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Craig Steven Wright claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto (economist.com)
639 points by shazad on May 2, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 259 comments



I don't believe this for a second - and i'm more interested in figuring out how he duped two Bitcoin developers and some of the most notable news outlets in the world.

When the link to Wright was first reported in Wired[0] and Gizmodo[1], after letting the news sink in for a day it was apparent that the evidence trail was an elaborate ruse. I don't know if Wright leaked the hack to the media (I think it was more likely to be a disgruntled former employee who bought into the story), but there were many journalists who turned down that story while it was being shopped widely because it didn't smell right (this is no slight on gwern, Andy Greenburg and Sam Biddle who could bring to the story more than what most ordinary journalists could, and mention that it could be a hoax)

Consider that Wright faked old blog posts, allowed them to be found, and then deleted them. Consider that he added a new Satoshi Nakomoto PGP key to keyservers with an email he controlled (which was different, obviously) in 2013, three years after the real Satoshi disappeared. Consider that Wright claimed to have a super computer and produced a reference letter from SGI, but that SGI claimed no knowledge of the computer or letter and it turned out to be fake (in some parts of the world - this is known as fraud)[2]. Consider his LinkedIn said he earned a Phd. from Bathurst University but the University knew nothing about it[3]. Consider the only people Wright revealed he was Satoshi to were a few select employees and people he was trying to raise money from (he said he was a billionaire but the funds were locked up - it is a modern digital version of a 419 scam).

Consider, also, that he says he "tried to keep his head down" but shows up at a Bitcoin panel as an unknown and suggestively describes himself vaguely - with a smirk and a wink. Consider that he says he doesn't want the fame or attention, but shopped an exclusive deal around the media for a month and went with the BBC, The Economist and GQ - and is currently on every TV channel. Consider that Wright, despite being quasi-published, has never produced anything approaching the complexity, clarity, succinctness and humble nature of the Bitcoin paper, but is the complete opposite of all of these characteristics (rambles and talks down to people, explaining detail not so that the reader learns it - but so that you know that he knows this shit).

From what I know about him, it seems Wright is experienced with barely getting along with big pie-in-the-sky ideas that convince a lot of people around him, but that definitely are in the grey area between legitimate and fraud. He is able to drown people in quasi-technical talk and on big ideas and is very personable (we also have a word for people who take fraudulent action via their charms).

He avoids people who are actual experts in the areas he himself professes to be an expert in, and when he is in relevant forums or other online communities he downplays his achievements.

Some examples: He claimed to be published in infosec, but rather than writing for the usual outlets he wrote for political blogs on infosec topics[4] (often poorly). He added his two supercomputers to the top 500 index (which is self reported) but never participated in the online communities, but he did brag about it in investment material. He didn't interact with professors or students at universities, but did teach a remote webinar course on supercomputing at a pay-for school[4] and finally, with Bitcoin - in investment material and to employees he was a domain expert and the founder but he was never a regular in online communities or conferences (although it seems he got to a point of even convincing Bitcoin experts that he knew what he was talking about)

He is currently being pursued in Australia by tax authorities not because, as was commonly reported, not paying taxes on the Satoshi coins (you don't pay tax in Australia until gains are realized) but because he was one of the largest claimants of R&D tax concessions in Australia (larger than Google and Atlassian) and this is a common area of fraud (create a fake company, say you employe 50 people, claim that 'R&D spend' back - similar to sales tax fraud).

One more point of doubt - but I leave it because it is a bit ad hominem - it turns out that you can't work for long in Sydney without knowing someone who worked for Wright in one of his schemes or knowing someone who knew someone. Turns out I had 2 friends who worked with him at various points. Both offered characterizations of Wright as being crazy and deceiving. He is very convincing in the short term, but things start to unwind over time. One is still, despite being mildly burnt by him, partly convinced he may have had something to do with Bitcoin because "he is just that crazy, you learn not to be surprised by stuff" - but then snapped out of it.

Is this really Satoshi? It isn't - i'm going to start from the perspective that Wright has pulled off (another) impressive fraud. I'm more interested in figuring out how the hell he did this.

edit: that didn't take long. It appears there is evidence in this thread, on reddit and on Twitter that the 'verification' falls short and is just an old bitcoin transaction[6]

edit: I just got this from another former employee of Wright's - "best conman i've ever met"

[0] https://www.wired.com/2015/12/bitcoins-creator-satoshi-nakam...

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

[2] https://www.wired.com/2015/12/new-clues-suggest-satoshi-susp...

[3] http://gizmodo.com/the-mystery-of-craig-wright-and-bitcoin-i...

[4] https://theconversation.com/lulzsec-anonymous-freedom-fighte...

[5] https://www.itmasters.edu.au/free-short-course-programming-s...

[6] https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/4hf4s2/craig_wrigh...


For me the Devil is in the behavior. Why would Satoshi go about proving his existence and identity is such a convoluted matter? Simply signing the genesis with a message and posting it pretty much anywhere (bitcointalk, /r/bitcoin, here) for people to verify is all it takes. Not a rambling blot posts full of screenshots and some back-alley interview. This is exactly the kind of 'slight of hand' that a conman utilizes, not a cryptographer of Satoshi's caliber.


Didn't Satoshi also sign his earliest messages with a PGP key? If this guy's really Satoshi, couldn't he just sign a new message stating so with that same private key?


No. Satoshi signed nothing with that PGP key that we know. Its purpose seems to have been for other people emailing him.


Even so, one who actually possessed that private key could sign a new message with it, and we could use the public key we know to verify that signature.


Interesting evidence perhaps supporting your claim - the Wikipedia page for Nakamoto has been edited heavily and subsequently blocked in the last 24 hours by an ip address pointing to Wright, Australia, the location of Charles Stuart University.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Contributions/180.216....

I don't know how to go any deeper than that, and I wouldn't call it a smoking gun, but I just think it's humorous to think of such a person frantically editing Wikipedia to try to temporarily change what the world accepts as truth. Wright is listed as a PhD student at Charles Stuart University here:

https://www.csu.edu.au/anrl/people


It's of course interesting that these edits, which have the first sentence "Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used by Australian tech entrepreneur Dr Craig Wright, who designed bitcoin" did come from Australia!

But wait, how do you get your location, that is, how does it actually point to Wright? I get that it's a range taken by vividwireless Pty Ltd, and different locations.

Except for confirming "it's in Australia" I can't get anything more exact. Which doesn't mean I can't imagine Wright doing exactly that, modifying Wikipedia about Nakamoto this way.


My mistake - I had written, "Wright, Australia," when really it was, "Martin, Australia." Wires crossed in my brain when I did a quick post. Now it's too late for me to edit my above post. Thank you for the correction.

http://whoislookupdb.com/iplist/180.216.116


Still, Martin is near Perth, almost 3000 km away from the location of Wagga Wagga of the https://www.csu.edu.au/anrl/people you've linked. Do you have any link between Martin near Perth and Wright except "Australia"?


No, sorry. After you asked this question I looked, but I can't find any link. I thought the IP provider might be similar to the University or something. Perhaps there is some link out there, but it's opaque to me.


As soon as I saw GQ was one of the media he personally revealed his story to, my skepticism went through the roof. GQ (Gentlemen's Quarterly) is a magazine for image/fashion/style purposes, not tech breakthroughs.

Craig Wright seems to be wanting the fame, in a narcissistic way... That is the only reason I can imagine including GQ. Any other reasons for including such a media outlet?


> Craig Wright seems to be wanting the fame, in a narcissistic way... That is the only reason I can imagine including GQ. Any other reasons for including such a media outlet?

