The mystery of who created the digital currency Bitcoin might finally have been solved, bringing an end to years of speculation.
Australian businessman Craig Wright has claimed to be the person behind “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the mysterious identity that created much of the technology behind the online cash system. Satoshi Nakamoto’s work in 2008 and 2009 was key to creating the system, but he has always remained anonymous and his work has since stopped.
If Mr Wright’s claim is correct, it will bring to an end years of speculation about the person behind one of the most famous names in internet history.
Mr Wright showed “technical proof” of his identity to the BBC, The Economist and GQ. The publications were shown digitally signed messages sent in the early days of the technology that are linked to Bitcoins that are known to have been owned by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Gadgets and tech news in pictures
Bring broken smartphone back to life – as a robot
Do you have an old broken smartphone lying around the house somewhere? Then why not turn it into a robot? That’s exactly what YouTuber Mehdi Sadaghdar did in a recent video, after his efforts to bring a destroyed phone back to life disastrously failed. Using the phone’s vibrator, a coin battery, a simple switch, a few wires and the bristly part of a toothbrush, he managed to make a simple little toy that can skitter around a tabletop as long as the battery last
Detachable plane cabin
A Ukrainian inventor has proposed building airliners with detachable passenger cabins that could separate from the rest of the plane and parachute safely to the ground in the event of an emergency
FA announces it will host the Emirates FA Cup video game tournament
The FA has announced that for the first time ever it will host the inaugural Emirates FA Cup gaming tournament, with video game fans from across the world invited to compete for glory at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. Early rounds will take place in iconic locations in the stadium such as The Royal Box, the changing rooms and the players’ tunnel, with the two finalists set to play the virtual final using Wembley Stadium’s 82 foot screens as they sit in the centre circle. Gamers of varying ability will descend upon Wembley Stadium as the home of football transforms into an epic gaming colosseum set to turn heads and sweat palms in equal measure
Oculus Rift release date
Oculus has said that it is about to open pre-orders for its Rift virtual reality headset. Some have claimed that the hardware will be the device that will bring virtual reality into the mainstream. And it will start being available from 6 January 2016, the company has said. The company hasn’t said when the headsets will actually start arriving, or how much they will cost. It isn’t clear whether the company intends to announce more details before pre-orders begin
iPhone stock apps can be removed by just putting them into special folder
A new trick shows a quick way of getting rid of the stock apps that might be cluttering up your iPhone screen — at least for a while. The iPhone comes with a range of apps that are stuck on the phone, and can’t be deleted like others. While some are key to the phone — like the Phone app itself — others like Stocks are less well-regarded. But the new trick shows how you can hide those unused stock apps with just a quick trick using some folders
CES 2016: Four big things set to be revealed
The CES 2016 gadget show is about to kick off, and nearly the entire technology industry has descended on Las Vegas to try and show off the future. Every year, companies and technologists attempt to show that they have seen what’s coming and that they will be there to offer it. Every year, a lot of people get it wrong. This year’s expectations are as big as ever. Every year, CES unofficially gets a big theme that everything’s supposed to be about — this year that’s virtual reality. There is also future for cars, smart home and wearables
Terrorists could use drones to attack planes and spread propaganda
A government counter-terrorism adviser has warned that terrorists could use commercially available drones to attack passenger planes. Detective Chief Inspector Colin Smith, a security expert and adviser to the Home Office Centre for Applied Science and Technology, warned that small quadcopter drones could easily be used by terrorists for attacks and propaganda purposes
Goggle-Eyed Lemurs watch TV as part of their reintroduction to the wild
Port Lympne Reserve in Kent, UK, has installed Sony Bravia 4K TVs into its lemur and langur enclosures to show life-like footage to its primates as part of its ‘Back to the Wild’ programme. The charity will trial TV watching on Sony’s 4K TVs as part of this programme in a bid to make langurs more familiar with the new environment
Uber has added a lift-sharing feature to its app in London, allowing people to share their taxi with a stranger in return for a reduced fair. Users will be given 25 per cent off their journey if they say they will let up to two other passengers share their car. Drivers will then receive a message telling them that they’ll be picking up more than one fare, and can plan their route accordingly. London is the second European country to get the feature, after Paris. It was first launched in San Francisco and now most people who use the app do so with the feature
Attempt to build world’s biggest Rubik’s cube ends in disaster
An attempt to build the world’s biggest Rubik’s cube ended in disaster when the puzzle exploded as it was turned for the first time. One of the masterminds behind Coren Puzzle, a YouTube channel dedicated to custom puzzles, live-streamed the final assembly of the 22×22 cube. The video was the culmination of seven months of construction, which included a month of deliberation on how to build the mechanism at the centre of the device
New battery chip could let phones charge in minutes
