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Why is BSV going wild for Craig Wright’s Bitcoin copyright?

Andrew Munro 22 May 2019 NEWS

Picture not described: cryptocurrency-markets-20180511-shutterstock-738.jpg Image: Getty

The action more than doubled BSV prices, but it's tough to see why it would make any difference.

Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision (BSV) prices more than doubled following the news that Craig Wright, the founder of BSV and self-declared creator of the original Bitcoin, has lodged a copyright claim for the original Bitcoin whitepaper and for the Bitcoin code itself.

The BSV mouthpiece publication CoinGeek announced the application, saying:

"Importantly, the registrations issued by the U.S. Copyright Office recognize Wright as the author – under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto – of both the white paper and code."

"Notably, when reviewing Wright's copyright applications, the U.S. copyright examiner was aware that the Bitcoin white paper and code were each a "famous work" and there have been questions about who is associated with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. After receiving confirmation from Wright that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the Copyright Office granted the... registrations."

Of course, as people were quick to point out, the US Copyright Office isn't in the business of validating claims. They just do the paperwork.

Plus, when you take a closer look at the exact phrasing of CoinGeek's announcement it's clear that it could mean just about anything or nothing.

"Receiving confirmation that Wright that he is Satoshi Nakamoto" could simply mean that Wright said "I am Satoshi Nakamoto" without providing any concrete evidence.

So by itself, it looks like this doesn't actually mean anything. But if this is such a nonevent, the new question is why BSV went so utterly hysterical.

Hysterical, defined

The BSV markets reacted to this head-scratchingly unimpressive development as though it's the second coming of Christ. Traders are seemingly frothing at the mouth, speaking in tongues and ready to donate all their worldly possessions to the glory of Satoshi's vision.

Picture not described: bsv-monthly-price-copywright-snip.jpg Image: Getty

What you're seeing here is BSV prices briefly spiking to just short of their all time highs, and volume climbing to the second-highest it's ever been, with the highest being a rush for the door when BSV was on the verge of its mass delistings. Today's price rise is going to leave a mark, and future market archaeologists will look back at this event as a pivotal moment in BSV's price history.

But it hardly seems a proportional reaction.

There's no news other than the copyright that could explain this rise either. Elsewhere, BSV has announced some hackathon semi-finalists, and reiterated that it still likes big blocks and it cannot lie. Neither is enough to explain a move of this magnitude.

Some are suggesting it was a concerted pump from the relatively small handful of exchanges that still list the coin, so the prices are essentially supporting the news, rather than the news supporting the prices as is more typical. After all, most BSV supporters presumably already believe Wright is the real Satoshi and BSV is the real Bitcoin, so you have to wonder who's actually buying this ascent.

One explanation is that people are mistaking the development for actual official recognition of Wright's Nakamoto-hood, or are cynical enough to appreciate that it doesn't really mean anything while still believing it to be a big coup for BSV.

And maybe it is?

Wright has previously said that he doesn't buy into the cypherpunk ideals of using private keys to prove ownership of Bitcoin, and instead wants to prove in a court of law that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. It could be that moves such as the Bitcoin copyright are all incremental and inconclusive bits of "evidence" to be collectively assembled at a later date to convincingly "prove" that Wright really did invent Bitcoin. That in turn might help fuel future lawsuits to clamp down on unlawful use of Craig Wright's intellectual property.

But that's an entirely different can of worms, and whether it's worth it or would even make a difference is not entirely clear. As people are pointing out, serious institutional users don't care who did or didn't invent Bitcoin, and BTC certainly isn't in any immediate danger of becoming a high-performance public blockchain.

It's a crypto mystery.


Disclosure: The author holds BTC, BNB, ATOM, IOTA at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

Picture: Shutterstock

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