Australian Claims to Have Invented Bitcoin
On Monday an Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright has claimed that he is the original creator of the digital currency Bitcoin. Experts are still unsure whether or not he really is the creator, who was known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto until recently. The mystery of who Nakamoto really is has been unsolved since the open source software behind Bitcoin was unveiled in 2008 before the currency itself was released the year after.
Bitcoin has gone on to become the most commonly used digital currency in the world and has sparked a lot of interest among banks, speculators, regulators, and, more controversially, criminals. Bitcoin is currently worth a total of $7 billion, having fallen more than 3% on Monday after the news came out. It went from being worth $455 to $440 before making a recovery.
Some online commentators have suggested that the creator of Bitcoin could come forward and settle disputes amongst the software developers working with Bitcoin and putting the future of the currency in jeopardy. Wright did give an interview with the BBC where he identified himself as Nakamoto but didn’t mention these rows. Even if he was the original creator it is unknown whether he could actually influence Bitcoin in any way. The protocol behind Bitcoin is open source so it’s beyond the control of just one person.
Wright now lives in London and told the BBC that other people helped him create Bitcoin but he was the main player. He admitted that not everyone will believe him but that he didn’t really care whether people believed him or not. The skeptical Bit coiners said that they felt Wright had not adequately proven that he was Nakamoto. “Nakamoto” had managed to stay anonymous while he helped develop Bitcoin before stepping away from the currency in 2011.
The Legacy of Nakamoto
Gavin Andresen was chosen by Nakamoto to be his successor. Gavin met with Wright last month and published a blog post about in which he said that he was convinced that Wright is indeed Nakamoto. John Matonis is one of the founding directors of the Bitcoin Foundation and now works as a consultant for bitcoin. He too made a blog post in which he supported the idea that Wright is Nakamoto. He said that he felt the evidence was conclusive and that Craig Steven Wright is indeed the creator of Bitcoin and the man behind the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Both he and Andresen confirmed they were the ones who wrote their blog posts.
It’s likely that the biggest legacy Nakamoto has is now beyond his control. The blockchain technology behind Bitcoin could severely alter the way that banks do business and settle transactions. It could alter the way that people record property rights and other important data. It could also lead to banks creating their own digital currency. The BBC said that Wright gave them some technical proof that showed he had access to blocks of bitcoins that had been created by Nakamoto. It is believed by researchers that Nakamoto may currently hold up to one million of the 15 million bitcoins in circulation.
If this were true it would mean that he is worth up to $440 million. Wright also published a blog post on Monday in which he used a signature that Nakamoto had. He also explained how bitcoin transactions are verified and thanked the people that had supported bitcoin from the beginning. He wrote that the passion of the community and their intellect and perseverance had taken his small contribution and breathed life into it. He didn’t claim in the blog post that he was Nakamoto. Instead he said that Satoshi was dead but that it was only the beginning.
Peter Van Valkenburg is a bitcoin expert and the director of research as Coin Center, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. He said that a message that had been signed using the private key associated with the Genesis Block, the first ever “mined” block of bitcoin, would have been more convincing proof. People mining the currency are incentivized to process transactions every ten minutes with the potential reward of 25 bitcoins. This is how bitcoins are mined.
Wright Declines The Economist Interview
Wright also spoke with The Economist but he declined their requests that he show further proof that he was indeed Nakamoto. He also sent out the message that he would not be appearing in any more media interviews through his representatives. The Economist concluded that while Wright could be Nakamoto they couldn’t know for sure. They added that it may be impossible to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt who is the man behind the Nakamoto name and the creator of bitcoin. The hope that bitcoin would become more broadly used was behind the price being boosted to more than $1,000 in December 2013. The market capitalization of bitcoin reached $13 billion there, much higher than the $7 billion seen today. Wright said that while he did have a lot of bitcoins he would exchange them slowly so that he didn’t further drive down the market value.
Potential Leader of the Crypto coin Movement
Wright’s home in Sydney was raided in December after he was named the probable creator of bitcoin and the holder of hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoin by Wired magazine. He didn’t make a comment at the time. There has been plenty of debate in Australia at the prospect of how bitcoin should be treated for tax purposes. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) ruled that cryptocurrency is an asset, rather than a currency, in December 2014. They declined to comment on Monday and the police were not available for comment. Roberto Capodieci is an entrepreneur based in Singapore that is currently working on the blockchain, the technology that is used to handle the currency. He believes that if Wright is Nakamoto then he is the leader of a movement. The movement that Nakamoto leads includes libertarian enthusiasts and banks that are now experimenting with digital currencies. All of these people pay homage in some form to the writings of Nakamoto.