The about-face of the Australian entrepreneur who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious pseudonymous creator of bitcoin, is the latest embarrassing controversy for a virtual currency that has become increasingly popular among serious techies and financiers.
On Thursday, three days after the entrepreneur, Craig Wright, presented persuasive but incomplete evidence to support his claim, he changed his mind and said he would not produce more information, as he had promised, to quiet a chorus of skeptics who questioned him.
“I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me,” Wright wrote in a blog post titled “I’m Sorry.” “But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access…I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.”
The move was a bizarre twist in what many believed was the end of the search for Satoshi, who is credited with authoring a 2008 academic paper that laid the groundwork for bitcoin. News organizations from Newsweek to The New Yorker have investigated the person or team of people who created the virtual currency and come up dry, though Wright had been floated more than