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Craig Wright Won’t Need to Pay Hodlnaut $60K Until Appeal Is Over, Says Counsel



Craig Wright, a self-proclaimed Bitcoin (BTC) creator, is apparently not required to pay legal fees for a failed libel suit against the Twitter crypto enthusiast known as Hodlonaut.

In an Aug. 14 email to Cointelegraph, Wright’s legal representative argued that he is not obliged to pay legal costs in the defamation suit until the Norwegian Supreme Court considers an appeal.

The spokesperson said, “Craig has appealed to the Norwegian Supreme Court. Craig’s Norwegian lawyers say that there is no obligation on Craig to pay the costs until that appeal is dealt with.”

The new comments come in response to Hodlonaut claiming that Wright has been ignoring a court filing requiring him to pay legal fees within two weeks following a Jun. 8 court judgment. In an Aug. 13 tweet, Hodlonaut argued that Wright “has not paid a cent” out of $60,000 in two months after the judgement was made.

According to Hodlonaut, the Norwegian Court of Appeals denied an appeal to Wright earlier in June. The Twitter persona continued that Wright was obliged to pay “all costs for both District Court and Court of Appeals” in a tweet on June 8.

As previously reported, Hodlonaut is one of several crypto people targeted by Wright’s multiple defamation suits aiming to prove that he is the true creator of Bitcoin. Similar cases were brought against Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, early Bitcoin investor Roger Ver, and podcaster Peter McCormack.

The legal action against Hodlonaut was reportedly triggered by offensive tweets calling Wright a “very sad and pathetic scammer” and claiming that the Australian businessman was “clearly mentally ill.” Hodlonaut is also reportedly involved in the creation of the #CraigWrightIsAFraud hashtag.

In response to initial reports on Wright filing a libel suit against Hodlonaut, the crypto community announced a crowdfunding to help the Twitter crypto enthusiast “unfounded legal attacks.” 

Blockchain​ entrepreneur Elizabeth Stark was apparently among the first crypto players to support Hodlonaut, announcing crowdfunding website in April 2019. At the time of writing, the initiative has raised $32,430 worth of Bitcoin (BTC), blowing well past it’s initial goal of $20,000.

How or whether these funds have been applied to Hodlnaut’s legal costs remains uncertain, but the site claims “We hit our $20k goal but lawyers can get expensive so please keep it up with the donations.” It also features a link for a swag store, the proceeds of which purportedly go to the legal defence fund.

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El Salvadorians take to the streets to protest Bitcoin law




Protesters calling themselves the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block have come out against El Salvador’s government passing a law making Bitcoin legal tender.

A Tuesday tweet from local news outlet El Mundo shows El Salvadorians carrying banners saying “no to Bitcoin” in the streets of San Salvador demanding a repeal of the country’s Bitcoin law. Legislative assembly members Anabel Belloso and Dina Argueta addressed the protesters after first meeting the group separated by a barrier of razor wire.

In a letter made available at the protest, the Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block group claimed that President Nayib Bukele passed the law making the cryptocurrency legal tender in the country without proper consultations with the people. It also cited the volatility of Bitcoin (BTC), comparing investing in the cryptocurrency to playing the lottery: “betting on the lottery is a voluntary act, while Bitcoin is required by law.”

Related: Coercion and coexistence: How El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law may change global finance

However, the group’s main grievance around the Bitcoin legal framework seemed to be centered around a perceived disparity in the cryptocurrency’s usage by the government when compared with the average resident in El Salvador. Protesters said Bitcoin “only serves some large businessmen, especially those linked to the government, to launder ill-gotten money.”

“Entrepreneurs who put their capital in Bitcoin will not pay taxes on their earnings,” said the letter. “In addition, to apply Bitcoin the government will spend millions of dollars of the taxes paid by the people.”

They added:

“Bitcoin would facilitate public corruption and the operations of drug, arms and human traffickers, extortionists and tax evaders. It would also cause monetary chaos. It would hit people’s salaries, pensions and savings, ruin many MSMEs, affect low-income families and hit the middle class.”

Though passed by El Salvador’s government and signed into law by Bukele in June, the law recognizing Bitcoin as legal currency in the country will not go into effect until Sept. 7. The Popular Resistance and Rebellion Block’s protest was aimed at government officials to demand the law be repealed. In addition, the World Bank has also refused to help El Salvador transition to a Bitcoin-friendly framework, given its “environmental and transparency shortcomings.”

Related: What is really behind El Salvador’s ‘Bitcoin Law’? Experts answer

During a scheduled visit by the U.S. State Department earlier this month, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland suggested El Salvador ensure Bitcoin is well regulated and transparent, but did not explicitly say anything against the country’s move to a more digital economy. Some proponents of the law including Bukele have suggested Bitcoin could help facilitate remittance payments from El Salvador citizens living abroad and lessen the country’s reliance on the U.S. dollar.