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Reported Bitcoin 'founder' Craig Wright's home raided by Australian police (theguardian.com)
290 points by laex on Dec 9, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 147 comments



From the article:

> Guardian Australia understands the raids are not related to the claims that Wright may have been involved in the creation of bitcoin, but are related to an Australian Tax Office investigation.

So the story is that the Australian Tax Office just happened to be running an investigation looking into some facet of Craig Wright's finances. An investigation that apparently revealed some sort of abnormality, resulting in a raid on a property connected to Mr. Wright...

...18 hours after a major technology publication "outed" him as the possible person behind "Satoshi Nakamoto".

Welp, that looks completely coincidental to me. /s


Bitcoin is to be taxed as an asset not a currency in Australia.

The original gizmodo[0] piece has more on this:

The hacker-tipster also included multiple PDF files that contain what appear to be a transcript of a meeting about Bitcoin regulation between Wright, his attorney, and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), as well as the minutes of a subsequent meeting of the ATO and Wright’s attorney. Wright appears to have been trying to persuade the Australian government to treat his Bitcoin holdings as currency, as opposed to an asset subject to greater taxation. Without this regulatory move, his business interests would be scuttled. During an interlude in one such meeting, Wright makes an oddly casual admission of his identity as Satoshi (highlighting added):

A request to confirm the authenticity of the document sent to Auscript, the transcription service whose logo appears at the top of the file, was denied on the basis of company policy. A request sent to the ATO was also denied on the basis of state confidentiality.

[0] http://gizmodo.com/this-australian-says-he-and-his-dead-frie...

I speculate this tax ruling and the ongoing investigation was also the reason why he wanted to migrate to the UK soon. The article has probably given the ATO reason to believe that he is under flight-risk.


ignore me. same conclusions below it seems


If I had an ongoing investigation into someone suspected of tax evasion and suddenly the internet at large revealed his identity, I'd be sure to raid asap - Wright was probably not aware that the tax office was investigating him, but I'm sure that if he is Satoshi and sits on a million BTC, and his identity is revealed, I'd try and GTFO. Which wouldn't be in the tax office's interest.

Not sure if the above makes sense. The two are probably related.


I am thinking here is what happened

The guy seeing an opportunity and possibly having some early coins declared himself to tax office as Satoshi, but maybe claimed he lost keys to majority of coins. He then proceeded to have one of his companies claim tax back for R&D of bitcoin. The whole thing probably backfired then.


According to the article, he was very aware of the investigation: tax officers interviewed him about his bitcoin assets.


There has been a long standing dispute between him and the Tax Office about whether his Bitcoins should be treated as assets ( higher tax rate ) or as currency. His lawyers have lobbied senior Cabinet Ministers in connection with this.

I understand that he was planning to leave the country in January. Movers had been to his rented home in Gordon, Sydney and have removed much of his furniture.

I assume that the Tax Office did not want their target to flee with all the evidence that they wanted to lay their hands on.


Source for all that?


gwern is responding on this /r/bitcoin thread https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/3vzgnd/bitcoins_cr...


Thanks for the link. The timing is suspicious, but it's certainly plausible that while the ATO's actions aren't related to an investigation into Wright's bitcoin holdings, that the Wired article acted as a trigger to move up the timeline of the raid.

If that's what happened perhaps they were moving quickly to preserve evidence of whatever else they were investigating in advance of the hordes of people on their way to break into the house and steal whatever computer hardware they could find hoping to gain access to the "Satoshi's Stash" bitcoins.

---

EDIT: Too funny... I posted this and then saw another comment (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10702038) by imron (https://news.ycombinator.com/user?id=imron) posted before mine that described almost the exact same conclusion (nearly word for word). Props to them for beating me to the punch!


> nearly word for word)

Great minds think alike! ;-)


Does that mean we now know that gwern isn't Wright?


Well, given that one of the primary sources in the article was a set of quotes from the ATO investigation itself...


Yeah, because virtual currency can't possibly have anything to do with tax evasion.


To me it seems that leaks are partially caused by the tax investigation, not the other way around.


Here is an Amazon comment left by Wright. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CVvsxDOVAAANOD-.png:large

"Silicone" Valley? "Assumed to the centre of everything"?

Color me skeptical that this guy is Satoshi.

(source: https://twitter.com/kashhill/status/674393417019883520 )


Agreed...

Exhibit A (https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf)

This paper, and the technology it proposes, are as eloquent and ingenious as they come.

Exhibit B (from one of Wright's blog posts in the Wired exposé) "Well.. e-gold is down the toilet."

The telltale 2 dot ellipsis... Imagining this semi-literate blowhard writing that paper is a real stretch.


I think it's most likely that he was just involved in the early stages. If not him then one of his associates wrote the white paper.


"I do not want to be your posterboy. I am not found and I do not want to be."

