Before Craig Wright, the Escobar Family Owned Bitcoin’s Trademark


Satoshi ‘Narcomoto’: Before Craig Wright, the Escobar Family Owned Bitcoin’s Trademark

Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin, Craig Wright

The trademark fight for bitcoin comes from curious beginnings in South America. | Source: Photo by Raul ARBOLEDA / AFP

ByCCN: Before Craig Wright, the Bitcoin trademark was registered to none other than the Escobar family. That’s according to official documents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which show Pablo Escobar’s brother, Roberto Escobar, as the former main signatory on Bitcoin’s naming rights.

Bitcoin Formerly Registered to Escobar-Owned Business

The U.S trademark office document88055293details the Bitcoin trademark’s former ownership under Coin Legal Ltd – a UK registered company.

Over on the UK company database,Companies House, we see that Coin Legal Ltd was founded in June 2018, and is headed up by director Olof Kyros Gustafsson. This is the same Olof Gustafsson who acts as the CEO of Escobar Inc – as per hisTwitter bio:

“Investor, Philanthropist. CEO of Escobar Inc.”

Going back to the U.S trademark office, we see that Coin Legal’sinitial applicationfor Bitcoin’s naming rights was signed off by the founder of the company – onenotlisted on the UK database.

That founder is Roberto de Jesús Escobar Gaviria – otherwise known as El Osito (Little Bear) – the drug kingpin brother of deceased Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

escobar gustafsson bitcoin trademark

The application for Bitcoin’s trademark was filed in July 2018 – just one month after Coin Legal Ltd registered with UK business authorities. By the time Craig Wright came along with his own trademark claims, Roberto Escobar’s company had been in control of the Bitcoin name for just four months.

Bitcoin’s Naming War: From the Escobar Family to Craig Wright

Indeed, when Craig Wright filed his own claim in November 2018, it triggered a silent countdown that gave the former owners six months to contest. The following document was sent to Coin Legal notifying them of the deadline.

Thedocumentstates:

“To avoid abandonment of applicant’s trademark application, the USPTO must receive applicant’s complete response to this letter within 6 months of the issue/mailing date below.”

No reply ever came back, and six months later the man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto suddenly had free reign to declare the Bitcoin trademark his. Which Wright andhis supporters did with glee.

Newsflash: Craig Wright Registers Bitcoin Whitepaper Copyright as Creator Satoshi Nakamotohttps://t.co/7ZBEHglOes

— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets)May 21, 2019

Coin Legal Ltd’s original claim on Bitcoin gave the following description of what exactly had been trademarked:

“Financial services, namely, providing a virtual currency for use by members of an on-line community via a global computer network.”

Wright Wants Bitcoin… and More

The description of Wright’s claim goes much further, in what looks like his attempt to snare ownership of Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general. It states:

“Cryptocurrency, namely, providing a digital currency or digital token for use by members of an on-line community via a global computer network; Cryptocurrency, namely, a digital currency or digital token, incorporating cryptographic protocols, used to operate and build applications and blockchains on a decentralized computer platform and as a method of payment for goods and services.”

That could apply to just about all of the +2,000 coins and tokens listed on CoinMarketCap. TheU.S Copyright Office was compelled to remind everyonethat Wright’s successful registration doesn’t amount to proof that Wright was Satoshi, or that his claims were complete. They noted:

“As a general rule, when the Copyright Office receives an application for registration, the claimant certifies as to the truth of the statements made in the submitted materials. The Copyright Office does not investigate the truth of any statement made.”

Recently Craig Wright declared thatBitcoin would eventually disappearowing to its use in criminal enterprises. Wright called this a perversion of his original vision for the cryptocurrency.

Olof Gustafsson and Coin Legal Ltd were contacted for comment. Neither had responded by time of publication.

About The Author

Greg Thomson

Freelance writer who avoided politics for as long as possible before it became unavoidable. Currently covering the cryptocurrency beat and finding interesting crossover points between it and the broader culture. Some time screenwriter with one short film under my belt and another in production. Hollywood has changed since the days when I fell in love with it, but you can still find glimpses of that old magic in the independent scene.

This article was edited bySamburaj Das.

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