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[dupe] Craig Wright's signature is worthless (reddit.com)
283 points by apsec112 on May 2, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 46 comments

The big question mark for me isn't Wright, it's Gavin.

Wright has presented a bunch of bs, no definite proof, and has seemingly not wanted to sign recent or new messages with his PGP key. For all intents and purposes, he's got zero credibility.

Then Gavin comes along. A person who worked with Satoshi the longest, communicated with him the most, led the project in practice for years, is a computer scientist and well balanced guy overal. He's not perfect but he's got a lot of credibility in the community and for good reason. And he spoke personally with Wright, and is completely convinced, both by the things he heard on a personal level, as well as proofs, neither of which he disclosed.

To me that's just bizarre. It's like Trump saying he'd be a great president and Obama meeting with him and saying he's the real deal, it'd just wouldn't happen.

Gavin apparently knows stuff we don't, and apparently it's proof, and apparently at the same time Wright chose not to go with that but to show a lesser proof which turned out to be bs. What in the world is going on?

edit: possible explanation, although I find it unlikely: Gavin was hacked. It's not my concern, but the core devs removed his commit access as a precaution which I think is sensible, so they're concerned Gavin was hacked.

The reason I don't this it's likely Gavin was hacked is because there was no play here. i.e. we didn't see Wright e.g. say 'I'm Satoshi, and I'm going to sell all my coins', thereby causing panic that hundreds of millions of bitcoins flood the market and crash the price, allowing someone (him/hacker) to buy cheap coins, get uncovered, and sell when the price reaches normality again. They'd easily make millions. But that didn't happen. And it should have by now, because within 24 hours (or realistically, an hour) a hacked Gavin would phone up other core devs and spread the message he was hacked, wasting the window of opportunity of the scam. So the fact we're not seeing a play here means there was no reason to hack him (or squander a hack), unless it was all set up as a big joke which doesn't look sensible either.

Bitcoin Core developers appear to believe that Gavin's computer may have been compromised:


> FYI, @gavinandresen's commit access just got removed - Core team members are concerned that he may have been hacked. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11609707

That's a tweet that leads back to a YC comment that says nothing about hacking.

Seriously, what's the primary source for thinking

1. Gavin was hacked, or

2. Gavin's access has been removed or modified?

This hilarious! So someone has successfully hacked Bitcoin core's lead dev with the agenda of "appointing" Wright as Satoshi?

Most often than not, if the story is too convulated then the simple alternative offers the truth. Gavin is on it. I wasn't sure of it but since they played "His computer was hacked" card instead of "Sorry I messed up" then yeah there is something fishy here.

Gavin is not, and has not been for many years, Bitcoin Core's lead developer. In fact, he hasn't even been a Bitcoin Core contributor for quite a long time now.

Comment of the year:

"@Alex_Amsel @petertoddbtc @gavinandresen Nobody thinks to just pick up the phone in this space."

We don't actually have Gavin's phone number; he's not an active Bitcoin Core team member.

I'd say the tweet's sentiment is still on target, if not more on target, given this excuse.

Gavin's made a statement now:


Craig signed a message that I chose ("Gavin's favorite number is eleven. CSW" if I recall correctly) using the private key from block number 1.

That signature was copied on to a clean usb stick I brought with me to London, and then validated on a brand-new laptop with a freshly downloaded copy of electrum.

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

I don't have an explanation for the funky OpenSSL procedure in his blog post.



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. Craig has already claimed he was an active miner in the early days, and there's a 5 day gap between the timestamps of block #0 and block #1.

My theory: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11612261 (I believe Gavin is telling the truth, but was duped by sleight-of-hand.)

Who provided the laptop? "Fear it would leak before the Official Announcement" is a pretty weak argument. Why not produce a signed message now?

Maybe I am missing something but why the signed message could not have been sent by mail ?

The use of the "brand new laptop" and the fact it was quickly removed really sounds like a con man trick. It sounds like an Orbo demonstration.

You're missing the "fear it would leak before Official Announcement" part.

But there should now be no reason this signed message can't be published.

Speaking as a complete outsider, Wright is coming off as a fall guy, and Andresen has been convinced to go along with the ruse. It's very much like they're protecting someone.

Either Gavin was hacked, or he was possessed by aliens. Wright's original evidence was clearly unpersuasive (actually anti-persuasive). Now he has supposedly given secret evidence to more journalists in an attempt to have them vouch for the claim that Wright = Satoshi. If Wright wanted to convince technical people of his claims, he would publish the proof (simple enough to do). My hypothesis is that he doesn't need to convince anyone, except for the gullible banks that have provided credit based on his supposed bitcoin collateral (that he does not actually seem to possess).

The Economist piece alleges Gavin sat through the Wright's demonstration in person and attested it was legit. So either his brain was hacked too or the staff of The Economist is in far reaching conspiracy. Well or the whole hacking story is a BTC factional drama.

Or Gavin just isn't James Randi, and wasn't prepared to uncover deliberate fakes.

Wright could very easily faked a demonstration on his own machine.

Last time, when Andy Greenberg (who ought to have known better, and in some ways looked like he did) bought the Wright story, I remember thinking maybe he did it for ideological reasons. I.e, he might know Wright isn't Satoshi, but be happy for attention thrown that way, because he thinks the real Satoshi deserves to be shielded.

