Is This Guy the Shadowy Founder of Bitcoin?

Craig Wright claims the honor in leaked emails: 'Wired'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2015 5:36 AM CST
Updated Dec 9, 2015 6:17 AM CST
Mystery Bitcoin Founder May Finally Be Unmasked
This April 3, 2013, file photo shows bitcoin tokens in Sandy, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Wired says it has uncovered "the strongest evidence yet of Satoshi Nakamoto's true identity." Nakamoto, the alias for the creator of Bitcoin, has never been unmasked publicly, but Wired's Andy Greenberg and Gwern Branwen name Australian Craig Wright, 44, as the most likely candidate. "Either Wright invented Bitcoin, or he's a brilliant hoaxer," they write. Australian police seem to be believers: They raided Wright's home in Sydney on Wednesday, reports the New York Times. Wired notes that Wright—founder of supercomputing firm Cloudcroft, per Gizmodo—blogged about releasing a "cryptocurrency paper" a few months before the Bitcoin white paper was revealed in November 2008, though that post was edited in 2013. He also used an encryption key linked to Nakamoto used to introduce the white paper. Wright, who owns at least $60 million in Bitcoin, also has access to 1.1 million Bitcoins worth $605 million—the same amount attributed to Nakamoto.

"I am not from the bloody USA! Nor am I called Dorien [sic]," Wright wrote in a leaked email sent the same day Newsweek claimed American Dorian Nakamoto as Bitcoin's inventor. Leaked transcripts from meetings with Wright's attorneys in February 2014 also quote him as saying: "I did my best to try and hide the fact that I've been running Bitcoin since 2009 … By the end of this I think half the world is going to bloody know." Then, in an odd interview at the Bitcoin Investor Conference, a moderator asked Wright how he first learned about Bitcoin. "Um, I've been involved with all this for a long time," he said after a long pause. "I—try and stay—I keep my head down." After sending an encrypted email to Wright suggesting he was Nakamoto, Wired received this response: "You seem to know a few things. More than you should." With a verified identity, Nakamoto could be nominated for a 2016 Nobel Prize, per CoinReport. (Click for more from Wired.)

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