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Gavin Andresen: It Was a Mistake to Blog Claiming Craig Wright Is Satoshi

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM

Bitcoin core developer Gavin Andresen has expressed regret in publishing his blog backing Craig Wright’s claim that he is, Satoshi Nakamoto. More specifically, Andresen claims it was a mistake to publish his post before the much-scrutinized post published by Craig Wright.

Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist and core developer Gavin Andresen is one of the earliest known figures to have communicated with Satoshi Nakamoto, via emails. When Craig Wright claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto at the beginning of this week, the evidence provided to back the claim was quickly scrutinized and swept aside after it was found to be lacking.

Still, Gavin Andresen had originally stated  [before Craig Wright’s published blog]:

I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt: Craig Wright is Satoshi.

Backing up Craig Wright’s claims which have been put under considerable doubt has left many within the Bitcoin community questioning Andresen’s motives, or indeed his aptitude. Some even believed his website may have been hacked (quickly refuted by Andresen), leading to his admin and github privileges being removed by the bitcoin core team.

Speaking to WIRED after Craig Wright’s own blog post, Andresen stated:

It’s certainly possible I was bamboozled.

Andresen’s account of evidence provided to him is well documented in his WIRED interview . Basically, there is a disconnect between Craig Wright’s public reveal of evidence and the one shown to Andresen, according to the latter’s account.

Unsurprisingly, there is a considerable amount of backlash Andresen that has received from within the community in which many are convinced that he is very likely to have been, as Andresen himself puts it “bamboozled.”

The following was the first post by Gavin Andresen on social media, following the big story this week and his own public blog post:

Security researcher Dan Kaminsky, a notable critic  of Craig Wright’s claims, reached out to Gavin Andresen via email, stating:

What is going on here?

There’s clear unambiguous cryptographic evidence of fraud and you’re lending credibility to the idea that a public key operation could should or must remain private?

To this, Andresen replied:

Yeah, what the heck?

I was as surprised by the ‘proof’ as anyone, and don’t yet know exactly what is going on.

It was a mistake to agree to publish my post before I saw his– I assumed his post would simply be a signed message anybody could easily verify.

And it was probably a mistake to even start to play the Find Satoshi game, but I DO feel grateful to Satoshi.

If I’m lending credibility to the idea that a public key operation should remain private, that is entirely accidental. OF COURSE he should just publish a signed message or (equivalently) move some btc through the key associated with an early block.

Feel free to quote or republish this email.

Still, Andresen believes that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto citing Wright’s possession of the private key from the first bitcoin block as cryptographic proof. He added:

It’s possible that I’m wrong [about Craig Wright], but I don’t think I am.


Image from BBC News.