tweet using his Twitter handle @Hodlonaut, in these terms:

“The forensics to CSW's first attempt to fraudulently ‘prove’ he is Satoshi. Enabled by @gavinandresen. Never forget. @CraigWrightIsAFraud.”

Without extrinsic facts it is not entirely clear what this means. Dr Wright's case is that the tweet bears the following innuendo meaning:

“… [Dr Wright] had fraudulently claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, that is to say the person, or one of the group of people, who developed the crypto currency Bitcoin.”

@Hodlonaut tweeted out on August 19, 2022 to his substantial number of followers:

"I need your help to finish a fight that began back in March, 2019."

He followed up with: "The support from this community has played a big role to keep my morale and fighting spirit up. My opponents didn’t expect this. They don’t understand bitcoin or bitcoiners. They expected me to fold from the threats and harassment. Now they are on the ropes instead."

Over 1600 of his followers retweeted the call to action.

Calvin Ayre, a proponent of the BSV Blockchain and supporter of Dr. Wright was among those who responded to Hodlonaut.

"you are the one attacking Satoshi and history will not be kind."

“Craig Wright is open to factual debate and statements related to his pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. However, this case concerns harassing messages made anonymously on Twitter to 8,800 people who then followed @Hodlonaut, with a direct call to the followers to continue the personal attacks,” reads the filing by Wright.

The lawyer for Wright claims that Granath mocked his disability using the Twitter platform.  Wright is autistic.

At the time of the tweets, it was not understood why they were posted. Today, there may be a clearer understanding, at least as far as Wright's attorneys are concerned.

From the CoinGeek site:

Dr. Wright’s lawyers also draw attention to Granath’s likely motivation behind the attacks: his support of BTC and its Lightning Network, which are direct competitors to Dr. Wright’s BSV. The war against BSV is well documented and currently the subject of a record-breaking class action suit in the U.K.’s competition tribunal, and serial harassers like Granath have played a key part in that war. Before Granath’s ‘hodlonaut’ account was gaining attention for his attacks on Dr. Wright, it was known for the ‘Lightning Torch’ project, a social media campaign aimed at drawing attention to the Lightning Network, which purports to allow fast, cheap transactions on the BTC network’s second layer. Bitcoin (as currently represented by BSV), on the other hand, was designed to do this natively, making it an existential threat to Granath’s favorite project.

Atkins notes that, under Norwegian law, Granath's tweets must also be shown to be unlawful, not just defamatory, in order for Dr. Wright to prevail.

Under Norwegian law, this is determined based on a “balancing exercise,” weighing the consideration of the target of the statements against the consideration of the defamer’s right to freedom of expression.

The trial is expected to last for seven days.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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