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  • Writer's pictureRosie Burbidge

Is a worldwide freezing order justified in Bitcoin creator case?

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In March 2024, Mr Justice Mellor ruled that Dr Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin. The ruling came following the closing arguments in Dr Wright’s litigation against the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) and other parties.

The same judge has now granted a worldwide freezing order in the sum of £6 million against Dr Wright.

COPA requested the order because it is planning to seek its costs in the litigation but discovered that, after the conclusion of the trial last month, Dr Wright transferred his shares in his company RCJBR Holding plc to a Singapore company. COPA therefore raised concerns that he was seeking to evade the costs consequences of the trial.

Granting the freezing order, Mellor J said COPA was clearly the winning party and would be “highly likely” to obtain an order for costs following argument. He declined to determine the costs orders at this stage without giving Dr Wright the time and opportunity to prepare arguments in response, but said that did not prevent the granting of a freezing order in principle.

In this case, Mellor J found that the freezing order was justified because of COPA’s “very powerful claim to be awarded a very substantial sum in costs”; the very real risk of dissipation; it was just in all the circumstances to grant such an order; the order must extend worldwide; and the appropriate sum was £6 million.

The written judgment on the identity issue is “well advanced” but not yet complete, said Mellor J. We will report further once it is published.

To find out more about the issues raised in this blog contact Rosie Burbidge, Intellectual Property Partner at Gunnercooke LLP in London -


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