Because a lot of others turned him down? As the FT article says, he was trying to get participants for a while but was going through a PR firm and insisting on NDAs up front and that sort of thing. Given that everyone thinks he's a conman, who wants to sign up for that? Apparently only the BBC, GQ, and the Economist had the balls.


Postulation warning; The following is entirely devoid of evidence:

Taking for granted that Wright is not Satoshi.. How could a respected, crypto-savvy computer scientist become duped by an old sign(i/a)ture?

The obvious answer is that the con-man is a very good con-man, and i'm not writing off that possibility. But what other reasons could there be for his support?

The next possibility is that he benefits from having the media move on. For instance, It would help him to continue hiding the real identity of Satoshi. Perhaps he is even the cryptographer himself. Since he has other "experts" with him for the ride, he can claim ignorance and not suffer professionally if it goes south.

There could also be less direct political motivations for feigning belief. Bitcoin gains stability by moving the huge sums of early coins into a more accountable state than "these coins could crash the market any day now."


> what other reasons could there be for his support?

The most obvious reason is simpler: Wright and those who accept his claims are "big-blockians":

https://cp4space.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/is-craig-wright/

"Matonis, Andresen and Wright are all big-blockians. Having the esteemed creator Satoshi on their side would help their argument, and it is entirely plausible that there are several large organisations who would benefit from having more control over the regulation of Bitcoin."

The same fact is also alluded to in the OP Economist article:

"It pays, too, to bear in mind that Mr Wright’s outing will most likely be of benefit to those in the current bitcoin civil war who want to expand the block size quickly, whose number include Mr Matonis and Mr Andresen. Mr Wright says that if he could reinvent bitcoin, he would program in a steady increase of the block size."

Add to that that there's this conference in NY today where Andresen repeats his claims:

https://vid.me/FhZu


Ah. That seems most likely to me. If true, It is interesting to see this scale of disinformation campaign by a non-government actor. It seems like it would unravel quickly without having any meaningful control over media.


"Questions about Mr Wright’s academic degrees arose because he had listed so many on a LinkedIn profile which has since been deleted, and because some could not be confirmed. He now says that the profile was a “joke”—to “take the piss out of myself” and to keep people from bothering him. “No one took me seriously, which was great... His doctorate in theology, however, remains a mystery and Mr Wright does not want to talk about it" [0]

For once Nik, I tend to agree with you. The above line is a line from the Economist that points to deception. Is that Doctorate a technical PhD? [1] What matters most is a demonstration of the ideas in code and then discussions with bitcoin peers. You don't need a doctorate on your CV to show this.

[0] http://www.economist.com/news/briefings/21698061-craig-steve...

[1] "His doctorate in theology, however, remains a mystery and Mr Wright does not want to talk about it" ~ http://www.drcraigwright.net/about/


Note that in his bio on his site it's:

"He has a Doctorate in Theology and has submitted his completed thesis for his second Doctorate in Computer Science."

It can be interpreted "second Doctorate in CS" and "second Doctorate, but this time in CS," and based on the rest of the claims, it's the second. The original phrasing on the site is exactly how a good conman would phrase it. Which doesn't prove anything but adds to the other red flags.

And last year he claimed he has "a couple of Doctorates."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdvQTwjVmrE&t=2m10s


>> [1] "His doctorate in theology, however, remains a mystery and Mr Wright does not want to talk about it" ~ http://www.drcraigwright.net/about/*

OMG the narcissistic self-biography of an egomaniac. Doesn't this guy live in a rental property?


Comment from Gavin Andresen on reddit: https://np.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/4hfyyo/gavin_can_you_pl...

But it could be that his account is compromised.


His statement sounds fishy:

"I was not allowed to keep the message or laptop (fear it would leak before Official Announcement)."

But also from reddit: "Evidence that Craig Wright is not Satoshi: he doesn't understand selfish mining"

https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/4hfyoo/evidence_th...


Not to mention the slight of hand with "signature" and "signiture" http://i.imgur.com/IPDPXZm.png


Yep, this is it, debunked :/



it looks like you might have to eat your words....

http://www.drcraigwright.net/extraordinary-claims-require-ex...


This is absolutely fake and already debunked, as mentioned on the bitcointalk forums: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1457039.msg14728531#...

The signature Wright posted is a signature from a transaction on the blockchain (and therefore cannot be a signature of a Nobel prize refusal speech or whatever other message he claims): https://blockchain.info/tx/828ef3b079f9c23829c56fe86e85b4a69...

The above tx's scriptSig: 3045022100c12a7d54972f26d14cb311339b5122f8c187417dde1e8efb6841f55c34220ae0022066632c5cd4161efa3a2837764eee9eb84975dd54c2de2865e9752585c53e7cce01

The signature Wright posted:

    $ echo 'MEUCIQDBKn1Uly8m0UyzETObUSL4wYdBfd4ejvtoQfVcNCIK4AIgZmMsXNQWHvo6KDd2Tu6euEl13VTC3ihl6XUlhcU+fM4=' | base64 -d | xxd -p
    3045022100c12a7d54972f26d14cb311339b5122f8c187417dde1e8efb68
    41f55c34220ae0022066632c5cd4161efa3a2837764eee9eb84975dd54c2
    de2865e9752585c53e7cce


Note to mods: the really long signature line makes the page unreadable on mobile; probably too late for OP to edit.


It would be good if the HN software during accepting the post which contains "the really long lines" inserts automatically pre tags around.


EDIT 2: Debunked!

The signature in Wright's post is just pulled straight from a transaction on the blockchain. Convert the base64 signature from his post (MEUCIQDBKn1Uly8m0UyzETObUSL4wYdBfd4ejvtoQfVcNCIK4AIgZmMsXNQWHvo6KDd2Tu6euEl13VTC3ihl6XUlhcU+fM4=) to hex (3045022100c12a7d54972f26d14cb311339b5122f8c187417dde1e8efb6841f55c34220ae0022066632c5cd4161efa3a2837764eee9eb84975dd54c2de2865e9752585c53e7cce), and you get the signature found in this transaction input: https://blockchain.info/tx/828ef3b079f9c23829c56fe86e85b4a69...

Note that the base64 string at the top of his post isn't a signature, just a cleartext message: " Wright, it is not the same as if I sign Craig Wright, Satoshi.\n\n".

Now the only question is how he fooled Gavin. I would imagine this story will still get spread around some naive channels for a while, just like the last time Wright tried something like this.

Credit goes to jouke in #bitcoin for figuring it out.

-----------------

EDIT: Current opinion: still skeptical. Here is the public cryptographic "proof": http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif...

Something still seems off to me, why does he go into such specific detail in verifying the signature? I would have assumed he would just let people figure out the verification themselves. But maybe I'm just skeptical because Satoshi having a public identity takes some of the magic away.

As pointed out by maaku, he never revealed what message the signature is supposed to be signing.

-----------------

My Original Post:

Everyone in this thread is already taking this as the truth. But remember that Wright has not publicly released any cryptographic proof, there is only a claim from BBC that he showed the signature to them and a few magazines.

This strikes me as a little strange since originally Satoshi pretty much only interacted with the community via the bitcoin mailing list. Why did he "reveal" the proof by sending it to some magazines rather than emailing the mailing list?

It really seems like the person who created Bitcoin, a trustless system based on cryptographic proof, wouldn't make everyone take his word on his identity when it could be trivially solved with one email.


Last time around, he peddled fake proof. A deliberately backdated PGP key trying to look like Satoshi's. The key also reported being created on a date when the software it was created with didn't yet exist. (Keyservers will happily accept keys that claim to be generated in 1992. Some publications that ought to have known better still accepted it back then, until it was pointed out.)

