Renowned crypto industry lawyer, Stuart Hoegner, the general counsel for stablecoin issuer Tether and crypto exchange Bitfinex, has publicly denounced claims made in a recent CoinGeek article. Specifically, the article postulated that podcaster Peter McCormack has been abandoned by Tether in the legal battle against Craig Wright, an Australian who has publicly claimed that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
“This is a lie,” Hoegner wrote on Twitter. CoinGeek has been described by other news outlets in the crypto sphere as being “BSV-focused”, referring to Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision, the cryptocurrency that Craig Wright is factually known to be the creator of.
— Stuart Hoegner (@bitcoinlawyer) October 24, 2020
On October 24th, cryptocurrency news outlet, CoinGeek posted an article entitled “Tether pulls support for Peter McCormack in Craig Wright libel case following discovery.”
“Until now, Tether had been supporting McCormack’s defense as he was being sued by Wright…McCormack’s side is now reportedly trying to settle the case,” the article wrote.
Additionally, the article hypothesized that Tether’s alleged decision to stop fighting with McCormack could mean that Tether’s legal defense felt that their case was not strong enough to win: “[The fact] that Tether was apparently not even willing to wait until November to see if McCormack’s attempt to get the case thrown out would be accepted also indicates that whatever evidence Tether has seen is overwhelming and likely fatal to their defense,” the article claimed.
BSV supporter Calvin Ayre further claimed on Twitter that “I was forwarded a copy of the Letter from [Peter McCormack’s] lawyer saying he wants to settle because his funding was cut. Tether said they were the ones funding him so this has to mean Tether cut funding. If Tether is still funding this makes no sense.”
Hoegner was staunch in his assertion that the claims were fake news: “@Tether_to supports @PeterMcCormack and believes he’s in the right,” he wrote.
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However, a number of Twitter users responded to the Tweet with questions over whether this ‘support’ is merely ideological or will continue to be financial. Finance Magnates reached out to Hoegner, who was not immediately available for remarks. Comments will be added as they are received.
Legal Dramas Abound
Wright originally brought a lawsuit against Peter McCormack in April of 2019. The lawsuit took issue with McCormack’s public challenges of Wright’s claims that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. When the suit was filed, Wright claimed that he believes that McCormack’s words were actually meant to hurt Bitcoin SV, a notion that McCormack has denounced several times.
Craig Wright’s claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto have been rejected by many. @Tether_to also rejects them. Wright has had myriad opportunities to prove that he is Satoshi and has not definitively done so. 1/3
— Stuart Hoegner (@bitcoinlawyer) November 8, 2019
In the suit, Wright sought more than £100,000 (over $130,000) in damages and legal costs and court fees.
However, Tether came to McCormack’s aid in November of 2019 when Hoegner announced on Twitter that Tether was siding with McCormack and would be offering financial support for the lawsuit’s legal proceedings.
“Litigation can be drawn-out and expensive, but we are committed to the long game,” Hoegner wrote on November 8th, 2019.
“We admire Peter’s conviction and are humbled to support his defence against what we see as frivolous and vexatious litigation.”
While McCormack’s legal drama related to denial of the claims that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto seems to be the most drawn-out, this was not the only lawsuit that Wright attempted to file. Wright also came after Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin for similar reasons but later dropped the suit.
Furthermore, throughout the year, Wright has been wrapped up in a legal battle against the estate of David Kleiman, his former business partner, related to his claims that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.