Why oh why can't journalists just respect his wishes!

"People love my secret identity and hate me."

It certainly seems that the Australian police aren't on particularly good terms with him at the moment.

If the Australian government takes control of the Tulip Trust bitcoin stash, the world has to deal with a cryptocurrency being managed by politicians.

Whoever gets them, I hope that the bitcoins remain off the market until at least 2020 as Kleiman wanted.

Which makes me think - could the bitcoins from Kleiman be considered "inherited", and thus subject to inheritance regulations?

Another hypothetical thought: when the original bitcoin creator mined the first bitcoins, they were worthless. They only gain value if someone else projects value onto them. They're not being used. Imagine they're a form of trading derivative (e.g. stock options): the right to trade in future. Are those taxed? Anyhow, it seems very complicated, and confiscating personal computers with a whole host of other files seems extreme.


> Why oh why can't journalists just respect his wishes!

Because it's their job not to. Lots of people don't want to be found but it's in the public interest to find them.

I'd argue the same goes for the creator of Bitcoin. It's in the public interest to find this person and see what they stand to gain from Bitcoin's continued use and value, and what they are likely to do with the money. You will respond that it doesn't matter, but it does.

What if Bitcoin came from Iran's secret service and it will be used to fund an enrichment facility?

What if it came from a drug lord?

What if it came from Michael Bay and he's going to make yet another Transformers movie with it?

All of these are in the public interest to find out and make people reconsider their adoption of it.

A decision void of context is necessarily an ignorant decision.


What if knives had been invented by a drug lord?

Who cares? What's important is whether knives are useful to us or not. If the inventor is a drug lord, then the problem is that he is a drug lord, not that he invented knives.

If someone invents something useful, then he should be rewarded, independently of whether he then uses the resulting money to save starving children or to buy Doritos all to himself.

If he does something illegal with that money, then we should come after him because he did something illegal, not because he was able to do something illegal (because he had earned a lot of money).


You missed my point entirely.

The point is if we know he's a bad person, we can choose not to use Bitcoin as is, and instead use a fork of it where he doesn't profit from it.

Also stop with the myth that Bitcoin was completely invented by one guy. It was based upon ideas from a lot of people prior to Satoshi. If there's a moral obligation to reward him (there is not) then there's a moral obligation to reward all of them as well (there still isn't.)


And you've missed the point where lives have been ruined and people could potentially be killed as a result of this nonsense.


Lives have not been ruined. In my opinion Newsweek owes Dorian Nakamoto some damages, but that will be decided in the courts. His life is not ruined, though, and nobody else's has been. That's way over-dramatic.


I was not talking about Dorian.


> it's in the public interest to find them.

Why? To bring their stash of bitcoins public via rubber hose cryptography?

> Iran... Michael Bay... drug lord...

None of these are very likely. It's much more likely that it is some reclusive technical genius who realizes that the release of their identity can have nothing but a negative impact on their lives. The chances are remarkably good that they would end up getting killed (or thrown in some state actor's prison) for their coins once their identity is revealed.

This kind of outcome isn't in anyone's interest.


> it's in the public interest to find them.

Care to expand on that? Where is the limit on Outing someone, when does it become doxing?


> Another hypothetical thought: when the original bitcoin creator mined thAnother hypothetical thought: when the original bitcoin creator mined the first bitcoins, they were worthless. They only gain value if someone else projects value onto them. They're not being used. Imagine they're a form of trading derivative (e.g. stock options): the right to trade in future. Are those taxed?

Generally yes, although I don't know about Australia. In the UK it's called capital gains tax.


AFAIK, the tax is only applied when the value is realised (i.e. sold/liquidated).

I wouldn't have thought just holding bitcoins would be grounds for taxation.


Capital gains taxes are way more complicated than this and they aren't only calculated when the asset is disposed off. Capital gains also are not calculated for individual assets but globally which also means you get tax relief for capital loss if any had occurred.

If you have any capital assets each year their value will be recalculated and compared to last's year calculations (some assets maybe calculated on a quarterly basis) the taxable value is then adjusted for any capital gains or loss that was carried from previous years and the final amount is calculated so you get a tax invoice "your GC tax for year 2015-2016 is X).

You can pay that tax immediately or you can choose to carry it on depending on the tax law and assets you might have to pay a certain amount immediately you might also be allowed to carry the tax to the next year which also might incur a certain payment/tax on it's own.

If the tax law allows you to carry on loss or gains to following years there's usually a limit to this (e.g. you have to pay the tax every 5 or 7 years to be able to do that) different types of assets will also have different regulation regarding deferring tax payments e.g. directly tradable/liquid assets like bonds might now grant you deferral on yearly GC tax while non-liquid assets like property which requires registration and tax duty to transfer will.

