After months of speculation and several near-reveals, an Australian businessman and cryptography expert Craig Steven Wright has publicly declared that he is, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of BitCoin P2P network. For those following the BTC scene since the end of 2015, when Wright first became one of the prominent suspects for the figure behind the alias, the reveal does not come as a huge surprise.
This time, the reclusive businessman with a very diverse professional biography used a technical proof that should back up his claims of authorship. However, the BitCoin community, but also many outside experts and commentators immediately began wondering if this proof is enough. Now, instead of resolving the issue once and for all, it seems that Wright’s coming out added only fuel to the debate.
As the proof is examined and new ones are on the way, here is the breakdown of the things that happened during the course of the previous few days and why do they matter for BitCoin network as a planetary financial enterprise.
Wright’s Public Acceptance of Authorship
The actual medium in which Wright decided to reveal himself was a blog post he published. In it, he claims that he is the creator of BitCoin and the inventor of the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The same claims were shared with three media corporation, precisely, the Economist, the BBC, and GQ.
Along with this, he offered a tech demonstration that was initially designed to provide that he is the person who came up with BTC. The result was a relatively simple process, one which all those who possess BTC and use it for things like betting online with BitCoin employ every day.
In other words, he reached out to the very old blocks of BTC which were mined right at the beginning of the network becoming operational. Some of these are in the possession of BitCoin creator and the proof came in the form of cryptographic keys that were used to sign a message from a BitCoin wallet. The same keys are a part of the same early BTC blocks and these are believed to belong to the creator of the cryptocurrency.
When the news about Wright’s role first surfaced, he was also connected to another figure: Dave Kleiman, a computer forensics expert that was also involved in the creation of the network. However, Kleiman died in 2013 so his role in the process remained a mystery. Now, for the first time since the network went online, there is a credible contender for the alias of the BTC creator.
Explanation for the Absence
In the post he wrote and published, Wright tried to explain what was his position on the BitCoin network and the reasons why he hid his identity. According to him, in the years since the network was made, he gradually became at peace with all that BitCoin represents today. He also explained that he was very involved in research and that his silence was not a measure of absence.
Wright said that the same research is conducted inside of a group and that he looks forward to sharing their work when it becomes ready. He ended the post by saying that Satoshi is dead, but at the same time, he underlined that this was only the beginning.
In an interview to the BBC, he explained why he kept his identity hidden. The main reason for this decision was the fact that he did not wish to be the public person for anything, including BTC. Instead, Wright said that he simply wanted to carry on with his work and that he was not interested in fame, money or adoration.
But, at the same time, he refused to explain to The Economist where did the name Satoshi Nakamoto originates. Even in the case is he is the real creator of the BitCoin network, it appears that at least for now, some things about this issue will remain a mystery.
Right after the announcement was made on May 2, many individuals who are involved with the BitCoin network, including Jon Matonis, told the BBC directly that they trust that the same claims are accurate. But, the bitter previous experiences connected to this problem forces many to be skeptical.
Hunting for Satoshi Nakamoto
Before December 2015, when the documents about Craig Wright surfaced, several news outlets tried to locate the real name behind the cryptocurrency Japanese pseudonym. All of them were unsuccessful while some proved to be complete disasters.
One of the most famous blunders came from Newsweek, which connected a certain Dorian Nakamoto with the cryptocurrency in 2014, using the fact that this Satoshi was his birth name. Through a lot of mix-ups and overall confusion, this was proved to be a complete fallacy, up to the extent that Dorian Nakamoto never even heard of the BitCoin network.
Since then, media researchers have become a lot more cautious about locating the real person who might be the creator of the digital currency. Because of this, a lot more tech-savvy approach was taken which began examining not superficial or incidental data, but the documents that are known to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto.
This allowed media outlets like WIRED to create specialized teams of investigators which acted more as informational forensic experts and set them to work sifting through the data. In this process, the name of Craig Steven Wright began to gradually make its way to the top of the pile.
Now, the part of the BTC community that was not satisfied with the level of proof provided by Wright demands more. The same request is not unusual for the domain where E-Sports are more popular than the traditional ones and the time spent online is often greater than the time spent without an Internet connection.
Because of this, Wright declared through a spokesman that he will further enforce his claims using additional proof. This spokesman said that Wright will move a BTC from an early block and do this in the coming days.
The same process, which represents moving some of the BTC that are known to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto, was the thing that many skeptics asked for immediately after his coming out. For them, unlike using old keys, this was a lot more concrete approach for proving that he is who he claims to be.
The same coins were mined in the early days of BitCoin and now have a price tag of about $400 million, but they were never moved. Now, if Wright decided to demonstrate his control over them, there will be very little room for any further skepticism.