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Australian claims he created Bitcoin: Repercussions [UPDATE]

Gabriela Motroc
Craig Wright

Human head cardboard silhouette image via Shutterstock

Australian professor and tech entrepreneur Craig Wright has identified himself as the creator of Bitcoin, after years of speculation regarding the identity of the man known as Satoshi Nakamoto. However, once the cat was out of the bag, comments started to pour and Wright decided to take down his blog post.

Update May 10, 2016

After Australian academic Craig Wright decided to abandon the idea of proving that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, Gavin Andresen, one of the people who communicated with the (still) unidentified Bitcoin godfather via emails, is having a hard time staying afloat.

Screenshot Twitter conversation

Screenshot Twitter conversation

Despite the support he received, Andresen told Wired:

It’s certainly possible I was bamboozled.

Andresen may have also been fired from Bitcoin development. Wladimir van der Laan, a Bitcoin Core developer, wrote in a recent blog post the following: “When we saw the blog post convinced he found Satoshi, the prudent thing to do was to revoke his ownership of the ‘bitcoin’ organization on GitHub, under which the Bitcoin Core repository currently lies, immediately.”

So when the question comes up whether we should make Gavin maintainer again, my answer, and that of many others is a resounding “no”.

 

Update May 6, 2016

Craig Wright has decided to take down his blog post. Those who wish to revisit the blog post in which he revealed himself as the creator of Bitcoin will now see an apology. The Australian academic started by saying that he believed he could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind him and admitted that as he prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, he broke.

I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.

When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this.

I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.

And goodbye.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

Update May 4, 2016

Redditors believe Wright, who claimed to produce a signed piece of Sartre text, just replicated the cryptographic representation of a seven-year-old transaction which occurred on the blockchain. Some of them wondered “what his next ‘proof’ would be” while others asked themselves whether Wright gave a fake “proof” expecting someone to discover it as a diversion. The discussions continued on GitHub and Twitter.

Bitcoin evangelist refused to play the ‘Who is Satoshi’ game

Bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos refused to play the ‘Who is Satoshi’ game on the grounds that it doesn’t matter who Satoshi Nakamoto is. He explained on Reddit that he was recently contacted and asked to offer security advice for a project. “I was asked to sign an NDA in order to discuss the project itself, something I am reluctant to do, in general. Once I received the NDA however, it became obvious that the project was related to verifying the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. I immediately declined the offer, declined to participate and declined to sign the NDA,” he wrote. The Bitcoin evangelist then claimed that Bitcoin is “a neutral framework of trust that can bring financial empowerment to billions of people [which] works because it doesn’t depend on any authority. Not even Satoshi’s.”

Background

After a monthlong investigation, Gizmodo announced in late 2015 that Craig Wright and an American computer forensics expert who passed away in 2013 were behind the making of Bitcoin. According to latest revelations, Wright appears to be the creator of this cryptocurrency, but many people still doubt that the Australian academic is really the person who holds the keys to the Bitcoin kingdom.

After Gizmodo and Wired revealed that Wright was the creator of Bitcoin, inconsistencies in the Australian’s story started to pour; people started to believe the man was trying to pull a hoax. Although his (now-deleted) LinkedIn profile read that he had a PhD in computer science with Sydney’s Charles Sturt University (CSU), the university told Forbes in a statement that Wright “has not been awarded a PhD from CSU.” Even though his fake credentials don’t mean much in this situation, encryption experts started to express doubt the moment Wright identified himself as the creator of Bitcoin.

Craig Wright interview from The Bitcoin Doco on Vimeo.

 

Update May 2, 2016

Craig Wright announced in a blog post and interviews with the BBC, GQ and the Economist that he is behind the digital currency. The man offered technical evidence, including the original encryption keys. This is not the first time when Wright is named as the creator of Bitcoin; both Gizmodo and Wired wrote in late 2015 that the tech entrepreneur is actually Satoshi Nakamoto. The December reports cited deleted blog posts and documents, as well as e-mails.

In a clip posted on the BBC’s Twitter account, Wright revealed that he just wants to be left alone.

“Some people will believe, some people won’t and to tell you the truth I don’t really care,” Wright said. “I don’t want money, I don’t want fame, I don’t want adoration. I just want to be left alone.”

Shortly after the Australian professor went public, Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen published a blog post titled Satoshi backing his claim.

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

“Satoshi is dead”

Wright explained in a blog post that distancing himself from the public persona that was Satoshi, he had poured every measure of himself 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,” he wrote.

Satoshi is dead. But this is only the beginning.

The professor also explained the process of verifying a set of cryptographic keys. Despite the technical proof, many people still question the connection between Wright and the faceless creator of Bitcoin. According to The Economist, “evaluating his claim involves the application of a multi-step paternity test.”

Gavin Andresen revealed that during his meeting with Craig Wright, “he cleared up a lot of mysteries, including why he disappeared when he did and what he’s been busy with since 2011. But I’m going to respect Dr. Wright’s privacy, and let him decide how much of that story he shares with the world,” the Bitcoin developer concluded.

More to come.

Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is an online editor for JAXenter.com. Before working at S&S Media she studied International Communication Management at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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