Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

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...




Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: