If newly revealing reports from online publications Wired and Gizmodo are to be believed, a 44-year old Australian entrepreneur called Craig Wright may be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
Following an investigation, WIRED claims that that it has “obtained the strongest evidence yet of Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity.” Unsurprisingly, the report that Craig Steven Wright, a 44-year old Australian entrepreneur may be Satoshi Nakamoto has garnered plenty of interest soon after publishing. WIRED, for its part, notes with a disclaimer about the report’s outcome with two possibilities. One, Wright really did invent bitcoin and is Satoshi Nakamoto or alternatively - “he’s a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did,” the publication notes, somewhat as a disclaimer to the groundbreaking story.
“I’ve been involved with all of this [Bitcoin] for a long time." - Craig Wright.
WIRED points to preliminary evidence stemming from “an anonymous source close to Wright,” who started leaking documents to an independent security researcher, pseudonymously known as Gwern Branwen. Branwen is also a dark web analyst who gained these documents before providing them to Wired. The documents included archives of emails, blog posts, transcripts and documents showing Sydney-based Wright’s involvement in the invention of bitcoin.
Still, WIRED writer Andy Greenberg and Gwern Branwen who co-authored the article wrote:
And despite a massive trove of evidence, we still can’t say with absolute certainty that the mystery is solved.
In adding to the breaking story soon after WIRED, Gizmodo revealed its own investigation, a month-log foray into uncovering “compelling and perplexing new evidence in the search for Satoshi Nakamoto.” Citing an early November tip from an anonymous source who claimed to know the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto and claimed to work for him, the first in a sting of messages read:
“I hacked Satoshi Naklamoto [sic]. These files are all from his business account. The person is Dr. Craig Wright.”
These files included emails fetched directly from Craig Wright’s Outlook account. These files and other documents, along with interviews corroborating evidence of Wright’s involvement in bitcoin has Gizmodo also claim that Wright may be the creator of the cryptocurrency.
Both publications also note a computer forensics expert named David Kleiman to have played a fundamental role in the creation of bitcoin. Kleiman, “a close friend and confidant” of Wright, died in April, 2013 in Palm Beach County, Florida. One of the email exchanges between Kleiman and Wright, as revealed by Gizmodo read:
Craig, I think you’re mad and this is risky. But I believe in what we are trying to do.
This particular email was send to Wright from Kleiman in 2011.
Who is Craig Steven Wright?
A Twitter account that belonged to Wright has been deleted since the news broke, although Wright made his Twitter account private soon after the investigation began.
At the time of publishing, a LinkedIn account belonging to Wright remains up, with a comprehensive account of Wright’s previous employment and endeavors. Currently, Wright work profile is shown to be a private “Chief Scientist” working on “nothing but security and blockchain.”
Wright’s LinkedIn profile also lists him as the CEO of two companies– Hotwire Pre-Emptive Intelligence Group and DeMorgan Limited. Having founded Hotwire, he attempted to create a bitcoin-based bank called Denariuz. The startup, was backed by $23 million in BTC owned by Wright, according to a liquidation report. That’s a staggeringly large sum of bitcoins owned by one person, as Wired notes, representing 1.5 percent of all exiting bitcoins at the time.
Gizmodo has even confirmed that, on at least two occasions, Wright claimed that both he and Keiman were involved in the creation of Bitcoin.
Wright’s LinkedIn page also lists him as the CEO of DeMorgan Ltd, in a URL that remains active at the time of publishing. Described as a pre-IPO company, the firm focuses on “alternative currency, next generation banking and reputational and educational products with a focus on security and creating a simple user experience.” DeMorgan Ltd also claims to own a super computer called Tulip Trading that is supposedly ranked #15th in the world.
The story is certain to be pored over and dissected in the coming days by skeptics and believers alike. The investigations by both WIRED and Gizmodo backed with compelling evidence will bring more discussion and opinions, perhaps more-so than ever before, in adding to the speculation of the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Featured image from Shutterstock.