Australian Craig Wright identifies himself as bitcoin creator

At present, one bitcoin is worth R6 290. (Reuters)

At present, one bitcoin is worth R6 290. (Reuters)

Craig Steven Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, identified himself as the creator of bitcoin almost five months after he was outed in media reports as the man behind the virtual currency.

Wright said in a blog post and interviews with three media organisations that he developed the original bitcoin software under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright provided technical proof, including the original encryption keys, that have been confirmed by prominent members of the bitcoin community, the BBC reported.

Wright was named as the creator of bitcoin by both Wired and Gizmodo in December, which he said caused unwanted attention on his work and family. A white paper on the virtual currency was released under the name of Nakamoto in 2008 detailing the concept of peer-to-peer electronic cash before software was rolled out in early 2009.
More than one other person has previously been identified as the original creator.

“Some people will believe, some people won’t and to tell you the truth I don’t really care,” he said in a video clip posted to the BBC’s verified Twitter account. “I don’t want money, I don’t want fame, I don’t want adoration. I just want to be left alone.”

Before Monday, Wright had stayed silent on the December reports, which cited emails, deleted blog posts and documents. He also revealed himself as bitcoin’s creator to the Economist and GQ magazines, the BBC said.

Bitcoin’s libertarian roots, with no central issuing authority and a public ledger to verify transactions, has become more mainstream with its adoption by merchants around the world. Its underlying technology has also drawn interest from banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Inc.

When Wright was first identified, he was living in a modest home on a quiet tree-lined street in the suburb of Gordon, about 13km from Sydney’s central business district.

His then social-media profile suggested a man with an enthusiasm for virtual currency and computing. In addition to numerous college degrees and a stint as a chef, his now-deleted LinkedIn profile listed him as the chief executive officer of DeMorgan Ltd. which has researched bitcoin, proposed a bank for the currency, and offers wallet and exchange services.

Wired’s evidence for naming Wright as the currency’s creator included 2008 blog posts discussing bitcoin, along with e-mails, transcripts and accounting forms that corroborate the link. The tech magazine also cited a 2014 administrator’s report into Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence Pty., which indicated the e-payment software firm was backed by $23-million of bitcoin owned by its managing director Wright.

The New York Times and New Yorker magazine have both tried to find whomever is behind the pseudonym. In a cover story last year, Newsweek identified the real Satoshi Nakamoto as a California physicist, who denied the report.

At present, one bitcoin is worth R6 290. – Bloomberg

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