Still looking at the page you posted in the edit, but not yet convinced.

edit: Sarah Jeong of Motherboard summed up the objections last time: https://motherboard.vice.com/read/satoshis-pgp-keys-are-prob...

Wright goes into a long post explaining public key crypto - to me it looks intended to bedazzle more than inform - but as far as I can see he does not produce a signature from any of the genuine keys associated with Satoshi.


Something is weird. He provided a message and a signature, but there's nothing in the message to indicate that he signed it himself, or when it was signed. It could have been signed months or years ago and there's no way to prove otherwise.

He needs to sign a message provided to him right now - or otherwise show ownership of coins in early blocks by moving them around.

Edit: He apparently haven't even provided a valid message/sig, so the whole thing stinks.


Yes, absolutely. He apparently goes to great lengths to "prove" that he is Satoshi, but when asked to sign a new message, answers "I’m not going to keep jumping through hoops."

Um, what? Signing a new message is a minuscule jump through a very large hoop, not something difficult or cumbersome or time consuming.

This fact alone is indefensible, smells of fake and should be enough to dismiss the claim.


If you're using a given key daily, yeah, it's not a big hoop. But I imagine Satoshi having his key hidden on an offline computer right now, hidden securely. Taking it out of vault must be a lot of effort.


But if you actually want to prove you're Satoshi, isn't that exactly what you'd do, rather than spend a lot of time on these other 'proofs'? What's the point?


Which is exactly why you wouldn't waste time signing a useless quote.

Just sign a message attesting that YOUR NAME is satoshi. No more work. Done once.


Yeah, the best thing would be if he signed a news article that didn't exist, and couldn't have been predicted until very recently.

EDIT: Or maybe the latest bitcoin block.


Sending even the tiniest amount from one of the early chunks of Bitcoins would be closer to proof.


> EDIT: Well nevermind, here is the public cryptographic proof: http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif....

Really? That just looks like a much too long (targeted to journalists) description of ECDSA signing. Where's the _actual_ signature?


It's near the beginning of the post.


Are you referring to

> IFdyaWdodCwgaXQgaXMgbm90IHRoZSBzYW1lIGFzIGlmIEkgc2lnbiBDcmFpZyBXcmlnaHQsIFNh dG9zaGkuCgo=

It's just a base64 encoded string.


And the string starts with space and ends with two line feeds:

     " Wright, it is not the same as if I sign Craig Wright, Satoshi.\n\n"


The message isn't provided.


The message is the Sartre quote at the top of the post.

Edit: No it's not.


No, it is (supposedly) a longer document of which only a portion is shown in a screenshot.


Here is the full document: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1964/12/17/sartre-on-the-nob...

but since getting a single piece of whitespace wrong would throw the hash off completely, that isn't terribly useful. Though it seems that it should be possible to brute force every reasonable permutation of formatting for the article and find one whose hash matches the one he provided, if it's the real source. The search space of "documents within a string edit distance of N" is probably not too large.


He originally presented an obvious forgery. Now he has presented a slightly better forgery, but given it only to outlets who will agree not to publish it (and risk scrutiny by folks more technically adept than the journalists). My working hypothesis is that Wright doesn't need to convince the "community". He only needs to convince the banks that lent him money based on collateral of an allegedly non-existent bitcoin wallet.


Maybe he didn't fool Gavin. Maybe somebody forced Gavin to release that statement.


Maybe Gavin's acct was hacked?


Unlikely. He would have used his other accounts or private keys to let us know by now. He tweeted something less than an hour ago.


> EDIT: Current opinion: still skeptical. Here is the public cryptographic "proof": http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif...

A little off-topic, but suppressing right-clicks (and trying to suppress Ctrl/Alt/Shift?) is a really obnoxious thing for a website to do.

    document.onmousedown=disableclick;
    status="Sorry, not sharing images!";
    function disableclick(event)
    {
      if(event.button==2)
      {
      alert(status);
      return false;    
      }
    }
    function detectspecialkeys(e){
      var evtobj=window.event? event : e
      if (evtobj.altKey || evtobj.ctrlKey || evtobj.shiftKey)
        alert("The key is not available.");
    }
    document.onkeypress=detectspecialkeys


I don't believe the real Satoshi has any motive for coming public. As thus, anyone claiming to be Satoshi is not something I put any amount of belief into.

As for your aside, not to mention it is completely and utterly futile. Hurts the normal user experience and accomplishes nothing for anyone who wants to steal the images.

http://i.imgur.com/vYSRjrs.png


Umm, he obviously does. Money, fame and influence over future bitcoin decisions.

Imagine your Satoshi and you need cash for some reason. Reveal your identity and immediately get a bunch of offers for book deals and speaking engagements. You run into career problems, reveal who you are and you can probably snag a position as a Google fellow.

More concerned about your legacy or some crypto-anarachist vision? Revealing yourself could help you influence both the public policy debate on encryption and bitcoin's future (speaking engagements offer more influence than some signed messages on a mailing list).

Finally, what about credit for your contribution. Being known to your friends and family.

Sure, he may still want to remain anonymous but to suggest there isn't the temptation to go public is silly


That's an interesting position.

The question is: why creating this hoax in the first place? If anything, the price of bitcoin has been negatively impacted by this.

http://www.coindesk.com/price/

What would it be one's motivation behind this?


Why would a ... let's call him a grey area entrepreneur - try to convince people he's sitting on lots of money? I can think of some reasons.


"I have access to $440M. I just can't touch it until 2020."

Perhaps the oldest con ever. Hence the detailed previous story from him of placing all of Satoshi's stash in a trust.


Also really sketch when you make a point of claiming you don't want money.

>https://youtu.be/dZNtbAFnr-0?t=3m21s

Who says something like this?


Absolutely - it's the weirdest thing ever that he says this - will he turn down the medal, or just the cash reward - someone who is looking to take your money says something like this.

It's a non-topic really, compensation for winning an award, it's bizarre he plays it up like this.


And he says if he gets the Turing award or some other ACM award, he won't be accepting a cent.

The sentence doesn't make sense and he sounds like David Brent from "The Office".


Let me put forth an alternate theory. Everyone is suggesting this is a scam for more money, which is undoubtedly the most likely explanation. However, I think an alternate explanation is that this may be a larger ploy to try to bait the real Satoshi out of hiding. Get him to say "No, that guy's a poser, it's really me." and while he's out, say "Hey man, what do you think about the blocksize?" This could explain Gavin's participation; pulling out all the stops to try to "save" bitcoin by getting founder-approval for a blocksize bump.


I think the complete opposite would be true.

If there is an official narrative establishing a fake satoshi, the real satoshi would be over-joyed because this would basically ensure any further inquiry into his identity would be in the realm of conspiracy theory... leaving media unwilling to touch it.


It's not literally impossible, but Occam's Razor slashes this theory to pieces.


Even if that were the case, why would it reveal Satoshi? Even if the real Satoshi felt the need to step in, he wouldn't need to reveal himself or open up future communications - just post an anonymous message signed with a known key that states "I am not Craig Wright".


This is the best solution so far, however, it assumes the real Satoshi is still around.


>If anything, the price of bitcoin has been negatively impacted by this.

Deliberately impacting the price of a good negatively is a great way to get it cheap and then sell it for more later.


Fame, fortune from books, speaking fees, directorships at blockchain startups..


If he is not the one he claims to be, why doesn't the real Satoshi send an email saying "hi, it is not him". There are only 2 answers. a. It is him b. The real Satoshi is dead and Mr. Wright knows so.

Unless he is extremely stupid, he would never risk claiming to be the most wanted man in the world, if he was not sure that no one could discredit him.

We don't need more signature here guys. We just need to decide who will play him in the upcoming Hollywood movie, cause he defies the stereotype of nerdy looking geek :-)


Or the real Satoshi knows it isn't this guy and will wait until it all blows over. Presumably at a pub of some sort.