Considering that Australia most likely has laws which will be quite similar to those of the UK (As it only achieved final independence in 1942 or well technically 1986 ;)) there is a good chance that the capital gains tax on BC should've been paid every year, and even if it wasn't and you could deffer payments you had to declare it and submit it for valuation each year for tax purposes because otherwise GC tax cannot be calculated. So no matter what was the value of BC when he made it if he didn't declare it properly especially after it was defined as taxable assets in Australia he violated the law, given his at least presumed intelligence (regardless if he's Satoshi or not) and the actions he so far has taken this was done quite knowingly and intentionally.


If Satoshi really wanted to realise the value from his bitcoin holdings without being subject to a huge amount of tax he/she/they would ideally relocate to Germany where the tax office has said that if you hold them for over 1 year there is no capital gains tax (or equivalent) to pay.

That this guy was looking to move to the UK, where banks have been quite wary of bitcoin, (although the bank of england has not) is another strike against him being Satoshi. I would assume that anyone who was holding as much btc as we think satoshi has, and with this individual in particular in some sort of tax related issues, he would have been aware of german tax law and would seek to relocate there. Perhaps he was thinking of going from UK to Germany in time for 2020 when the Tulip fund would have been accessible.


Yes, but under Australian capital gains tax law, moving the coins overseas is a "taxable event", and he'd have to pay the capital gains tax on the capital gain based on the value at the time he moved them.


Then don't move them. They can be moved physically without actually moving the coins or they could be moved without physically leaving the country. He could have moved to Germany before letting anyone know of their existence. If he was smart he would have admitted to owning some Bitcoin as a way of engaging with the ATO to discuss how they would generate a tax liability. If any tax liability was too honerous be could have kept some hidden until he was in a jurisdiction where the tax laws were more in line with what he had in mind.

I guess the point being given that be is not satoshi nakamoto because if he was he would have been a lot more organised than it seems he has been.


Once again, you have a journalist ruining a person's life by claiming they created BitCoin.

Wired better be able to back it up.


It seems pretty well backed-up. Several leaked emails and deleted blog posts with Wright voluntarily identifying as Nakamoto. Certainly not as cavalier as Newsweek were last year when trying to out that other fellow. That doesn't mean it's not carefully crafted bullshit on his behalf


Not backed up. An unreliable source creates emails and blog posts that say it's him. End of story, right? No, not by far. This dump is worthless as evidence so far.


But at least he was asking for it this time, unlike Dorian Nakamato.


I'll give you that. Whether Dorian was inventor or not, he didn't deserve all the stress and publicity he got. Whereas Wright is a self-absorbed prick playing media games even if not the leaker. Don't care what happens to him from now.


If Wright isn't Satoshi, someone has gone to great lengths to fabricate a trail pointing to him -- and the evidence points to Wright himself building the case. I suspect that ATO raids have less to do with his "outing" than his outing has to do with the raids. After all, "ATO raids Bitcoin magnate" doesn't whip up much sympathy, but "ATO raids inventor of Bitcoin?" Ah, now we're talking above the fold news.


True enough.

I hadn't had the chance to read the article until now, and it's nothing like the Newsweek "expose."


It's just as shitty whether it's true or false. Either way, they're deliberately exposing someone to unwanted public attention to sell magazines and ad impressions.


For all I know, every news is trash now... First they just publish as soon as possible. So it's the law of everything goes, no time to verify. And their article are 60% useless shit.


Everything they publish is for that purpose whether it exposes someone or not. At least this is actual news if it's true and not mindless reprints of known information.


> Everything they publish is for that purpose whether it exposes someone or not.

Obviously. It's okay to make money off of things that are helpful or at least harmless. Not okay to make money off of hurting innocent people.

> At least this is actual news if it's true and not mindless reprints of known information.

So what? Facts are not inherently virtuous. If I published a report on your intimate personal habits, would you feel better if everything in the report was true?


http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-australian-who-may-hav...

"Under the scheme, a company which turns over less than $20 million is eligible to apply for a cash rebate of 45 cents for every dollar spent on research and development activity.

According to a press release in May, 2015, DeMorgan Ltd succeeded in its application for the rebate.

That means DeMorgan were able to prove to AusIndustry that it had spent $120 million on R&D activities in the 2014/2015 financial year, all while turning over less than $20 million. A 45 cent rebate on $120 million works out to $54 million."


I'm a consultant in the R&D Tax space. The press release relates to an advanced finding, which is an advanced approval of R&D activities. It does not however guarantee approval for the amount of expenditure they would be claiming. A tax refund of that size would naturally attract the attention of the Australian Tax Office(ATO). The press release is also dated before they could submit their tax return to obtain a 14/15 refund. A key problem with the press release is that there is now a $100million cap on how much expenditure they can claim in a financial year, so theoretically their maximum benefit would be $45million.

