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The identity of the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of the world’s first cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has finally been discovered! Or has it?
According to Wired and Gizmodo, the person behind the well-known pseudonym is no other than an “Australian finance geek”, Craig Wright.
Bitcoin is a digital currency which was introduced back in 2009. It can be “mined” by dedicated computers that perform some complex mathematical operations; the “miner” gets reworded with certain amount of Bitcoins. It is estimated that Satoshi Nakamoto has accumulated around 1 million Bitcoins, equivalent to impressive £250 million!
Soon enough, after the appearance of Bitcoin, a new “space” on the internet started blooming – the Dark Web, and when the most notorious market, the Silk Road started in 2011, it introduced Bitcoin as the only valid payment method.
In fact, there are some notions that the Silk Road creator, Dread Pirate Roberts, was linked to Satoshi Nakamoto prior to Silk Road project. Allegedly he was given quite a number of Bitcoins soon after their invention. Not only that, the origin of these Bitcoins given to him is rather symptomatic as well – apparently there is evidence that they came from an account directly associated with the earliest Bitcon mining! Could it be that the Silk Road founder and Satoshi Nakamoto knew each other way before the Silk Road affaire?!
Who is Craig Wright?
According to journalists who managed to capture the information about Wright from his LinkedIn profile before he deleted it – he is an “Australian IT and security consultant.” From the same account it could also be drawn that he’s somehow linked with the government institutions among others and that he’s an academic at Charles Sturt University.
As said earlier, he is a computer security expert, running his own company, living in Sidney, Australia with his wife and children; a common family man, one would think. He doesn’t even own a house or an apartment; he lives in a rented place! Being an adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University, it gave him the credibility to write for the Conversation.
According to Dr. David Glance, contributor to Conversation interviewed by Guardian Wright cannot be Nakamoto:
“There’s absolutely no way in hell that this guy is involved. He was full of himself back then.
He never talked about bitcoin, he never wrote about it. He was a sort of security person, a consultant to the industry, and he kept writing articles about how Anonymous were evil, and the evils of hacking – all the rest of it.”
Apparently, Wright was writing about Anonymous and hackers as bad guys, which is not strictly speaking the expected viewpoint of someone who just invented the first cryptocurrency in the world. Or perhaps he just didn’t like the idea that his masterpiece – Bitcoin – had its biggest usage on Dark Web Markets; for, in just 2 short years of its existence, it is estimated that the Silk Road marketplace was worth several million Bitcoins!
Clues that Support Wright-Nakamoto Connection
There are a number of symptomatic clues to support the idea that Wright is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto.
First of all, Wired and Gizmodo remind us that at one point Wright wrote a book review on Amazon. The book was called Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin by Nathaniel Popper, a journalist for the New York Times. Apparently, Wright got really annoyed that the book proposed Satoshi Nakamoto to be an American.
A month later, someone hacked into Craig Wright’s computer and sent the hot information to Popper. The hacker implied that the info was linking Wright to Nakamoto. However, Popper “didn’t find it convincing at that time” and he ignored it.
Hacker next offered this piece of intelligence to Wired and Gizmodo and needless to say – both have found it interesting enough.
One of the incriminating clues the hacker shared with Wired and Gizmodo is a transcript of an interview conducted at the Australian Taxation Office. It remains unknown whether the transcript is genuine and how the tipster came into its possession, but according to this document, Wright complained that “I did my best to try and hide the fact that I’ve been running bitcoin since 2009 but I think it’s getting – most – most – by the end of this half the world is going to bloody know.”
A subject for discussion here is the meaning of the term “running” – what does it refer to?! Does it mean being responsible for creating and running the Bitcoin or it simply means mining the Bitcoin?
A somewhat new event is also rather symptomatic – there have been some notions that Satoshi Nakamoto might have been nominated for the Nobel Prize! Only if he wasn’t so anonymous. This again annoyed the temperamental Craig Wright and he made some quite interesting comments on Twitter: “‘Identity’ is not your name. Where people go wrong is that they do not see it to be the set of shared experiences with other individuals. We are a product of the things we create. They change us.”
There is also a video showing Wright skyping into the Bitcoin Investor Conference and it’s more than interesting to observe his reaction when the moderator asks him who he was and how he first learned about bitcoin?
Why was Wright’s House Raided?
As soon as the link between Wright and the Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto saw the light of day, his house was raided by Australian Police. They searched through his garage and cabinets looking for evidence in a case they are conducting against him. According to Police spokesperson, this case has nothing to do with Wright being the Bitcoin creator. However, the spokesman also said that “if the raids are not linked, the timing – shortly after Wright’s name was made public – is likely to continue to raise questions.”
Wright wasn’t present at the time of the raid. In fact, nobody really knows where he is or his family. His landlord said that Wright was talking about moving to London.
It remains uncertain whether Craig Wright truly is Satoshi Nakamoto. And, despite of the overwhelming hope of Bitcoin enthusiasts all over the world that its creator is finally found; it is still too early to be certain of anything.