The true identity of bitcoin’s mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, has been potentially unveiled as unknown Australian businessman and academic, Craig Wright. Two of technology’s most prominent publications, Wired and Gizmodo, have each run exposés confidently claiming to unearth the founder of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin’s origins are shrouded in enigma, as its creator used an alias to identify themselves – the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. This mysterious figure first released the initial code for bitcoin on the 9th of January 2009, and since then the ground-breaking digital currency has grown from a niche interest to a something of an economic miracle, with the total value of all bitcoins believed to have reached almost $5 billion.
The media has tried many times, unsuccessfully, to discover the true identity of the bitcoin founder with several possibilities being dismissed. Gizmodo, the popular technology blog, conducted its own investigation into the beginnings of bitcoin and has claimed that all evidence points to Craig Steven Wright – a previously unheard of Australian businessman. Thanks to a series of documents that have been provided to them, Gizmodo can provide a compelling assertion that Wright was instrumental in the development of the digital currency that later swept the finance and technology worlds. Wright is a computer engineering expert and business entrepreneur based in Sydney, Australia. It is believed that he developed bitcoin along with Dave Kleiman, an American forensic computer investigator (who died in 2013).
Wright is listed on his LinkedIn website page as being the CEO of DeMorgan Ltd, a company describing itself as “focused on alternative currency, next generation banking and reputational and educational products with a focus on security and creating a simple user experience.” Subsidiaries of DeMorgan Ltd. include C01n, a Bitcoin wallet company and Coin-Exch, a Bitcoin exchange company.
It has been revealed this week that the Australian Taxation Office ordered a police raid on Wright’s residential and business property in Sydney’s suburbs of Gordon and Ryde. They’ve claimed that the raids were part of a tax investigation and unrelated to recent bitcoin reports, “the AFP can confirm it has conducted search warrants to assist the Australian Taxation Office at a residence in Gordon and a business premises in Ryde, Sydney. This matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency bitcoin.”
‘Nakamoto’ is thought to control a personal wallet of bitcoins worth a nine-figure fortune, hence the taxation authority’s interest in Wright’s potential assets. Wired magazine have made several visible and credible links between Nakamoto and Wright; firstly a post on Wright’s blog in August 2008, months before the November 2008 introduction of the bitcoin paper on a cryptography mailing list, detailing his intention to release a “cryptocurrency paper”. A subsequent blog post in November 2008 requests that readers who want to get in touch with him to encrypt their messages with a PGP public key apparently linked to ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. The most convincing piece of evidence is the the fact that Wright posted a (now deleted) blog entry on the 10th January 2009, stating “the Beta of Bitcoin is live tomorrow. This is decentralized… We try until it works”. Due to time difference, this post technically was submitted online before the launch of bitcoin at 3pm EST on the 9th of January.
A further series of leaked emails and correspondences corroborate the link between Wright and bitcoin, although the mystery is not technically solved yet. Wright has not been confirmed as the true founder of bitcoin, but commentators are fairly confident that this will turn out to be the case.