$120million in software R&D is a very large spend in Australia for one year, Google Australia for example claims about $40-$50million in R&D spend each year. Atlassian and some of the larger banks would claim a similar amount. I have not heard much about DeMorgan before, however if it all checks out they would be one of the most significant powers in the Australian tech space.


Fellow Australian here (albeit currently living in Tokyo).

The "We create tax refunds" part of your homepage says that a company can get a tax refund even if there is no sales.

Does this mean that if I establish a company tomorrow, invest $100k of capital, and spent $100k of capital on R&D, then the ATO will give my company $45k?


The R&D Tax Incentive was designed to give a cash benefit for startups who have little tax to pay. So your example is correct for a pre revenue entity, assuming no outstanding tax liabilities. Its an entitlement scheme, so as long as your doing R&D, have a company and spending your money through the company, you will get the benefit of the scheme.

It is one area that Australia has a significant advantage over the US for startups.


Yes, you have to spend the money though so youll still be down 55K, it doesnt count to things like capital purchases.


Depends who owns the company you spend the $100k with.

They'd need to pay 30% tax on their income, leaving a net outlay by the government of $15k (15%) overall.


Their income would be less than the $100k. They would have incurred expenses when they provided the services.

I paid $100k, the provider took the $100k and spent $60k. This means they declare $40k income.

The company pays $12k tax.

The Goverment gives $55k to my hypothetical company.


Andrew or David? We've done some work with you before (Vector 5).


Still working for Vector 5!

Cheers, Andrew


I've been through the ATO R&D tax rebate process with a business that had Australian operations, you need audited financials and it takes months of due diligence. As an example, we applied to the ATO with preliminary totals for our 2014 R&D spending in January of 2015, updated our application in March with our audited numbers, answered questions from the ATO for 3 months, had our application approved in June, and the check wasn't cut until September or October.

The credit from the ATO comes in the form of a check, but it's a prepayment against future tax obligations (you lost the tax-loss carry-forward you'd otherwise be able to claim to offset future profits). It's very useful for a startup since it's non-dilutive funding which can be used to get a lot of work done.


So it's difficult to successfully get it, and there's a lot that could go wrong and, say, prompt a lawsuit or criminal case?


Yep, there are all sorts of forms about material representations and liabilities for false statements. It seems like a well-run program, our contacts with the ATO were very sharp and knew which questions to ask. You could tell they've ferreted out fraudulent applications before.


Sounds like something most companies won't touch with a nine foot pole.


If you're honest, it's a great source of money. Our company was doing actual research to the tune of $50M spent in Australia (which was all VC money) so we got back something like $20M in non-dilutive additional financing. That $20M was "free" to us (but we lost out on the ability to write off $50M of losses against our future profits). It encouraged us to spend much more on research which mostly came in the form of salaries for Austrian employees. As long as you're not in the habit of lying to tax authorities, I don't know why every startup wouldn't take advantage.


They do, but hire big accounting firms to do so. This was my mother's job at KPMG, and where I work is going through the process at the moment.


Yep, we had Deloitte AU helping with ours.


Both crazy not to try and do it in house for the cost. Those guys are charging 15% and say you won't get it if you do it yourself. Any confident business person should be able to. It is meant to be self administered. It is a huge profit center for the likes of KPMG.


The R&D Tax scheme is a mix of law, tax and accounting. Like representing yourself in a legal matter or doing your own tax return, if its simple and straightforward you might be ok to claim yourself.

However add a little complexity here or there and it helps to have someone who knows what they're doing to guide you through it. Its a self assessment scheme, like tax, anyone can lodge their own return and the ATO will pay out with only cursory checks.

The real danger lies when you get audited, it can be especially dangerous for startups who have been claiming a few years, ignorant that they have not been claiming properly and are faced with an Audit by the ATO for multiple years of tax refunds. Generally once you add penalties to the tax refunds they must now pay back, the amount will end most startups.

There are many reputable consultants in this space who are capable and cheaper than the big 4. I would suggest sticking to the big 4, Tier 2 Accounting firms and Boutique R&D Tax Firms. They should be registered tax agents and generally you would want to know if they have successfully navigated Ausindustry Reviews and ATO audits before. Avoid suburban accountants like the plague for these things.


Yep.. We were an American company, with Indian investors who bordered on the 40% ownership stake where we'd have to claim their revenue as ours, claiming R&D expenses for goods bought in the US and deployed in Australia with AU employees and backpacker visaholders.. Why in the world would we take the risk of filing our own application when you can easily negotiate a deal with one of the big 4 to 'handle it' for a few hundred k.


I fear gwern has gone off the deep end on this one, situation is getting ridiculous: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/3vzgnd/bitcoins_cr...


Parent comment links to a Reddit comment by kanzure dated 2015-12-09 01:24:30 UTC which contains what could be reasonably interpreted as a death threat:

> "gwern's gonna get doxxed and left for dead"

Quoted to create an enduring record in case the comment is edited. Kanzure, you should probably step back and reconsider what you're doing here.


