11 Dec 2015

Bitcoin ‘inventor’: the key facts

Now that the dust has settled, here’s four key points about the Wired / Gizmodo exposes on the alleged inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.

POINT ONE: Craig Wright is neck-deep in the Bitcoin world 

He therefore has a vested interest in promoting the currency, so it’s not unfeasible that the whole thing could be a giant hoax (a point conceded by Wired).

If that seems outlandish, ask yourself: what would you do for £300m? That’s the current worth of the Bitcoin stash allegedly due to Dr Wright.

POINT TWO: There is only one smoking gun

Among all the evidence, there is only one key document I’ve seen which seems to comfortably predate the launch of Bitcoin (and would therefore be beyond hoaxing).

Gizmodo has an email allegedly from 28 March 2008, months before “Satoshi Nakomoto” published the white paper that laid out the Bitcoin framework. In it, “Craig Wright” specifically names Bitcoin.

Question is: does Gizmodo have that email in a form that guarantees it can’t be faked? (See point one).

POINT THREE: Giving away a million Bitcoin makes no sense

At the heart of the story is the giant stash of 1,100,111 Bitcoin which Wright allegedly transferred to computer expert Dave Kleiman, who died in 2013.

A poorly-worded document seems to show Kleiman took charge of the stash, even appointing a “key-holder” to the fortune who’d be unknown to Wright.

If true (see point one), why would a man as canny as Wright transfer his fortune to someone who, by Gizmodo’s account, was pretty unhinged?

POINT FOUR: Satoshi Nakamoto could be a group

If so, the “search for Satoshi” is somewhat misguided, and Wright is possibly just a group member.

In which case the leaking of information to Wired and Gizmodo, along with Wright’s growing willingness to be publicly associated with Bitcoin, could be seen as a land-grab by a member (or members) of that group.

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