Bitcoin: Australian Craig Wright confirms he is creator of digital cryptocurrency in confession to media.

Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright, long-suspected of having created cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has confirmed his identity to three publications, ending years of speculation.

In an interview with the BBC, Dr Wright provided proof to back up his claim using digitally signed messages and cryptographic keys known to be owned by Bitcoin’s creator.

“These are the blocks used to send 10 bitcoins to Hal Finney in January [2009] as the first Bitcoin transaction,” he said during a demonstration.

Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that is decentralised and operates using a peer-to-peer network.

Unlike other currencies, it has no central authority or government-based backing.

Bitcoin is essentially a code that is traded between two people, with the transaction confirmed by other users on the peer-to-peer network and added to the continuous “blockchain” — a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions.

It was created by someone under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, an alias now claimed by Dr Wright.

“I was the main part of it, but other people helped me,” he said.

Researchers believe Nakamoto may be holding up to 1 million bitcoins, which is worth about $440 million, and the price of the cryptocurrency could plunge if that was to be unloaded.

Dr Wright told The Economist he would exchange bitcoin slowly to avoid pushing down its price.

Dr Wright revealed his identity to three media organisations: the BBC, the Economist and GQ.

The Economist said it was not entirely convinced.

“Our conclusion is that Mr Wright could well be Mr Nakamoto, but that important questions remain,” it said.

“Indeed, it may never be possible to establish beyond reasonable doubt who really created Bitcoin.”


Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team also confirmed his claim.

Australian Federal Police raided the home of the Sydney-based technology entrepreneur in December last year on a warrant issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

‘I don’t like hurting those I care about’

The treatment of bitcoins for tax purposes in Australia has been the subject of considerable debate.

The ATO ruled in December 2014 that cryptocurrency should be considered an asset, rather than a currency, for capital gains tax purposes.

Dr Wright said the raid led to many more journalists and others pursuing him and the people he knows, to their detriment.

“I don’t like it hurting those people I care about,” he told the BBC.

“I have not done this because it is what I wanted. It’s not because of my choice.”

He added that he had no plans to become a figurehead.

Dr Wright told a Bitcoin Investor Conference last year that he was “a former academic who these days does research commercially, which no-one ever hears about”.

He said he had “a couple of doctorates” and a masters in law and statistics.

He currently heads up Bitcoin-related businesses, one of which he boasted in May last year controlled one of the fastest super-computers in the world.

The ATO and police were not immediately available for comment.


This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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