Satoshi, is that you :P?


Yeah, it seems bizarre that he won't publicly sign anything else.


What do you make of Ian Grigg claiming to confirm Wright, having known him as part of the Satoshi team? http://financialcryptography.com/mt/archives/001593.html


He now retracts, says it was poorly worded: https://twitter.com/iang_fc/status/727071298325618689


He didn't retract the blog post. He just agreed that the phrase "I confirm as member" was badly worded. He then replied by tweet: "@tomerkantor you are right - that is badly written. I’ve fixed it on the blog." The blog now reads: "I confirm Kleiman was a member of the team." The stuff confirming Craig Wright's claims is still in the blog post.


That whole blog post was weird. He made various assertions with nothing to back them up, and then walked back one of them. Everything he said could be interpreted as being from public sources (which he believes) plus a personal meeting, sans any strong cryptographic proof, with Wright.


He messaged me on twitter couple of months back out of the blue asking me random questions so I deleted that conversation. My twitter account is @bitcoin22.


Not 100% convinced yet! Though Wright has impressing command on crypto, just waiting for a signature from the monkey's original key!


To play devils advocate, if I had private keys that were tied to a not-small fortune, I'd keep them so far from my computer that even the proof he's provided would be out of the question.

...On the other hand, the screenshots are from Windows. Windows! Are we really to believe Satoshi uses Windows?


> ...On the other hand, the screenshots are from Windows. Windows! Are we really to believe Satoshi uses Windows?

Yes. This is the one part of the whole story that doesn't smell. The first version of Bitcoin was windows-only.


+1. Still, code screenshots in Notepad?!


I don't see why he would go through all that trouble with the blockchain when he could just send an email with "'sup all, I'm Satoshi" and sign it with his PGP key.


Well, he'd still want to keep them in a safe place he can access if he ever wants the money. And he's had at least 4 months to do something with the key.


Agreed, the pre-reveal announcement goes back to March

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2016/03/31/2158024/craig-wrights-...


Can you explain why the signature matching one in the blockchain disproves the theory?

I imagine the signature must also be somehow related to his private/public key pair otherwise his blog is just junk cryptography and would have been easily debunked anyway?


Signatures are unique to the message that's being signed, otherwise they'd be useless.


Signatures are only probably unique. Theoretically there can be collisions.

Granted, the likelihood that he inadvertently collided with a public transaction is astronomically small.


Nowhere in the blog post does Wright say “this is the proof I’m Satoshi”. The entire write-up reads like he’s just giving an example. Why does everyone think it’s some kind of proof?


Is he is not the one he claims to be, why doesn't the real one send a mail saying "hi, not him"?


This is a hoax I think. And also Gavin supporting it is weird. The Signature in the blog post, is, in fact a signature from this transaction: 828ef3b079f9c23829c56fe86e85b4a69d9e06e5b54ea597eef5fb3ffef509fe

Relevant Reddit Comment: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/4hf4s2/craig_wrigh...


Andresen's support would make sense in the context of building a new blockchain\bitcoin business.

To have Satoshi & Bitcoin's chief scientist would be impressive for a start-up.

Too good in fact.


No. It'd just kill his career in the bitcoin world.


> This is a hoax I think. And also Gavin supporting it is weird.

Is it?


>> Gavin supporting it is weird.

> Is it?

Apparently, not weird. From the Economist article:

"It pays, too, to bear in mind that Mr Wright’s outing will most likely be of benefit to those in the current bitcoin civil war who want to expand the block size quickly, whose number include Mr Matonis and Mr Andresen. Mr Wright says that if he could reinvent bitcoin, he would program in a steady increase of the block size. He also intends to publish mathematical proof that there is no trade-off between the mass adoption of the cryptocurrency and its remaining decentralised."


It's all an elaborate ploy to force the real Satoshi to manifest themselves ;)


Wait a minute, are you just trying to be gender neutral, or do you suspect Satoshi is several people like Bourbaki?


Both!


Reposting my other comment:

I think Wright is just a smooth-talking conman with some crypto experience. I'm betting he met Gavin and other (unfortunately, merely "supposed" at this point...) experts in person, talked shop for a while, then took out his laptop and staged verifying the signature of blocks 1 and 9 with dummy commands. (Edit: Gavin actually claimed it was a clean computer, not one that Wright brought. Disregard that.)

The Economist actually states this directly:

>Mr Wright has also demonstrated this verification in person to The Economist—and not just for block 9, but block 1. Such demonstrations can be stage-managed; and information that allows us to go through the verification process independently was provided too late for us to do so fully. Still, as far as we can tell he indeed seems to be in possession of the keys, at least for block 9. This assessment is shared by two bitcoin insiders who have sat through the same demonstration: Jon Matonis, a bitcoin consultant and former director of the Bitcoin Foundation, and Gavin Andresen, Mr Nakamoto’s successor as the lead developer of the cryptocurrency’s software (he has since passed on the baton, but is still contributing to the code).

Relevant bit:

>Such demonstrations can be stage-managed; and information that allows us to go through the verification process independently was provided too late for us to do so fully.

For Gavin's demonstration, he claims Wright validated the signatures on a "clean" computer, with the implication that it could not be staged.

>Part of that time was spent on a careful cryptographic verification of messages signed with keys that only Satoshi should possess. But even before I witnessed the keys signed and then verified on a clean computer that could not have been tampered with, I was reasonably certain I was sitting next to the Father of Bitcoin.

So, either the clean computer wasn't really clean, or Gavin's complicit in the scam, or Wright does have Satoshi's private keys and may be Satoshi.

Either way, why would Satoshi want to prove it yet only demonstrate proof to a few people in private rather than putting a message and signature online for anyone to verify?


> I think Wright is just a smooth-talking conman with some crypto experience. I'm betting he met Gavin and other (unfortunately, merely "supposed" at this point...) experts in person, talked shop for a while, then took out his laptop and staged verifying the signature of blocks 1 and 9 with dummy commands.

I don't believe that anybody with the most basic understanding of cryptography would fall for that. I don't think there is a slightest chance that Gavin would. So the most interesting part of the story to me is why did he publish his blog post.. Something made him do that, but it's beyond doubt to me that he did not take part in planning of this operation.


Note that the genesis block is block _#0_, not block #1

When Bitcoin was publicly released, only the genesis block existed, so every block after that point could have been mined by anyone.


Block #0 has a timestamp of 2009-01-03 18:15:05

Block #1 has a timestamp of 2009-01-09 02:54:25

So, does this mean there were 6 days separating the first block in the chain and the first block to be mined?

https://blockchain.info/block/000000000019d6689c085ae165831e...

https://blockchain.info/block/00000000839a8e6886ab5951d76f41...


Yes!

Since the genesis block is hardcoded in the software, what likely happened is Satoshi generated it in advance, added it to the code, and then did a few more days of final testing prior to release. Block #1 on the other hand was mined after the initial announcement on the cryptography mailing list: http://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/2009-January/... (about seven or eight hours after if I got my timezone conversions correct)


>As an amusing thought experiment, imagine that Bitcoin is successful and

>becomes the dominant payment system in use throughout

>the world. Then the

>total value of the currency should be equal to the total value of all

>the wealth in the world. Current estimates of total worldwide household

>wealth that I have found range from $100 trillion to $300 trillion. With

>20 million coins, that gives each coin a value of about $10 million.

>So the possibility of generating coins today with a few cents of compute

>time may be quite a good bet, with a payoff of something like 100 million

>to 1! Even if the odds of Bitcoin succeeding to this degree are slim,

>are they really 100 million to one against? Something to think about...

