Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright claims himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the bitcoin founder.
Wright, who was outed as the pseudonymous creator of the digital currency by two separate media investigations in December, ended years of speculation by providing technical proof to back up his claim in a blog post on Monday.
Wright’s claim was backed up by Job Matonis, crypto economist and one of the founding directors of the Bitcoin Foundation, who said he “had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical”.
Matonis sat in on a proof session in London, where Wright signed and verified a message using the cryptographic key associated with the first bitcoin transaction.
“During the London proof sessions, I had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical. Based on what I witnessed, it is my firm belief that Craig Steven Wright satisfies all three categories,” Matonis wrote in his blogpost.
How I Met Satoshi https://t.co/AJI5RPrQZw
— Jon Matonis (@jonmatonis) May 2, 2016
Wright, 44, is an Australian computer scientist and businessman with a long-running career in academia. Until recently, he was a bitcoin consultant and director of more than a dozen companies, some of which are involved in cryptocurrency. He divested himself out of 12 of them in a matter of a week in July 2015.
In 2015, WIRED and Gizmodo magazine, claimed to reveal Wright’s true identity based on documents believed to be stolen from him. The dossier also included emails, leaked transcripts, and financial records. Soon after this stories were published, the Australian federal police raided his Sydney home, in connection to a long-running investigation into tax payments.
Wright’s silence on the matter continued to be a subject of skepticism until now. So, why has he suddenly changed his mind?
Craig Wright claims his decision to unmask himself is to stop people pestering him and the people he cares about.
“I care so passionately about my work, and also to dispel any negative myths and fears about bitcoin. I cannot allow the misinformation that has been spread to impact the future of bitcoin and the blockchain,” he said in a statement on Monday morning.
The pseudonym was a tribute to ‘Tominaga Nakamoto’, a 17th century Japanese philosopher, merchant and advocate of free trade.
Currently, there are around 15.5 million bitcoins in circulation, including the million or so owned by Craig Wright the bitcoin founder. One bitcoin worth is around $449. If Craig Wright claims to be Nakamoto, it means he has around $449 million worth of bitcoins.
If Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, I have my own claims too. I am Batman....yes I just said that.