One of the biggest mysteries in the technology world is who invented Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency (and payment network) that’s now worth billions of dollars and could — according to supporters, at least — revolutionize the financial industry. Until now, the technology’s creator was known only as Satoshi Nakamoto, an online pseudonym whose offline persona was a tightly guarded secret.
Many people have tried and failed to unmask Bitcoin’s inventor. One list compiled this summer counted 10 people or organizations that might be the real Satoshi Nakamoto, ranging from cryptographer Nick Szabo to the National Security Agency. The most notorious case came last year, when Newsweek reported that Nakamoto was an elderly Japanese model train enthusiast living in California — only to have its reporting decisively debunked.
On Tuesday, independent reporting by Wired and Gizmodo both pointed to a new candidate: an Australian technologist named Craig Steven Wright. Wright fits the basic Nakamoto profile — he’s a brilliant and secretive technologist — and leaked documents appear to provide overwhelming evidence that Wright is Nakamoto’s real-life alter ego.
The scoops are based on documents that were — purportedly — taken from Wright by a hacker. The question, then, is whether