(EDIT: There are some good points in the ensuing discussion below. I don't know what to think yet, but my comment here was unfair. Sorry, kanzure. And thank you to everyone who responded.)

As far as I can tell, you're bullying gwern. Please stop.

If you have a point, then make it clearly. Leave out speculation about "what would happen if it was a US no-knock raid."

What, precisely, did gwern do? Their replies address your points, from where I'm sitting. What am I missing here?


Gwern has a long history of obsessive and misdirected behavior on this subject which is likely to cause harm to others. This particular case is Gwern's N-th accused "satoshi"... and this time the evidence consists mostly of counter evidence.

For example, these pgp signed emails are signed with the key with short ID 5EB7CB21 which is not the well known key, does not exist in old keyserver dumps, and has a pref-hash-algos list of "8 2 9 10 11", which is the list that GNUPG started generating a year (commit e50cac1d848d332c4dbf49d5f705d3cbbf074ba1) after the date on the key. The well known key, which the new key claims to be generated within 24 hours of, has "2 8 3" which was an the prior list of hashes.


And you have a history of jumping the gun in declaring evidence as false or not true which likewise likely caused/causes harm.

Such as your public and forceful "rebuking", in an authoritarian manner, of the then revelations, with evidence, that gox had 200k btc, which latter of course was shown to be true and showed that you were in no way rebuking anything, but abusing your position.

One would think you would have learned and keep your mouth until the dust is settled and you are in a better position to judge, but it seems that you like far too much making authoritarian, seemingly conclusive when not warranted, proclamations instead.

That is not to say, of course, that this guy may not be satoshi, but I'd take care hours after the announcement especially if I was in your position.


Amen


If you believe that gwern has done something to warrant this criticism, I would really love to understand that.

Does gwern's reply on Reddit address what you just wrote?

And as I pointed out in my subsequent replies which you have left out, I am perfectly aware that PGP public key metadata (not pgp.mit.edu timestamps, since the keyservers are only reading what the keys say!) can be backdated at creation, and this is why we put our effort into nailing down the creation and modification dates of the blog post in third-party archives like the IA and Google Reader.

Our case was not based on the key creation dates and it is bullshit for you to imply that it was or that their unreliability torpedoes the article.

Can you point out which part of the gizmodo or wired articles were based on mistaken evidence from gwern's investigation?


Basically every piece of evidence that can falsified in this case is falsified. The PGP key used to sign the emails: Backdated with almost complete certainty. The blog posts? edited in 2013 to include the 'bitcoin hints'.

What is more likely: Someone who is Bitcoin's creator in hiding, went and created a pile of provably falsified information that they were Bitcoin's creator, plus left some circumstantial evidence that can't be decided .... Or someone who _wasn't_ Bitcoin's creator, went and created false evidence and had some circumstantial evidence by chance (or falsified too but not proven yet)?

In any case the complaint isn't even so much about this particular drama-fest, it's about the repeated behavior. This time it looks like it may have precipitated a raid on someones house (otherwise the timing is more coincidental than most of this evidence), had it been in some places in the US perhaps the victim (or at least their dog) wouldn't even be alive now.


> This particular case is Gwern's N-th accused "satoshi"

Not with this degree of certainty.


What certainty? Here's what they have: possibly backdated keys; edited blog entries; leaked emails. All from same, untrustworthy source. That's not certainty or concrete. It would probably be tossed out of court in the U.S. the second the defense brought up the blog editing.


As others have pointed out - it's arguable that publishing any claim about the identity of SN - puts the target in considerable, potential danger.

Now I can understand that there is a public interest component in knowing SN's identity. And I'd even be willing to accept (but really only for sake of argument) that this public interest overrides SN's own right to privacy and safety.

But to make these accusations when you yourself admit - as the article does - that there is a substantial degree of doubt, is to put at risk the safety and privacy of a person who doesn't deserve it in the least.

This is an absolutely appalling thing to do to anyone. And it should be prima-facie obvious to you as to why.

While I don't condone bullying of any sort - it really is the least of what these authors deserve. I personally don't feel Kanzure is bullying - merely pointing out how appalling this behaviour is, and this absolutely needs to be pointed out.


Not the parent, but,

>What, precisely, did gwern do?

Publicly accused someone of being Satoshi Nakamoto, which is quote serious, and predictably would have negative consequences.

It's especially bad if you do it with unreliable evidence, because then it's just some poor unrelated person.


Whether he is or not, he clearly seems to want to be associated with Satoshi. So this is not exactly the Dorian case. This guy practically asked for it at the conference.


So the guy, out of narcissism or whatever, made some imprudent edits to old blogposts. Taking advantage of that to publish an unsubstantiated article that potentially puts someone's life at risk is, for lack of a stronger word, wrong.


