Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, publicly identified on Monday that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. His admission came in after years of speculation as to who originated the digital cash system.
In December last year, Wired and Gizmodo reportedly acquired evidence which identified Australian computer scientist and businessman as Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym under which he operated till now. It now appears that the reports revealed by Wired and Gizmodo were accurate.
Further, Mr. Wright has even provided technical proof, in the form of coins that are supposedly owned by creator of Bitcoin, in order to support his claim. Prominent Bitcoin community members and Bitcoin core development team said that they have confirmed Craig Wright’s claims. However, several others associated with the Bitcoin world want more proof to substantiate his claim.
Reports indicate that Mr. Wright revealed his identity to three media companies: the BBC, GQ and the Economist. In the meeting he had with BBC, he signed messages digitally using the same cryptographic keys that he created during the early days of the development of Bitcoin, which are inseparably linked to the Bitcoin blocks known to be mined or created by Satoshi Nakamoto.
During the meeting Mr. Wright said that these were the blocks that he used for sending 10 Bitcoins to Hal Finney in the month of January in 2009. Hal Finney, an engineer and a renowned cryptographer, is one of the persons who helped Mr. Wright to turn his ideas into Bitcoin protocol.
As soon as Mr. Wright’s revelation went public, Bitcoin Foundation’s chief scientist Gavin Andresen published a blog that backed his claim. Economist and a founding director of Bitcoin Foundation, Jon Matonis, said that he was convinced about Mr. Wright’s claim as he got an opportunity to review and confirm the concerned data along social, technical and cryptographic lines. Additionally, Mr. Wright said that he is planning to release information to others so that they are also able to cryptographically verify and confirm that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
However, all concerned have not found Mr. Wright’s claims and the technical proof provided by him in his blog to be convincing. Some developers and cryptographers who tried to verify the information said that they experienced difficulty in ascertaining the same. According to Dan Kaminsky, a security expert, the procedure for validation was “maliciously resistant.” Many people have asked Mr. Wright to additional proof as regards his identity.
Wright also reportedly declined The Economist’s requests to provide more proof that he really was Satoshi Nakamoto. The Economist, however, concluded that Mr. Wright may be Mr. Nakamoto, but it may not be possible to ascertain beyond any reasonable doubt as to who really created the digital currency.
The idea of Mr. Wright going public stems from his intention to end the speculation of press about Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity. Long drawn investigations have been carried out by The New Yorker, Newsweek, Fast Company and many other media companies in order to seek the identity of the Bitcoin’s creator.
Following, Wired and Gizmodo’s revelation that Mr. Wright could be Satoshi Nakamoto on receiving documents allegedly stolen from him, pointed towards his involvement in the Bitcoin project. Australia authorities also raided Mr. Wright’s home and the Australian Taxation Office said that the raid was linked not to Bitcoin, but was part of an investigation related to his tax payments.
Following the raid, Mr. Wright said that lots of made-up stories are doing the rounds and that he doesn’t want them to hurt the people he cared about. He also said that he has no intention of becoming either the Bitcoin figurehead or the public face of anything else. In addition, he expressed regret at the fact that the need to reveal his identity is being forced on him.
Mr. Craig Wright was also quoted as saying that he would rather not reveal his identity as he wanted to work, keep doing what he wanted to do and that he is neither after money, fame or adoration. He just wanted to be on his own.
The digital currency Bitcoinis now widely accepted as payment in exchange for a variety of goods as well as services. This includes everything from overseas money transfers to ransoms related to data encryption by computer viruses. As of now, approximate 15.5 million Bitcoins are in circulation and each Bitcoin is $449. It is believed that Satoshi Nakamoto has about one million Bitcoins in his possession.