Gavin Andresen Refutes Hacking Claim to Assert Craig Wright is Satoshi

May 3, 2016 03:13 UTC

At Consensus 2016, the cryptocurrency- and blockchain-industry conference currently being held in New York, Chief scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation Gavin Andersen has stuck with his assertion that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, following his meeting with the Australian entrepreneur. He also added that his website wasn’t hacked, contrary to rumors after his post which backed Craig Wright’s public reveal as Bitcoin’s inventor.

In his blog published on Monday morning, soon after Craig Wright’s own reveal, Andersen wrote:

I believe Craig Steven Wright is the person who invented Bitcoin.

I was flown to London to meet Dr. Wright a couple of weeks ago after an initial email conversation convinced me that there was a very good chance he was the same person I’d communicated with in 2010 and early 2011.

After spending time with him I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt: Craig Wright is Satoshi.

Andersen’s endorsement of Wright’s claims was met with criticism, with those disbelieving the latter’s claim speculating that Andersen’s blog and website may have been hacked by those in Wright’s camp. The bitcoin core development team even decided to revoke Andersen’s commit access and admin privileges, citing that his credentials may have been hacked.

To the contrary, Andersen addressed an audience at Consensus 2016, an industry conference in New York City where he refuted any claim of a hack.

In quotes attributed to Gizmodo, Wright stated:

I’ll first say, I was not hacked. The blog post that I posted this morning…is indeed my words. I still believe that Craig Wright is, beyond a reasonable doubt in my head, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wright’s claim and evidence that he is Bitcoin’s inventor was scrutinized by a programmer, Patrick McKenzie in a github post simply titled wrightverification.

Following a thorough dissection, he sums it up to this:

Wright’s post is flimflam and hokum which stands up to a few minutes of cursory scrutiny, and demonstrates a competent sysadmin’s level of familiarity with cryptographic tools, but ultimately demonstrates no non-public information about Satoshi.

What confounds McKenzie, is how Gavin Andersen fell for what the programmer sees as a highly likely and elaborate scam.

But for the endorsement of core developer Gavin Andresen, I would assume that Wright used amateur magician tactics to distract non-technical or non-expert staff of the BBC and the Economist during a stage-managed demonstration. I’m reasonably confident that I could have sold the same story, with approximately two hours of preparation.

He added:

I’m mystified as to how this got past Andersen, though.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Last modified: May 4, 2016 16:58 UTC

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Samburaj is the Editor for CCN, among the earliest and foremost publications covering financial and blockchain news. He has authored over 2,000 articles for CCN. Email him samburaj(@)ccn.com or find him barely tweeting @sambdas