First ever reply to Satoshi. Finney was a smart guy.


So Wright is Hal Finney? Or, who else mined bitcoins seven or eight hours after it went live?


And Gavin's Bitcoin commit access just got revoked.

I wonder if he was hacked, or if they think he's gone rogue. Or if they're just doing it as a precaution.


What's the reference for this? Where can I see his commit access being revoked?


I agree that it seems extremely absurd Bitcoin experts would fall for that.

I'm very interested to see how this story develops.


It doesn't seem at all absurd to me that an expert at any subject, speaking to someone else they believe is another honest expert, but who is actually an experienced con-artist / fraudster, can be fooled. Don't think of it as one cryptographer deceiving another via cryptography. Think of it more like a Penn & Teller trick (to use an example of some well-known experts in the art of deceit - not that I think for a moment they'd ever actually defraud someone) only with the computers and cryptography. The actual deception is likely so far outside the mark's expectations and normal thought processes that the possibility of it never even occurs to them.


You say that like there haven't been a bunch of huge crypto/key management/ security/risk management fuckups throughout the world of Bitcoin from the start.


Turns out, I was wrong:

    Andresen says an administrative assistant working with Wright left to buy a computer from a nearby store, and returned with what Andresen describes as a Windows laptop in a “factory-sealed” box.
source: https://www.wired.com/2016/05/craig-wright-privately-proved-...

I still have enough respect for Gavin not to leave comment about that..


I think Gavin was just lazy in how he validated this (he probably was misdirected by a conman Wright into focusing on validating the signature, not on assessing whether the signature and key actually meant anything....turns out it was a non fresh message, so it wasn't proof that the human in front of him actually controlled the key.)

Neither Jon Matonis nor Ian Grigg have said they actually did real validations themselves, just that they talked with the guy. If he is a conman (which is what seems to be the case) I wouldn't fault them too much for falling for him.


Why not fault them? Because it's not their area of expertise? They should get someone in to verify. Is this a real journalist or someone at a tabloid?


If you ask a journalist to verify something, they will bring in an expert to do it, not attempt to mathematically verify it themselves.


Why not post a public message that everybody could verify? The discussion about clean notebooks is useless.


> information that allows us to go through the verification process independently was provided too late for us to do so fully

"Too late" ? They are in charge of their publication schedule, I believe.

The economist is a very weak publication. Anyone taking a lead from them on economics should think about how poor the above statement is and wonder about their rigor in other areas.


They are not in charge of the publication schedule for several reasons:

1. They all have lives, and likely work regular hours.

2. They cannot control what other news outlets release and when. A skeptical story from The Economist in the presence of lots of credulous releases from other outlets is better than silence.

3. They are a print publication. They can't hold up an entire release for one story.

Actually, out of all the major outlets, I'm most impressed by The Economist's coverage. The BBC and CNN fell for it hook, line, and sinker.


You either know little about economics, the Economist, or both.

The Economist did not "fall" for Wright, and does not believe the claims made.


Most articles are written for their hard-copy weekly publication, which needs to be finalized and sent to the printers on Thursdays (I don't know what time nor which timezone) to make it to their customers' houses by Saturday.


This guy > http://cdn.static-economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecac... < cannot possibly be Satoshi Nakamoto. He looks, feels, and smells like a conman. It only takes one red flag to question credibility and this guy has several.

1. Contradicts himself, privacy vs brokering a deal with major media outlets for a story.

2. Faking LinkedIn experience & degrees.

3. Associates believe he is 'crazy' and a 'conman'

4. Failed the writing syntax test comparing his multiple published works to the original posts and bitcoin paper and eventually...

5. ...Shifting blame or holes in his story towards the DEAD known people who've worked on Bitcoin or who had contact with Satoshi in the past.

6. SGI does not acknowledge him or his claimed statements regarding his relationship with SGI.

7. And I'm not going to go any further... the point is, he has too many 'excuses' for every little thing.

I understand he wants to be infallible and unchallenged in his claim, but just the number of alibis and excuses he dishes out, sans his questionable private-key proof, leaves a gut feeling that he's not Satoshi and smells of con.


Don't judge people by their looks when their actions speak far louder.


Sorry, I'm just taking this a bit personally because I know a guy who ruined a few peoples' lives by telling lies habitually and scamming for investors. For me, Dr. Wright relates to him and already as a bias I paint a bad image.


There's no real proof here that Craig is Satoshi. If he really wanted to prove it to us, he would need to sign a message saying 'Craig Wright is Satoshi signed 2016-05-02' using the genesis block key.

Read his post: http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif... he goes into all sorts of details but then glosses over the fact that the arbitrary Sartre quote could have been signed by anyone at any point in the past.


Or he could just use the PGP key he used on the mailing list for months at the start of bitcoin's life.


Or donate some of the first blocks (s)he mined.


Pre-announce and donate Block 1 to the red cross or whatever.


Note that he didn't really sign that Sartre quote, either.


This is a very interesting situation. Fundamentally, there is no reason he shouldn't be willing to sign an additional message. If he is the crypto expert he claims to be, he should understand the perfect legitimacy of such a request. So either:

a) He can't sign it.

b) He is really that petulant and petty that he "won't keep jumping through hoops", even when those hoops represent completely reasonable and trivially fulfillable requests. Which itself doesn't really seem to match the temperament I would have expected Satoshi to have, though i'm certainly no expert on the man.

Something is wrong here. I'm not unconvinced, but i'm suspiciously reserving judgment until he signs a second, unpredictable message.


Well, there is (d) paranoia.

Suppose he does have the private key, but, because it is literally worth millions of dollars, he has it somewhere secure. It's not sitting on his laptop, waiting for someone to steal it (physically or electronically).

Signing a message before the announcement was lower risk than signing messages now, after the announcement. Accessing it a second time, with greedy little eyes all over him, is risking millions of dollars to convince people who probably wouldn't be convinced anyway.


c) He is deliberately leaving some wiggle room.


"Mr Wright does not want to make public the proof for block 1, arguing that block 9 contains the only bitcoin address that is clearly linked to Mr Nakamoto (because he sent money to Hal Finney). Repeating the procedure for other blocks, he says, would not add more certainty. He also says he can’t send any bitcoin because they are now owned by a trust. And he rejected the idea of having The Economist send him another text to sign as proof that he actually possesses these private keys, rather than simply being the first to publish a proof which was generated at some point in the past by somebody else."

Sounds extremely dubious. Especially when he's presented fake proof before.


Craig Wright says that (the late) "Hal Finney was one of the engineers who helped turn Mr Wright's ideas into the Bitcoin protocol", according to this article.

However, in Hal Finney's "Bitcoin and Me" post, Hal says he mined the first block in 2008, then turned the miner off, and then heard about Bitcoin again in 2010 and transferred his coins to a cold wallet. But he doesn't say anything about working on the protocol. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=155054.msg1643833#ms...

Interesting story there. Either way – RIP, Hal.


Hopefully Hal comes back in some years in the future and sets the record straight. (He's at Alcor now)


Hal Finney (sadly) died two years ago.


legally dead, yes. However: http://www.alcor.org/blog/hal-finney-becomes-alcors-128th-pa...

I have more confidence Hal Finney will be back in some form, than that Craig Wright is Satoshi.


No. He was cryonized. Hopefully, the future makes it possible to resurrect him to life.


Alcor's competence, unfortunately, leaves a little to be desired. http://thebaffler.com/salvos/everybody-freeze-pein


I've been to their conferences, and am a member.

I agree they could do far better. I think they are doing the best they think they can do. I think the entire field got poisoned by defining itself in some kind of struggle in the 60s/70s against anti-cryo people, which is stupid.

