This weekend, cryptocurrency watchers were bestowed with the London Review of Books’ months-long, 35,000-word investigation into Craig Wright, the Australian man who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. Journalist Andrew O’Hagan brings us many curious details about Wright that ultimately raise more questions than they answer. O’Hagan does succeed wildly though in painting an intimate portrait of a hacker with a multitude of social adjustment issues and bad business dealings, which is something of a speciality of the writer who previously profiled Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
O’Hagan spent six months with Wright, including the period from 2015 to 2016 during which Wright was at the center of a huge, failed effort to convince the world that he invented Bitcoin. Some have been perplexed as to why Wright wanted to be outed as Satoshi, but O’Hagan’s reporting reveals that Wright had a huge financial incentive in being perceived as Bitcoin’s creator, as did others.
O’Hagan reports that Wright struck a deal with a Canadian peer-to-peer payment company called nTrust. After an old friend of Wright’s convinced nTrust CEO Robert MacGregor that Wright was Satoshi, the company acquired Wright’s various debt-laden computer companies and IP rights