GQ magazine has released a profane eight minutes of audio from its interview earlier this year with Dr. Craig Wright. In the clip, Wright becomes agitated when an expert casts doubts on his proof that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
Also read: FinTech is Destabilizing Finance, Former Bank Head Warns
Wright to GQ: ‘Show Me Now or F***ing Walk’
If you were skeptical of Wright’s claims in the past this audio will do little to convince you otherwise – though he has kept a low profile since the story blew up in late April and no longer appears to be actively pursuing the cause.
In the interview, Dr. Wright appears to compensate for his lack of convincing cryptographic proof with profanity and threats – at which the other participants are noticeably unimpressed. He says:
You’ve got this one thing then I’m disappearing. I’m not doing this to get in the media, this will never happen again. You got this one thing, and if you don’t like it… f–k off.
‘You Show Me Proof or You F**k Out’
Audible gasps can be heard from others on the tape – Dr. Nicolas T. Courtois, lecturer in cryptography at University College London, and GQ’s senior commissioning editor Stuart McGurk.
In the interview, Wright demands Dr. Courtois present further academic evidence to support his claim that private keys can be retrieved when one has the source code to the random number generator in ECDSA-based encryption.
Courtois nervously says the evidence is in his public work, but an agitated Wright begins to raise his voice and yell out profanity.
‘F**k off! F**k off! F**k off! F**k off!’
McGurk attempts unsuccessfully to diffuse the tension and tries to get the interview back on track, but Wright becomes even more angry and confrontational. He continues:
There are f–king thousands of transactions in Bitcoin, every f–king day signed with pissy f–king bloody number generators. Show me one that’s been compromised.
After a particularly nasty shouting session, the audio cuts out for 11 minutes and returns when things have calmed down a little – but the interview quickly degenerates again when Courtois raises Wright’s problems with the Australian tax authorities.
The full audio track is here – it’s recommended you don’t listen if you are sensitive to bad language or if there are young children in the room.
It should be noted, however, that such language is not uncommon in Australian boardrooms or by high-level government officials, so cultural context should be considered.
Still Not Satoshi
Despite Wright initially convincing some high-profile members of the Bitcoin community of his Satoshi-ness through non-cryptographic means, his claims quickly crumbled. His choice of The Economist, The BBC and GQ to release his story seemed unusual given the technical nature of his ‘work’ – and a website featuring a series of articles by Wright, with professionally-taken publicity shots of him penning equations on transparent glass, seemed somehow contrived.
A 35,000+ word June feature in the London Review of Books by author Andrew O’Hagan (which was initially intended to be a book) shed more light on the story of Wright and how he came to claim he was the inventor of Bitcoin.
The article claims the entire saga was part of an arrangement with Canadian payment processing startup nTrust. nTrust’s then-CEO appeared to be convinced Wright was indeed Satoshi and inked an intellectual property deal coupled with a media coming-out campaign co-ordinated by a PR company.
Did Wright’s ear-blistering oratory in the GQ interview help convince you in either direction? Will the ‘real’ Satoshi Nakamoto ever be convincingly revealed?
Images courtesy of GQ, phneep.com