Craig Steven Wright is an Australian computer scientist who famously claimed to be the elusive creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. The claim was first forwarded by Wired Magazine and Gizmodo in December of 2015, though both Gizmodo and Wired Magazine have since both retracted and updated their stories in the face of contradicting and emerging evidence.
Craig Wright was an academic researcher who also worked for various IT companies including the Australian Securities Exchange and has claimed to be behind some of the original digital architecture of the first online casino.
The claim at the time of the original publications comes from an array of anonymous sources, email leaks, and what was later revealed to be some dubious technical data. The evidence has largely been dismissed by the broader media and much of the cryptocurrency community. Though at the time of its publication the evidence compelled further investigation.
The evidence at the time showed that Wright had been posting on his blog about a white paper that predated Satoshi’s eventual Bitcoin paper. Beyond that Wright showed evidence that he had been using an email address that was similar to an email address that Satoshi had been using for correspondence.
In another case, a cache of emails was anonymously leaked to Gwern Branwen a dark web security researcher that showed correspondence between Wright and computer scientist Dave Kleinman. An individual believed to be associated with the team that created Bitcoin. And finally, circumstantial evidence showing similar personality characteristics between Satoshi and Wright such as a strong sense of anti-authoritarianism, libertarianism, and pro-privacy advocacy.
Verifying Wright’s Claims
It has never confirmed Wright’s identity as the founder of Bitcoin and upon further investigation may indicate something of a hoax. For example, Wright’s personal blogs that refer to the Bitcoin white paper have been proven to be retroactively placed on the blog as late as 2013, indicating Wrights’ identity as Satoshi Nakamoto and therefore an attempt at an elaborate hoax.
Wright also failed to produce a digital signature that would confirm his ownership of some of the original Bitcoins. These signatures would be unique to the original Bitcoin blocks that Satoshi mined, relating to the very first ‘Genesis Block.’ This private key or signature would be verifiable.
In another case, Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin was able to confirm his identity as the cryptocurrency’s creator with a similar private key in a simple and easy fashion. Wright however when pressed to produce such a private key or signature was not only unable to produce verifiable evidence but in fact, produced a digital signature that was proven to be publicly available since 2009.