Bitcoin

Has the True Identity of the Bitcoin Founder Finally Been Revealed?

Has the True Identity of the Bitcoin Founder Finally Been Revealed?
Image credit: Antana | Flickr

Who created Bitcoin?

The question of who exactly is behind the curtain -- known only as Satoshi Nakamoto -- has been of interest to fans, critics and law enforcement alike since Bitcoin first emerged in 2009.

Now, there appears to be another lead on the anonymous founder. This week, Wired and Gizmodo published pieces detailing their investigations into an Australian entrepreneur and academic named Craig Steven Wright, to see if he was indeed Nakamoto.  

Related: What Needs to Happen for Bitcoin to Go Mainstream

Laying out an array of documents that included leaked emails, legal transcripts and deleted blog and social-media posts from Wright, Wired's ultimate conclusion was that "despite a massive trove of evidence, we still can’t say with absolute certainty that the mystery is solved. But two possibilities outweigh all others: Either Wright invented Bitcoin, or he’s a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did."

On Gizmodo, reporters Sam Biddle and Andy Cush write of their inquiry into Wright and Dave Kleiman, a computer forensics expert who died in 2013, that they "obtained confirmation from on-the-record sources that Wright claimed on at least two occasions that he and Kleiman were both involved in the creation of Bitcoin."

The same day that Wired and Gizmodo published their findings, Wright's home in Sydney was raided by the Australian Federal Police. The AFP told The Guardian that the raid was not related to the reports about Wright and Bitcoin and that the search warrants were issued by the Australian Taxation Office.

Related: What Is the Future of Bitcoin?

This is not the first time the search for the real Satoshi Nakamoto has been in the news, with investigations from the New York TimesFast Company, and the New Yorker.  But the biggest fuss came in March of last year, when Newsweek published a cover story titled "The Face Behind Bitcoin." In it they identified 64-year-old Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a Japanese-American programmer and engineer from California, as the possible inventor of the cryptocurrency

Nakamoto vehemently denied any involvement with Bitcoin in a letter provided by Nakamoto's lawyer Ethan Kirschner to Felix Salmon, then a financial blogger at Reuters. In the statement, which Salmon posted on Twitter, Nakamoto wrote, "I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report."

With analysts predicting that Bitcoin users worldwide will grow to nearly 5 million by 2019, it's likely the fascination with Nakamoto's identity won't subside anytime soon.

Related: 'I Did Not Create Bitcoin': 4 Major Takeaways From Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto's Letter of Denial

Edition: December 2016

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