IVF, organ banking, etc. are progressing nicely. The Russians are doing a great job on human cryo. My hope is that the Alcor preservations are still good enough today that recovery is possible, although it's likely a better preservation technique, causing less damage, might lead to a recoverable person at an earlier date (i.e. Alcor 2016 person is recoverable in 2100; RU-Cryo person cryopreserved with better technology and technique in 2020 is recoverable in 2070.)

I still think Alcor is better odds than box in the ground or being incinerated. For ~$1k/yr (membership + insurance), it's worth it to me, even if only to fund/etc. research.


The article is really bad, full of ad-hominem against Alcor and cryonics and no actual argumentation. But you posted it to argue against Alcor's competence, and it does list a case where that was true.

Anyways, I don't recommend clicking, but here's the part where Alcor's competence is put into questoin.

>Within minutes of taking custody of the body, the bumbling Alcor team began experiencing a series of equipment failures. A temperature monitor didn’t work because, as it turned out, the batteries were dead. Shortly thereafter, their expensive mechanical chest-compression device stopped functioning. Then, having moved Suozzi’s body into a tub of ice, the Alcor team realized they’d forgotten to bring along a key piece of cooling equipment. Alcor’s after-action report, compiled from the haphazard “free-form” observations of an unnamed but “experienced” observer, determined that such mistakes could in the future be remedied by “the use of a checklist.”

> “Unfortunately,” the Cryonics report notes, “there was some confusion and disagreement regarding the ideal temperature at which to perform surgery.”


So in the end death and taxes caught Satoshi.


"One of the most useful lessons I learned from working at Facebook had nothing to do with technology: Doubt the media. Always doubt the media."

(https://medium.com/@blakeross/don-t-outsource-your-thinking-...)

I'm happy to see that The Economist, at least, has a healthy sense of skepticism.


Gavin Andresen says he's verified that Wright is Satoshi. If this is a hoax, a lot of people are going to wind up with a lot of egg on their faces. :)

http://gavinandresen.ninja/satoshi


This happens. The historian Hugh Trevor Roper was the world's greatest expert on Adolf Hitler and fell for a scam, famously publicly endorsing some fake 'Hitler diaries'.


Much more useful link: http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif...

Working through it now -- lets say I am rapidly heading towards "Not a hoax" territory.

[Edit: Or, possibly, totally quackadoodle -- but very convinced-in-himself quackadoodle. I've gotten as far as proving "OK, he knows how to reverse a Bitcoin address into a public key, and picked a good address for the purpose."]


I was unable to torture the inputs into verifying, despite worksmanlike effort, unless I trusted calculations made by "the adversary."

I consider the posts by others of this thread of a Bitcoin transaction with the same signature to be dispositive that he was not signing any variant of the Sartre message.

Conclusion: a) The linked blog post is pure hokum. b) I'm very clear on how he got this past generalist media but unsure of how he got it past Gavin.


Patrick, Gavin is just a person and as fallible as any other person. If a long con is being attempted, everything may appear to be right. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Time will tell.


He found, maybe by brute force, maybe some other way, a comment signed by whoever mined block 9 (Satoshi himself?) and now he's using this to claim that he just signed this himself.

He's making all this up. Unless the message signed contains Craig Wright's name it's not proof of anything.


> "OK, he knows how to reverse a Bitcoin address into a public key, and picked a good address for the purpose."

Yeah, but I can do that. Can it be my turn to be Satoshi now? It's specialized knowledge only insofar as you need to have read how to do it and understand enough to write some commensurate code. This is widely-published stuff. It doesn't take a Satoshi or even an expert.


Again? This was debunked months ago when he first tried to pull of this stunt.

Remember, it's easy to prove you're Satoshi by either

* Signing a message with his PGP key http://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/satoshinakamoto.asc

* Signing a message with one of his early Bitcoin address keys

Edit: apparently he did the latter, quote article

> Mr Wright said he planned to release information that would allow others to cryptographically verify that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wonder why it takes so much planning.

Edit2: apparently he signed something

http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif...

Gavin Adresen also is convinced: http://gavinandresen.ninja/satoshi

Edit3: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11609707


His proof has been shown to be fake.


He didn't sign a message "Craig Wright is Satoshi", which would be the proper way to prove this.

The signature he has could come from one of the signatures the real Satoshi has created.

Edit: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11609707

The signature came from a blockchain tx.


This article from 2015 was right after all: https://www.wired.com/2015/12/bitcoins-creator-satoshi-nakam...


No, journalism is in an even worse shape than we expected.



Why is no one talking about Dave Kleiman, the wheelchaired man who died in 2013? He was supposedly a friend of Wright. My gut feeling is that he was the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright just sounds like an fraudulent opportunist who tries to bank by all means necessary from knowing the guys secret.


Nick Szabo as Satoshi is my own hypothesis.


That's really interesting. I've been updating this Quora answer for a while and he actually commented on it saying "People always know" in Sep 2015 before his name ever came up.

I'm not sure I believe his comments fully in his latest video though. It seems he's been conflicted for a long time on whether to reveal himself but for all the times he says he wants to be left alone, he easily could have but yet here he is.

https://www.quora.com/Who-is-most-likely-Satoshi-Nakamoto/an...


https://www.quora.com/profile/Frank-Blu/log

The owner of the profile of the person who answered your question (whoever he is) seems to have changed his username from "Craig S Wright" to Frank Blu on Dec 12th 2015. He also seems to have deleted, on that same day, every post he made on Quora after Dec 11 2014.

The titles of the questions on which he posted revolved a lot around cryptocurrencies, cryptography and supercomputers, as well as finance and economics. Some example of questions to which he contributed are:

"How large will the Bitcoin blockchain be in November 2015?" "How would I estimate the cost of setting up a 100 Tera-Flop server at my..." "Why is gold considered so precious and why does it have such high prices..." "Are there better uses of stimulus funds than others?"

His earliest activity on the site is the creation of a topic called CSCSS, on Jul 30th 2012.

https://www.quora.com/topic/CSCSS


A little OT, but whenever the "real" Satoshi Nakamoto is found, what does that mean for the lawsuit that Dorian Nakamoto has against Newsweek and its 2014 claim?

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/10/dorian-nakamoto-f...


Unless Craig Wright comes out with further proof, proof that is undeniable and unquestionable, I am left feeling sick to my stomach.

I have read several articles this morning which tout this event as total fact (BBC, Venturebeat, NPR and more), and it just saddens me. If this is a hoax, I have lost even more respect for these outlets. If this is a hoax, I have also lost respect for Gavin Andersen, unless he has an ulterior motive for backing Wright in the first place, or was hacked as some have speculated.

Whenever this kind of "unveiling" happens, I get disheartened. It makes a serious technical community and set of ides I care very much about look like little more than a soap-opera or disorganized group of gossip-hounds, as protrayed in major media outlets, overshadowing everything else.

Total bummer (until further proof and/or notice).


It's kinda sad this is being reported by credible journals, it's super likely to be completely false. I'm glad on HN the link states it's just a claim, and that on the economist it's phrased as a question: 'is he Satoshi?' (the rule being in 99/100 cases, the answer is no.) But I've seen otherwise.


Agence France Presse (AFP) says in English "Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright on Monday revealed himself as the creator of the virtual Bitcoin currency to media outlets..." which in French becomes "Bitcoin: le véritable créateur de la monnaie numérique est Craig Wright".

This translates as "the actual inventor of the virtual Bitcoin currency IS Craig Wright", conditionals or precautions be damned; and it's printed as is all over the French press this morning.


Yup, Dutch media it was less bad but still not great.

Instead of saying it was a 'claim', or preferably not writing anything about this scam, they wrote 'Wright admits he's Satoshi' in the title.