Which part of http://gizmodo.com/this-australian-says-he-and-his-dead-frie... do you believe is unsubstantiated?

The situation is just confusing. Help me understand what's going on here. If part of that article is unsubstantiated, then everyone would be interested in that.


We have no way to independently verify the authenticity of the leaks, the key "evidence" is a dead-end, so are the edits to the posts, as the authors admit in the Wired article.


I used to like the guy (this is crossing a line, for me) and I think he has lots of potential, but there's no reason for civilized society to tolerate anons recklessly calling in raids based on the accumulated weight of lots of non-evidence. When you make an accusation that someone is the richest person of all time, you are putting their life in danger and hanging your reputation on it. Standards of evidence here need to be extremely high because raids are going to happen, stuff's going to get stolen, lives ruined, and people are going to get killed. Leaving out and glossing over the lack of merit of the cryptographic "evidence" is ridiculous (even for the extremely low standards we have to hold journalists to); he should have withdrawn consent earlier but to be complicit with that sort of editorial distortion field is, like I said, crossing a line where his behavior needs to be explicitly pointed out. This ain't bullying.


"recklessly calling in raids"

There is no evidence Gwern "called in" a raid. The Australian Federal Police deny that the raid had any connection to recent media reports, and say the timing was a coincidence: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/bitcoin-mystery-home-o...


Let me try again.

I chose my words carefully. What, precisely, did gwern do? Describe their actions as if your Reddit link didn't exist.

Are you upset about the contents of that IRC transcript? Because gwern already said that had nothing to do with the investigation, and I believe them. They mention the Internet Archive as one way of verifying the authenticity of various internet posts / timestamps, for example.

Perhaps what's going on here is that bitcoin enthusiasts are upset that Satoshi may have been identified.

Listen, I believe in the principle of charity. I know you're smart, so there's something that I'm missing here. But you haven't described specific things that you believe should tank gwern's reputation. Again: What specifically are you upset with? Those signatures have nothing to do with the investigation. So I'd like to understand what else there is.


> I chose my words carefully. What, precisely, did gwern do? Describe their actions as if your Reddit link didn't exist.

I also chose my words carefully. I pointed out that he was involved in making this accusation. He used faulty reasoning from poor misevidence to draw a conclusion that can bring tremendous harm to others. Article states his involvement, plus private correspondence of ~30 days of work on this article, plus I have known him for years and we talk about Satoshi speculation a bunch thus how I know that he has actually looked at the misevidence. I suppose the other issue is that he's from the "lesswrong" community which claims to be better at reasoning, but the only kind of reasoning that would be complicit with glossing over such substantially useless "evidence" is ... motivated reasoning.

> Perhaps what's going on here is that bitcoin enthusiasts are upset that Satoshi may have been identified.

Nah, I am just as curious as anyone else. I also know that finding Satoshi 4realz is going to bring tremendous danger to whoever that person was.


Yeah, good points. Thanks for your patience, and sorry that my replies were blunt. It's late, but there's really no excuse. Have a good evening.


http://gizmodo.com/this-australian-says-he-and-his-dead-frie...

It seems like when you put everything together that Craig Steven Wright + Dave Kleiman + unknown associates = Satoshi. This honestly seems like a much simpler conclusion to me than the alternative which is that someone (whether a group or a person) went to the trouble of concocting extremely elaborate and convincing evidence for the purpose of framing Wright as Satoshi.

Hopefully the media didn't out the wrong guy this time (although in retrospect: I'm not even sure why Gwern thought it wise to send the leaks to the press. I would have thought that he would sympathize with Satoshi wanting to stay anonymous given that he writes under a pseudonym himself...)


I don't understand - why would they raid his house? Is he suspected of dodging taxes? But as far as I understand, most tax evaders don't get their houses raided at first. It makes sense to first contact the person and/or send a letter.


From what I read on other sources, he is under investigation for tax issues by the ATO for a number of years now.

Perhaps the ATO felt they need to move quickly when news broke out (suggesting he is the BitCoin creator), to secure his assets before they are transferred / moved.


I doubt that this [very] clever person would put his bitcoins at risk of a seizure at his/her home


True, however I don't doubt that there are [very] stupid people who think it would be a good idea to break in to his house to steal hard-drives/computers in case they have bitcoins on them.

And it looks like the ATO doesn't doubt that either and wants to protect evidence from its ongoing investigation.


The guy that put together silk road was found with all his stuff at the same coffee shop every day.


There's only so much planning that a person can afford, regardless of how clever they are.


> Guardian Australia understands the raids are not related to the claims that Wright may have been involved in the creation of bitcoin, but are related to an Australian Tax Office investigation.

Seems like a hell of a coincidence for these two things to happen on the same day...


