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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2 reader comments

  1. Fernando Ardenghi says:

    Please see: Hill, Austin, “Bitcoin: Is Cryptocurrency Viable?” (2014). CMC Senior Theses. Paper 902.

    47 people in the world own 28.9% of Bitcoins.
    880 people in the world own 21.5% of Bitcoins.
    10,000 (ten thousand) people in the world own 24.8% of Bitcoins.
    1 million people worldwide have 20.7% of Bitcoins.
    the rest is considered lost.

    Bitcoin seems like a big Ponzi scheme.
    Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies: at the same level to acquire shares of a company on the Stock Exchange, or bonds of an African country or disreputable unit shares in a mutual high risk fund.
    The mining of Bitcoins seem to be a fraud, like taking a hammer and smash with that hammer 1m2 (square meter) of your home to collect a compensation, but that will not be enough to repair the damage.

    Fernando Ardenghi. Buenos Aires. Argentina.

    1. Brent says:

      Bitcoin isn’t a ponzi scheme. Bitcoin isn’t a scheme at all. Bitcoin is a currency. You trade fiat currency for it so you can then spend it, or save it, or do whatever you want with it. It’s not some “get rich quick scheme”. It wasn’t created with the intention of being some sort of awesome appreciating asset. It’s a currency. A tool.

      Please educate yourself before you spout your uneducated nonsense on the internet.

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