Have we finally discovered the mysterious founder of cryptocurrency Bitcoin?
Australian businessman Craig Wright claimed Monday he created the digital currency, which would end one of the biggest mysteries in tech. However, skepticism remains over whether Wright is telling the truth.
In a blog post published Monday, Wright confirmed he is behind the online alias Satoshi Nakamoto, the name identified with the creator of the digital currency. Wright’s post is largely technical, explaining how to verify cryptographic keys he can access that prove he is the founder.
“Satoshi is dead,” says Wright in the post. “But this is only the beginning.”
According to the BBC, Wright says he wanted to end the speculation surrounding the identity of Satoshi. BBC, The Economist and GQ were given access to Wright and reviewed evidence Wright says proves he founded Bitcoin.
Wright also tells BBC he did not want to step forward to “be the public face” of Bitcoin. “There are lots of stories out there that have been made up and I don’t like it hurting those people I care about,” he says. “I don’t want any of them to be impacted by this.”
The online identity Satoshi amassed roughly 1 million Bitcoins, which are worth $450 million if converted to cash.
In a separate post published Monday, Bitcoin Foundation chief scientist Gavin Andresen says he is “convinced beyond a reasonable doubt” Wright is the founder after a recent meeting in London. Andresen says Wright used cryptographic keys only Satoshi would own.
“I am very happy to be able to say I shook his hand and thanked him for giving Bitcoin to the world,” writes Andresen.
However, doubts continue to linger over whether Wright is really Bitcoin’s founder. Threads on Reddit have surfaced since the revelation claiming Wright is making the story up, questioning the value of a signature Wright provides as proof.
“It absolutely doesn’t show that Wright is Satoshi, and it does very strongly imply that the purpose of the blog post was to deceive people,” reads an excerpt from one Reddit thread.
Satoshi signed a transaction in 2009. Wright copied that specific signature and tried to pass it off as new. OpenSSL bugs interfered.
— Dan Kaminsky (@dakami) May 2, 2016
This would not be the first time the elusive founder of Bitcoin was identified incorrectly. In 2014, Newsweek claimed they discovered the founder: Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto from Temple Hills, Calif. Days later, in an interview with The Associated Press, Nakamoto denied any role.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.