Cryptocurrencies plunge, UK judges say yes to bitcoin copyright challenge

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Cryptocurrencies plunge, UK judges say yes to bitcoin copyright challenge

The UK's High Court in London has allowed an Australian computer scientist to pursue his case that he invented bitcoin, the iconic cryptocurrency noted for its wild price swings and which fell nearly 10% over 24 hours to under $50,000 this morning (23 April).

The court has allowed Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist who alleges he created bitcoin, to serve a copyright infringement lawsuit against the operator and publisher of the bitcoin.org website, which calls itself Cobra, over Twitter or a generic email address.

Wright can now try and pursue his case -- titled Wright v Person(s) unknown, "Cobra" -- although the defendant might be resident abroad and has not disclosed a name, identity or address, according to court filings issued on 21 April and seen by Reuters on 22 April.

The case hinges on who wrote bitcoin's white paper, which first outlined the technology behind the digital currency, under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.

This year bitcoin has risen 71% and ethereum has leapt 200% to an all-time high above $2,600 yesterday (22 April).

But both have seen significant falls today along with other cryptocurrencies.

Concerns over a regulatory crackdown continue to impact perceptions about bitcoin with India planning to introduce a law to ban the trading or even ownership of cryptocurrencies and US Treasury Janet Yelland in February calling bitcoin a "highly speculative asset".

On the upside, the UK's Bank of England this week set up a digital currency taskforce.