Craig Steven Wright went public with the claim that he was the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of bitcoin. His admission follows years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the digital cash system.
Mr Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin’s creator.
Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team say they have confirmed his claims.
But many others in the Bitcoin world are asking for more proof.
Opinion is divided over whether he really is Satoshi. Some experts were persuaded; others are unsure and indeed even he now seems less convinced about jumping into the limelight. What we want to know, however, is how we can be sure he is the real Craig Steven Wright. Real proof that a person or group of people is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, could be for example : moving around early bitcoin or creating a new signature with Satoshi’s encryption keys would be enough.
Wright said he knew his claims would need “extraordinary proof “. A day later, he has decided not to prove his claims after all. Wright says that he “broke” about to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys. “I do not have the courage,” he wrote in a note on his website. “I cannot.”
The statement is as follows:
I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.
When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this.
I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.
One of the reasons Wright’s claims were taken seriously is because he convinced Gavin Andresen, former lead of Bitcoin developer, that he was truly Satoshi. Andresen spoke about his meeting with Wright in London, and described Wright as “visibly emotional” while he signed a message as Satoshi. “He’s either a fantastic actor who knows an awful lot about cryptography, or it actually was emotionally hard for him to go through with this,” Andresen said.
Bitcoin’s community is currently debating how the currency itself should evolve. Some want it to remain a pure net-connected currency but others, including Craig Wright, want it to become a more general payment system. If Mr Wright was confirmed as Satoshi he could lend weight to one side of the debate. He said, during all the years of silence he has not been idle, he has many ideas about how to expand the Bitcoin.