The maker of a new chip claims that it could reduce the charging times of phones to a few minutes, and could prevent dangerous explosions. The tiny chip could be embedded into batteries of all sizes and monitor how healthy and charged they are. That in turn would mean that the batteries would become much safer and quicker to charge, according to the scientist that developed it. Unhealthy lithium-ion batteries can be at risk of exploding or catching fire, as well as gradually losing their capacity so that they run out more quickly. Those problems may become even more important as people move towards electric cars or other vehicles
Facebook on iPhone gets new fast-loading Instant Articles
If you’ve noticed articles on Facebook loading a little quicker recently, that’s because the new Instant Articles have been launched to all iPhone users. Instant Articles load up to 10 times quicker than a regular article, and have some enriched features – such as unobtrusive autoplay videos, zoomable high-definition images and interactive maps
Halo 5 patch
Gamers looking forward to playing Halo 5: Guardians on its release on 27 October 2015 will have to wait to download a 9GB day one patch before the game’s multiplayer mode can run properly. Those without the patch won’t even be able to play multiplayer at all until it’s downloaded, in yet another case of a blockbuster game needing a patch on the day of launch
New HTC Desire 626 handset launch
HTC has launched its latest Desire 626 handset with the Sense 7 software which automatically detects whether you’re at work, at home or on-the-go and alters its theme to suit your location. This advanced technology intelligently analyses your favourite photos to modify the look and feel of your apps, allowing you to modify the colour scheme and backgrounds – the ultimate in personalisation
Nasa confirms Mars water discovery
Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae — or dark patches — on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts.
Customers wait in line at the Apple Store in Paris to get their hands on the iPhone 6s
Several hundred camped outside the London store in Covent Garden. The 6s will have new features like a vastly improved camera and a pressure-sensitive “3D Touch” display
Bloodhound SSC: The most powerful ever made is shown off to the public
The car is displayed at Downing Street, when the team visited David Cameron to demonstrate the project
Lunar eclipse threatens Nasa technology
Artist’s rendering of Nasa’s LRO spacecraft, which will have to withstand a rapid drop in temperature during an upcoming lunar eclipse that could lead to it shutting down
Mobile phone bills could rocket up after Ofcom announced that the fees it charges to phone operators will be trebled
The regulator will now charge far more to phone companies for using the mobile spectrum — and though it says that fee will not be passed on to customers, experts have said that prices are likely to go up
New iPhone 6s rose gold
Apple has released a bright pink new iPhone 6s — likely the only way that you’ll be able to tell that someone has the new handset. The company released the new phone with much fanfare, but almost all of the changes — a new camera and pressure-sensitive display — were on the inside. The only new noticeable addition to the phone’s look is the very pink rose gold colour, and a tiny “S” on the back. The new handsets will be released on September 25
Apple has launched a huge new iPad, which it hopes can bring the tablet to offices and designers. But it unveiled it with an Apple-designed stylus — an idea that was famously mocked by late Apple founder Steve Jobs
Apple has introduced the new Apple TV
Apple has introduced the new Apple Pencil
But despite planning to release information that would allow others to verify that he is behind Satoshi Nakamoto, Mr Wright hasn’t made any of that evidence public yet. Though the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has always been a secret, it is thought that there are relatively simple ways that the person behind it would be able to prove that connection.
People involved in Bitcoin have said that they were convinced by the evidence that Mr Wright presented.
“During the London proof sessions, I had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical,” Jon Matins, one of the founding directors of the Bitcoin Foundation, wrote in a blog post about his relationship with Satoshi Nakamoto. “It is my firm belief that Craig Wright satisfies all three categories.”
Mr Wright became one of the prime candidates for being Bitcoin’s inventor after emails from him were leaked late last year. At that time, Wired wrote that he had “either invented bitcoin or is a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did”, and many were unconvinced by the reports.
Those reports forced Mr Wright to admit that he is the creator of the currency, he appeared to suggest to the BBC.
“I have not done this because it is what I wanted,” he said. “It’s not because of my choice.”
He said that he didn’t intend to become the public face of Bitcoin, and that he would have preferred to stay anonymous.
Mr Wright was the subject of investigations after the release of the emails in December last year. He told the BBC that he was still cooperating with the Australian Tax Office.
If Mr Wright truly is Satoshi Nakamoto, he could have a huge net worth. The person behind the identity is thought to have about one million Bitcoins from the early days of the technology, worth about $450m (£30m) at current prices.
But he is far from the first person to have been named as being behind the technology. In 2014, for instance, a man called Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto was named by Newsweek as being behind his online namesake – but that was later denied, and an account associated with the more famous Satoshi Nakamoto sent a very rare message denying that he was Dorian.
- More about:
- Satoshi Nakamoto
- craig wright