Society

Australian Entrepreneur Takes Credit For Bitcoin

| by Michael Howard
Craig WrightCraig Wright

Australian computer scientist and businessman Craig Steven Wright has revealed himself as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of the digital money system known as Bitcoin.

While Wright has provided cryptographic proof suggesting that he is in fact the man behind Bitcoin, questions remain.

Core members of the bitcoin community, who were involved in the system's development, have confirmed that Wright is Nakamoto, BBC News reports. However, many others remain unsatisfied.

Before publishing a blog post May 2, Wright spoke with three media outlets: BBC News, The Economist and GQ. At the meeting with BBC, Wright used cryptographic keys that are make up the core foundation of Bitcoin; they are known to have been created by Nakamoto.

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Wright was previously "outed" as Satoshi Nakamoto against his will. This occurred in December 2015, and until now Wright had remained silent, refusing to confirm whether the rumor was true.

He explained his decision to come forward to the Economist. 

"I’m not seeking publicity, but want to set the record straight," he said. 

Wright added that he chose the name "Nakamoto" after Tominaga Nakamoto, a 17th-century philosopher from Japan. However, Wright reportedly refused to disclose the inspiration behind "Satoshi."

Wright cited Hal Finney, a well-known cryptographer, as one of the engineers who helped develop Wright's ideas for Bitcoin, BBC News notes.

Gavin Andresen, chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, has publicly lent his support to Wright's claims.

"I believe Craig Steven Wright is the person who invented Bitcoin," Andresen wrote in a blog post, according to BBC News.

Likewise, Jon Matonis, a founding member of the Bitcoin Foundation, believes that Wright is telling the truth.

"During the London proof sessions, I had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical," he said. " ... Craig Wright satisfies all three categories."

Others have said the proof included in Wright's blog post is not enough. Several experts said verifying the information has proved difficult, and many are calling for Wright to provide further evidence that he is in fact Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoins, which function as virtual tokens, are used to pay for a wide range of products and services. An estimated 15 million are in existence, each one worth roughly $449, according to BBC News.

Sources: BBC News, The Economist / Photo credit: Mark Harrison via The Economist

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