Craig Wright, an Australian tech entrepreneur, has identified himself as the creator of controversial digital currency bitcoin on Monday, but experts remain divided over whether he really is the elusive person who has gone by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto until now.
Many argue Wright had not done enough to definitively prove that he was Nakamoto, who maintained his anonymity throughout his involvement with bitcoin, which he stepped away from in 2011.
His motives are unclear, but the technical proof he has presented and the willingness of Gavin Andresen, Nakamoto’s successor as the head developer of bitcoin, to accept him as genuine, are convincing.
This revelation is coming five months after tech publications Gizmodo and Wired first claimed that Wright was Nakamoto based on some leaked e-mails. He contacted the BBC, the Economist and GQ to say he was ready to present proof that he had founded the cryptocurrency. Wright proved that he held the private cryptographic key used to sign the first bitcoin transfer, from Nakamoto to Hal Finney.
Bitcoin is the world’s most commonly used virtual currency, attracting the interest of banks, speculators, criminals and regulators. Worth a total of $7 billion at current levels, it fell more than 3 percent on Monday after the news, to below $440 from around $455, before recovering slightly.
Jon Matonis, a founding director of the Bitcoin Foundation now works as a bitcoin consultant, wrote a blog post on Monday which, like Andresen’s, supported Wright’s claims.
“According to me, the proof is conclusive and I have no doubt that Craig Steven Wright is the person behind the Bitcoin technology, Nakamoto consensus, and the Satoshi Nakamoto name,” Matonis wrote. He and Andresen also confirmed they had been responsible for their respective blog posts to Reuters directly.