Not really. Let's say he was under investigation by the ATO for a host of different matters and let's say that the ATO suspected/was hoping there was interesting evidence at his house and while they would like to get their hands on it they were waiting until the right opportunity to do so, without hindering/alerting the subject of the investigation.

Then these new claims are made in the media and they risk not only Wright himself moving the evidence, but also hordes of potential 'treasure hunters' breaking in and stealing things like hard drives in the hope of finding bitcoin - hard drives that also contain things the ATO might want to look at.

And so a pre-emptive raid to take the evidence, before it gets taken by others.


There is a strong incentive for SN to stay anonymous now: extortion, GBH threats, kidnapping, tax evasion, etc.

This could be some guy feigning humblebragging to fool prospective customers, or the vaguest individual Wired decided to hoist the label onto because it garners eyeballs in a Daily Mail way that's hard to repute.

The raid is explained because many governments want evidence for tax evasion and evading the conventional banking system... control SN = control BTC.


> control SN = control BTC

It's a decentralized, open-source protocol. SN couldn't do anything to it if he wanted to.


He could sell off his massive holdings of BTC and cause another crash.


A few hundred mil would cause a dip, perhaps a pullback for a bit, but not doomsday.


and then he would get stolen his fiat immediately


Hasn't that incentive always existed?


Many governments are interested in finding Satoshi. They need a scapegoat to pin this bitcoin thing on. They still believe finding him/her might be effective method of getting rid of bitcoin. It's like trump wanting to go ask bill gates about locking up the internet.


Proof for these ludicrous statements please.


i admit i don't have conclusive proof. however, is it really 'ludicrous' to speculate that those in power seek to destroy bitcoin in any way possible? especially when taking into account how vocally anti-establishment the bitcoin community has become.


> is it really 'ludicrous' to speculate that those in power seek to destroy bitcoin in any way possible? especially when taking into account how vocally anti-establishment the bitcoin community has become.

No one is that afraid of the bitcoin community, or of bitcoin itself. The bitcoin fringe is only novel in their application of the blockchain towards the problem of reducing the risk in organized crime. The world has heard the anarchist, anti-bank rhetoric before, and for that matter, from groups that actually blow up banks and murder people to further their goals.

There seems to be no evidence of any government seeking to "destroy bitcoin in any way possible." One would expect there to be fewer bitcoin based companies openly operating if that were the case. Rather, it appears that governments have reacted to bitcoin by defining it in terms of their existing regulatory frameworks, and deciding whether or not, and how, it can legally be used and taxed.

So yes, it does seem a bit ludicrous.


It's as ludicrous as any other baseless, unfounded conspiracy theory. What you are doing looks an awful lot like rationalization, and despite it's name, it is not very rational at all.


So... this was a tax raid? Quite a harsh response, considering the rules were drafted 12months ago... What are the money laundering measures that caused Aussie banks to disown Bitcoin? Maybe that could shed light on the motivations behind the raid?


> So... this was a tax raid? Quite a harsh response, considering the rules were drafted 12months ago...

You're making very ambitious assumptions that the tax raid is related to the rules that were drafted 12 months ago.

I'd bet significant sums of money that he isn't in trouble for creating bitcoin. Its more likely to be some other action he has done, possibly with bitcoin.


Might be more of a risk management move than anything regarding Australian legislation. AUSTRAC (in charge of supervising compliance of the The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act) put out a release in September regarding the closure of bank accounts: http://www.austrac.gov.au/media/media-releases/statement-bit...


In case anyone is interested in the ATO's treatment of crypto currencies - https://www.ato.gov.au/General/Gen/Tax-treatment-of-crypto-c...


Earlier, extensive discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10699846.

Since this story contains significant new information, it doesn't count as a duplicate.


So if the popular theory that he's faked a lot of the evidence to make himself look like Satoshi is true, it would appear he didn't entirely think his plan through...


I think most likely Satoshi was a pseudonym jointly created by Kleiman & Wright for their collaboration, but after Kleiman died, Wright went back and faked emails to make it look like he alone was Satoshi.


I see no mention of a crime in this article. If he did create bitcoin, he should be celebrated.


Tax-related investigation


The guy introducing himself - seems quite plausible https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdvQTwjVmrE&feature=youtu.be...


This guy is sending my bullshit detector off the charts.

I'll bet that the story here will turn out to be that he's built a backstory around being Satoshi in either an attempt to get famous, or some fraudulent scheme to profit from it.

On reading the tax stuff, I'm wondering if he's told the Australian Tax authorities that he is Satoshi.


Yeah thinking about it the guys answers seem calculated to imply he's Satoshi which seems something unlikely for the real Satoshi to do. There is also evidence of faked PGP keys https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10706511


Top quality cringe.

How can anyone watch this video and not see that it's a braggart looking for some fame?