This 'admitting' implies everyone thought he was Satoshi, and he confirmed it. When in reality, everyone thinks he's definitely not it, and he claimed it without proof.

Then in the article they make completely false claims about him signing messages he didn't etc. It's really sad, there wasn't a hint of skepticism that was present in the Economist which I thought was poor itself already.


We changed the URL from http://www.economist.com/news/business-and-finance/21698060-..., which points to this longer story.


There's more chicanery in Wright's code [1]

In the posted image of EcDSA.verify.sh, he base64 decodes $signiture, but this is uninitialised. The path is stored in $signature.

http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif...


Didn't they debunk this guy as a hack? /r/bitcoin pretty much destroyed him when he popped up last time


[flagged]


I can't actually find the link, but he was some special panelist on a stream last year.. A lot of people were asking who the hell he was, and he was claiming at the time to be a researcher with a heavy involvement with bitcoin, and at the same time either the Australian Federal Police, or Australian Tax Office were raiding his properties looking for damning evidence...

He had taken federal funds for research purposes and miss-appropriated them.

I can't find the original articles, sorry... Here's some links though

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-09/bitcoin-suspected-foun...

http://www.coindesk.com/documents-offer-clues-to-alleged-bit...

https://delimiter.com.au/2015/12/15/lawyer-says-craig-wright...


> arguing that block 9 contains the only bitcoin address that is clearly linked to Mr Nakamoto (because he sent money to Hal Finney)

Block 9 contains no transactions other than the mining reward.

https://blockchain.info/block-index/14858/000000008d9dc510f2...


Block 9 reward payout address 12cbQ... was used in the transaction to Hal Finney later in block 170.



Some time ago I read this: https://bitslog.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/the-well-deserved-f...

Not sure how effective this is, but if this is true then Satoshi has been awarded most of the bitcoins.


Here we go again... anatomy of a new "satoshi unmasked!" story:

- Big media spreads bs claims (check)

- BTC price drop (check)

- Community CSI debunks story (check)

- New core devs drama chapter (check)

- Back to "normal" __


The proof contains some strange bash commands, using & instead of &&: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11610192


It would be pretty annoying if he was making all this up. Posting a signed random quote does not prove anything. Signing something provably recent is better, especially if that is message akin to "Satoshi is Craig".


So either Gavin knew or didn't. As a core dev I am not sure which is worse.


I don't want to sound like a nerd-snob, but isn't weird that the potential Satoshi Nakamoto uses Windows and notepad? http://www.drcraigwright.net/jean-paul-sartre-signing-signif...

I mean, to each his own- especially when talking about dev tools- so why not I guess?


Not really. The original Satoshi client only ran on Windows.


Craig: But how will those who don't get ECC believe that it's me?

X: Set your hostname to be wintermute, that should remove all doubt people might have.


On the academic side of things, he has a very thin paper trail: http://dblp.uni-trier.de/pers/hd/w/Wright:Craig_S= and http://dl.acm.org/author_page.cfm?id=81488659808&coll=DL&dl=...

I'm not saying the real Satoshi has to be an academic computer scientist, but if someone with a significant academic publication record in cryptography stepped forward, I would take it much more seriously.

Of course, this is secondary to the fact that Wright has not signed a new message with the original Satoshi key.


I'm not sure whether I actually care if he is or if he isn't - there's just so much good material in this story: hidden super computers and theology degrees and all sorts of craziness. The only thing that could really improve it would be a link to Paul Le Roux!


If this is fake, is this some kind of ploy to flush out the real Satoshi? Or a publicity stunt?


What I find fascinating about all of this as a normal techie, not a crypto specialist, is whether he is Satoshi or not, the idea of "Satoshi" in all its guessing will be bigger than Craig Steven Wright, or I would say even the real Satoshi if he came out and proved it. We romance our notions of who is behind something to the point where that notion is too grand to be filled by an ordinary (pretty smart) human being.

Only Craig Steven Wright for sure, and possibly the real Satoshi, knows the truth. Whomever it is, he can cash out to the tune of $450 million!

Fun being on the sidelines here, but I do have a heavy intellectual, emotional investment in the idea of Bitcoin, and I hope it carries on.


"Mr Wright has also demonstrated this verification in person to The Economist—and not just for block 9, but block 1." Economist confirms: http://www.economist.com/news/briefings/21698061-craig-steve...

BBC says it's also confirmed through GQ but I don't see anything related yet.

(My view below)

The way he is communicating in the interview sounds like the government was putting pressure on him. Whomever is 'forcing him' to come out as Nakamoto, I don't think this will end well for Wright nor his companies.


>> In future, he explained, the blockchain could become so vast that it could keep track of every Visa transaction, every stock-exchange transaction, every bank transaction and much more. “We could even create an individual account for that tissue”, he said, pointing to a paper napkin on the table. <<

Quote from OA. Would this not short circuit any form of privacy? Or would various agencies and individuals still have to show that the various 'napkin accounts' that make up one's daily transaction count belonged to the same person?

I'm less concerned with the identity of Nakamoto and more concerned with the shape of the future!


> Would this not short circuit any form of privacy?

As far as I can tell, Wright wants to extend the blockchain considerably, adding opcodes to get Turing-complete functionality. Among other things, he's hinted at using ring signatures for tracking things, which would give one both secure control and anonymity. (I think Monero and its descendants may have stolen that thunder, though.)


I don't believe he would be so naive to publish this without having checked that matter with transaction 828ef3b079f9c23829c56fe86e85b4a69d9e06e5b54ea597eef5fb3ffef509fe before.


Why do people care about the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto?


I don't know. Its kind of like "celebrity culture". I'm a little bit of an outlier on these things (I lack a facebook account)

There is something in human brains that makes us really want to know about social network around us. Despite the strange URL this article tries to expain it [1]

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-ooze/201503/why...


That looks like an extremely elaborated way to make a claim that could normally be done in a few lines.

And even if the claim would require a long explanation, for instance if Satoshi lost or destroyed the keys for the first few blocks, or the passwords to his accounts on several forums where he used to write, there would be no need for him to do this explanation himself. The burden of the proof his on him, but not the explanation of the proof.


The LiteCoin founder showed how easy it was:

https://twitter.com/SatoshiLite/status/727157971428331520


Satoshi can also log into bitcointalk.org where the real Satoshi communicated with the public for quite some time during and after the release of the bitcoin client. Can Wright log into it and post or is he gonna claim he forgot his password? Oh wait, a password can be reset. Oh no, he forgot his password to the email he registered on BitcoinTalk.org.. Damn... I guess we're SOL :).


No, he can't. That email was probably the hacked one, and Theymos locked the Bitcointalk account ages ago. And that's a dumb method of proof compared to cryptographic ones anyway - how many times has Bitcointalk been hacked now? 2? 3?


What is up with this specific comment thread being so horribly wide on mobile? Why isn't CSS enforcing a width and wrapping the page?


It's a bug that we need to fix. I've seen similar things in other threads, but it doesn't come up that often. If anyone has ideas about what's going on here, emailing them to hn@ycombinator.com might help speed up the fixing process. (The core HN programmers have a... somewhat fraught relationship with CSS.)


This thread contains several posts that have very long, unbroken, lines. If those lines had started with four (two?) spaces they've have got different CSS - the pre-formatting would have put the very long unbroken line inside a different box with scrollbars.

Here's one example post: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11610111


The top comment seems to be the one that sets the tone, and it doesn't look like anything should be in a code block:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11610101

Edit: oddly, going directly to that comment looks better than going to the main thread. It's still smaller than normal on mobile, but nowhere near as bad as the main thread.

