A man claiming to be “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the pseudonymous founder of the bitcoin crypto-currency, has come forward.
Craig Wright, who was named as the founder by Gizmodo in December and also connected to being the founder by Wired, has reportedly privately confirmed that there is truth behind the rumours to the BBC, the Economist and GQ, as well as made the news public with his own statement, in which he aimed to prove the claim.
The website drcraigwright.net contains a blog post by Wright, which stated: “Be assured, just as you have worked, I have not been idle during these many years. Since those early days, after distancing myself from the public persona that was Satoshi, I have poured every measure of myself into research.
“I have been silent, but I have not been absent. I have been engaged with an exceptional group and look forward to sharing our remarkable work when they are ready. Satoshi is dead. But this is only the beginning.”
Wright went on to attempt to prove his claim by cryptographically signing it with one of Nakamoto’s private keys.
Gavin Andresen, chief scientist for the Bitcoin Foundation, published his own blog post, backing up the claim.
He 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.
“Part of that time was spent on a careful cryptographic verification of messages signed with keys that only Satoshi should possess.”
However, Patrick McKenzie, a programmer who published an analysis on the claims, does not believe the signature is exclusive to Nakamoto, and wrote: “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.”
Bitcoin was founded in 2009 and is used by various online gambling operators.
It has previously been reported that Nakamoto holds one million bitcoins, which translates to approximately $449m.