I don't imagine Satoshi bragging like this douche does.


Absolutely not. Somebody who claims to have "a couple of doctorates" is definitely a phony. Obtaining a doctorate takes 3-4 years, and it is highly unusual to get more than one. Moreover, you would not forget about which ones you obtained.


What a weird ass article, I mean from the guardian - writing paragraph over paragraph of gossip from somebody who barely knows the man (their landlord), because somebody has not paid their taxes on time?


Wasn't it the case that Satoshi Nakamoto published PGP keys early in the days of Bitcoin? Shouldn't the issue of an individual claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto be trivial to solve?


It sounds like in this case he doesn't want to be Satoshi, but the ATO investigators think he might be.


cmon. Not a chance. Dorian had at least the name. I suspect this guy could not write C++ that even compiles to save his life. He's an IT expert with a long list of acronyms that sell threats models to the government. As to why the fakery... no idea. My best guess for SN stays an alternate schyzo personality of John Nash. He had prolly forgotten himself hence the lost bitcoins.


Let's say there is a tax related issue or governmental issue with wright? Still very coincidental now also what is interesting is that the government has released In the last few days an innovation agenda where there are a few benefits in the startup / tech sector. So much coincidence :/


statistics on the timing of satoshis original forum posts: http://i.imgur.com/58l7W05.png

could be australia, no? probably the deadzone is a bigger tell than where he posted. Ostralia is about UTC +10h? no posts between 4 and 8am is believable.


Whether he is Satoshi or not, the only rational thing to do at this point is say he is not


At this point, if he is Satoshi, he would probably be better off coming out of the closet. If you read through the McGrath-Nichols documents about the Hotwire bankruptcy and how the R&D tax credits dispute killed Hotwire, it's clear the ATO has it out for Wright.

I bet that whatever this raid is about, it's about something like R&D tax credits again (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/the-australian-who-may-hav... says $54 million in 2015 alone!) or some sort of VAT rebate, and it may kill another of Wright's companies. There's not much you can do against the ATO if they are determined to reach an adverse decision against you... But if he's Satoshi, he can take the moral high ground and wage a media campaign to shame the ATO into dropping the case and maybe finally correctly treating Bitcoin as money.


> But if he's Satoshi, he can take the moral high ground and wage a media campaign to shame the ATO into dropping the case and maybe finally correctly treating Bitcoin as money.

How does this help? If they treat it that way, wouldn't Wright have a huge income tax debt?


> wouldn't Wright have a huge income tax debt?

Yes, but presumably he can pay it out of his Bitcoin fortune. He has to deal with that at some point anyway, and by going public now, he gains additional leverage on his VAT or tax credit or whatever the ATO has decided to get him for this time.


Bitcoin is still volatile.

Typically tax on volatile income is paid when you "cash out" to a more stable currency.


I wonder if capital-gains tax applies to Bitcoin? I'd think it would. And it's quite large, too.


Yep, the Australian Tax Office recognizes it as a commodity that's subject to capital gains taxes.


> Yes, but presumably he can pay it out of his Bitcoin fortune

Thereby tanking the price of Bitcoin, and his fortune. Though on the bright side, a smaller fortune will mean smaller taxes.


The bitcoins that Satoshi Nakamoto own are worth about ~400 million USD. There are also a ton of coins missing from Mt. Gox and Silkroad. Maybe it’s all related somehow? Anyhow, it's clear why the authorities would be interested: potentially there are hundreds of millions of USD on the line.

This said, this is horrible for Craig Wright if he is innocent...


How would mt. gox's missing coins be connected? The reason people know how much satoshi has is because those coins haven't moved from their original address.


well he is (innocent), until proven guilty...


Which is irrelevant because the biggest threat is likely to be from those who won't wait to find out.


I guess you mean to say he is presumed innocent, at this point.


Innovate they say.


Repeat after me "I will not disrupt the NWO."


What would be the problem if he were Satoshi Nakamoto? He'd rather deserve the Nobel prize.


>What would be the problem if he were Satoshi Nakamoto?

From the article:

"Guardian Australia understands the raids are not related to the claims that Wright may have been involved in the creation of bitcoin, but are related to an Australian Tax Office investigation."


I think the possible reason for raiding him is to catch up on tax obligations from having accrued so much undeclared wealth.

I don't know if there are other crimes for which they intend to charge him, but that's the first one that pops to mind.

Also, they've obviously had meetings in advance of "what do we do if we determine the identity of Satoshi", because this raid was FAST.


You don't have to pay taxes on capital gains until you sell the asset. Satoshi hasn't sold his hundreds of millions of dollars in Bitcoin, they're just sitting there on the blockchain where they were mined.


Unless Australian tax law considers Bitcoin a currency.


It doesn't


The person(s) who leaked the documents to the media, could also have leaked them to the Australian authorities.




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