Here's what things look like for me in Safari on iOS:

https://imgur.com/a/KVrSX


I was convinced at the first outing 2015 already: https://www.wired.com/2015/12/bitcoins-creator-satoshi-nakam...


My impression is that these things happen in order to try to force the real Satoshi to come forward. I wouldn't be surprised if guys like Wright are paid and supported by others to do this. I hope Satoshi will never be revealed and don't see what that would provide anyway. Just leave them be.


sit the guy in a room. Fire up sublime, emacs, vim, or whatever IDE. Give him an hour to write an app in C++ to solve something trivial that he does not know in advance, such as the 8 queens problem. End of debate. The guy most likely cannot code to save his life.


Well, he either is Satoshi, or a genius conman. I would love for him to be Satoshi, it would be a great story. It's also ridiculous that people think they would be able to derive the personality of someone from a paper he wrote.


What is this - some kind of really, really weird hiring campaign for crypto folks?


Maybe he is trying to get Nakamoto to out himself..? His claim is ridiculous.


Guess the only way he can really prove he is S.N. is that he transfers cca. million bitcoins to himself for everyone to see ;) ...Wanna see that happen, lol. (most probably S.N. is a group not a person).


So does the bitcoin community prefer it if the real satoshi comes forward or not? It seems that many would prefer a leader to set the future of bitcoin, eventhough that's counter to its principles.


"Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to amassed about one million Bitcoins which would give him a net worth, if all were converted to cash, of about $450m."

Anyone know what this was worth at its peak?


The all time high was ~$1216 a coin [1]... so that would put him approximately at $1.2 billion if he has a million coins like the OP suggests. There are about 15.4mm coins in circulation [2], so he has about 6.5% of the current market, or 4.7% of the total BTC that will ever be mined (1/21 million).

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bitcoin#cite_note-6... (would appreciate a correction with a better source)

[2]: https://blockchain.info/charts/total-bitcoins


That's disastrous. A currency where a single individual owns 4.7% of all currency isn't going to end well

I remember there was speculation that Bitcoin could go up to tens of thousands of dollars. Which would probably make Wright the richest man alive


> A currency where a single individual owns 4.7% of all currency isn't going to end well

It's not that far off from real world USD (if you limit it to the US, and extrapolate for number of users) where 16,000 families making up the richest 0.01% control 11.2% of total wealth


There's a huge difference in illiquid assets (most of that 11.2% is real estate, stock, etc.) and currency that is at least presumably intended to be liquid.


Besides what others have already said, there's also the fact that the US families have no real incentive to flood the market with dollars or control price fluctuations. What are they then going to trade with? Pesos?

You could, however, control prices if you controlled 5% of Bitcoin, which you could cash out in USD or EUR.

There is no alternative to USD or EUR - at least not one that is widely accepted.

There IS an alternative to Bitcoin


The difference is that that wealth isn't cash hidden in a secret vault, but various assets that are already accounted for and an active part of the economy.

The closest real world analogy I can think of would be that if all the unaccounted for physical US currency that is floating around outside the US all of a sudden returned 'home'.


I think the biggest difference is that those 16,000 families aren't just sitting on dollars that are stuffed into Scrooge McDuck vaults. Their money is invested everywhere and is part of the economy.

In contrast, Satoshi's coins are currently outside the system, and adding them to the system would cause a whole bunch of instability.


> A currency where a single individual owns 4.7% of all currency isn't going to end well

Funny story. Although the UK has one currency, Northern Ireland and Scotland have different designs for banknotes compared to England & Wales (and too each other).

In December 2004, approximately 10% of the cash (~£26mil) in circulation in Northern Ireland was stolen. In response the bank recalled and reissued all the notes, to prevent the theives being able to use them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Bank_robbery


You should lookup the Rothschilds sometime.


BBC argyle says that was calculated at 449USD per Bitcoin, so assuming nearly 1Billion USD or thereabouts when they were at their peak


The question is can he liquidate his holdings without causing a market crash? Not just because of economics of demand and supply but because of the psychological effects on the market.


Perhaps folks more knowledgable could weigh in if a large liquidation event could happen by darkpools or some other means that wouldn't cause an oversupply "market run."


considering the cause for him needing to liquidate is known, he has major tax penalties he has to pay, exchanging them now won't cause as big of a stir as if he did it when he was anonymous and would lead to suspicion of some sort of problem with the protocol. and a run to cash in.


They were close to or over $1k at it's peak. So - somewhere close to a bil.


The price at its peak was nearly $1200, so over a billion.


BBC interview with Craig Wright (video, 4m50s)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36168863


This comment section is unreadable on mobile. Why is it so wide?


It seems, we either have someone lying or a SHA-256 collision.



Simple. Satoshi owns millions of BTC. Anyone claiming to be Satoshi should just spend a small chunk of BTC from that initial block as a challenge response.


Satoshi Nakamoto was most likely a group, like Bourbaki.


I second it


Might the reason they were fooled so easily be, that they were flattered, that Satoshi would reveal himself to them, but not the community directly?


Edit: (Sad that I submitted the long story yet original submission was just a snippet but HN mods change the submission.) That's not fair.

Not full story. Just snippet.

Full story (HN Sub): https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11609708

Direct: http://www.economist.com/news/briefings/21698061-craig-steve...


In a way it's a slightly disappointing end to the mystery!


I see what you mean! It felt like the end of the Perplexity puzzle that existed, the moment it was found the excitement behind it all just didn't keep going!

Mind you, the card to find someone using six degrees of separation is also called Satoshi!

http://perplexcitywiki.com/wiki/Billion_to_One


Hah, I was just thinking about Perplex City the other day and wondered if that Satoshi was ever found. I really did love that game and the community around it.


Based on the wikipedia page that is one of two cards never solved, the other being the Riemann hypothesis.


I'm curious, why are people downvoting this?


Just remember that The Economist a few years ago published a story on Steorn's Perpetual Motion machine.

You don't go to The Economist when you want hard hitting investigative journalism - you go The Economist when you need investor money.


Wikipedia says that the Steorn thing was a paid advertisement. That's a little different to what's going on here.


It was a (full-page) ad, not a story, not even a "sponsored" one, as the layout was quite distinct: http://dispatchesfromthefuture.com/images/steorn_economist_a...


What's the difference between this and Nature having a full page ad for a Homeopathy clinic?


Is he going to way in on the whole Blockchain size debate?


I wont believe so unless he signs the first block



Does it even matter? Why?


I was hoping they would ask him why choose the name 'Satoshi Nakamoto'?


The BBC article stated that Nakamoto was after Tominaga Nakamoto, and Satoshi was a secret.


The Economist reporters did.


Fascinating. Why would he chose to reveal himself now?


Satoshi is Satoshi; please leave things be.


Are the details of the key signing public?


Beyond fake


Hoax


"He also says he can’t send any bitcoin because they are now owned by a trust."

Well, the trust could create a new address, and send btc to itself. This above all makes me not believe him.


When he talks to media, he uses technobabble bamboozle.

When he talks to tech, he uses legalbabble bamboozle.

Even if he didn't want to transfer any original BTC pre-news-release, they could have coordinated for him to transfer 1 BTC from an early block to some charity at the time of reveal.


Tech journalists: "Bitcoin creator confirms his identity by using, um, crypto stuff. Or something"


Of course he wants to be left alone: he didn't pay taxes. Also of course there is no real public proof as he's not Satoshi.


He wouldn't owe any taxes. At least, not any income tax. The coins were worthless when he first mined them, and so there wouldn't have been any tax due.

If he were to sell the coins now, he might incur a capital gains tax, depending on where he lives.


The tax fraud doesn't have anything to do with Bitcoin. The top comment explains it more, but it was clear from earlier news about him as well.

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