As I see it, the strongest evidence by far is still for Nick Szabo, and I don't think I'm the only one who has come to that conclusion after looking into it.

> Or Gavin just isn't James Randi, and wasn't prepared to uncover deliberate fakes.

Right, it's very easy to fool a specific person, especially a smart person who thinks they cannot be fooled.

Is it possible that the Economist reporter didn't know Gavin, and Wright also provided a fake Gavin too? Getting slightly far fetched, but from what I've read so far nothing would surprise me ...

I agree that it is unlikely he was hacked due to the reasons you provided (i.e. no play), but I have a theory that he is the real deal and created a 'phony' proof so that he could wait to sense what the media backlash was (positive or negative) before deciding whether or not to go ahead and provide a 'real' proof or simply just make it look like he is lying.

The proof is complex enough for only the technical community to be able to catch / disprove, but not for much of the mainstream media, which will be forming a general opinion on who Wright is and what this means for Bitcoin.

This helps explain why Andresen is so certain, because he has seen the real proof and is going to "let him decide how much of that story he shares with the world" [0]

[0] - http://gavinandresen.ninja/satoshi

What if Gavin choose to play with Wright to keep the real identity of Sathosi hidden?

My thoughts too. Satoshi clearly didn't seek publicity, so making some clown to get media attention and meanwhile diverting their resources from seeking the real one sounds plausible. Though one question remains: why now? My guess would be that maybe someone from media or independent researchers might have came too close to the real identity of Satoshi..

What if he chose to play to bait the real Satoshi out of hiding?

> To me that's just bizarre. It's like Trump saying he'd be a great president and Obama meeting with him and saying he's the real deal, it'd just wouldn't happen.

It would happen if Gavin was Satoshi. Gavin attempts to permanently deflect things on to a smooth talking conman with liquidity problems to maintain his privacy.

Hell, he could even give Wright some of the bitcoins as payment for the cover.

While I won't speculate whether Gavin is Satoshi or not, it does seem to me like it's more likely that Satoshi would continue participating in bitcoin under a different name rather than quitting altogether. It's hard to stay away from online communities that you're invested in, but one might want to push the "reset" button on their reputation, which is something the internet uniquely allows one to do. I believe it's plausible that Satoshi's beliefs in decentralization and consensus caused him to shelve the BDFL mantle so that his ideas could compete on their own merits.

But then why not give Wright some convincing evidence to share in public, rather than this weird round-about of using BS public evidence, and then claiming to have seen "secret" convincing evidence? This doesn't only make the case for Wright being Satoshi weaker in the public eye, but draws attention to Gavin. Hardly "deflecting things"

He's going to build a chain, and he's going to make the Fed pay for it.

I liked it.

My bet is that Gavin was payed for his statement.

What is the value of uncovering who Satoshi is? Or rather what is the value of being considered Satoshi?

My pet theories: If Wright is Satoshi and wants to hide the fact, a good way to do that is to come off as a fraud

If Wright is not Satoshi but knows who Satoshi is, and wants to protect him, why not just keep quiet? Was someone actually getting close to uncovering the identity and Wright is just trying to muddle the waters?

If Wright is not Satoshi and is actually trying to get people to believe that he is, what would he gain by it?

> What is the value of uncovering who Satoshi is?

Learning the identity of someone with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin seems like the obvious one.

Why? Voyeurism? The government would surely be interested in absconding with the assets at some point, but that is their function. What is our interest in such things? Sure, whoever it is might flood the market, but that could happen whether or not we know the identity.

OK, but what about the opposite: what is the value of pretending to be rich when you are not? I mean, sure you can probably get a free pizza slice here and there, but what can you actually do?

A lot. If you convince the right people, then there's loans with easy terms. Funding for your companies. Entrance into some very useful networks. The list could go on and on.

Pretending to wealth is a con probably as old as money itself. Just imagine: you convince a lot of people that you're a billionaire who's lost your wallet. What can you get out of those people just by the promise you're good for it?

It's not about the money. It's about the fame - having you're name in stone for a very very long time. Some people see success as having their names printed in textbooks and in history books.

I'm not certain but I believe the last time Wright was suspected of being Satoshi, he had some business venture he was trying to promote. Could be a repeat of last time.

Check out this classic movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046072/

Love this movie :-)

You don't think that if everyone believed you were Bill Gates, you wouldn't benefit from that?

> What is the value of uncovering who Satoshi is? Or rather what is the value of being considered Satoshi?

Getting the officially stated opinion of the project's founder and rightful BDFL on controversial issues like blocksize.

It kind of seems like a social experiment currently. "Let's drop this Bitcoin thing on the world and see what happens."

> If Wright is not Satoshi and is actually trying to get people to believe that he is, what would he gain by it?

Prestige. The following of thousands of bitcoin enthusiasts.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't Craig Wright initiating a Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi's wallet to a retailer, of a reporter's choosing, be all the proof you would need to validate his claims? If he has access to Satoshi's wallet then that's all the proof he needs.

Give him a piece of Bitcoin source code and ask him debug

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