Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright, who earlier this week said he would provide "extraordinary proof" that he was the creator of digital currency bitcoin, will not provide any further evidence, according to a post on his blog on Thursday.
Wright did not say his earlier claims were false, however. He said he had not deceived lead developer Gavin Andresen and bitcoin consultant Jon Matonis, both of whom had written blogs in which they said they believed him to be bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, a name assumed to be a pseudonym.
Uncovering Nakamoto's real identity would solve a riddle dating back to the publication of the open source software behind bitcoin in 2008, a year before its launch.
"I'm sorry. I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me," Wright wrote.
"But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot."
After coming under pressure to provide more credible evidence that he was bitcoin's creator, Wright had published a post on Monday that said he would post "independently verifiable documents and evidence" that would back up his claims. The post could no longer be found on the blog site.
(Reporting by Jemima Kelly; Editing by Mike Dolan)