Craig Steven Wright (born October 1970) is an Australian computer scientist and businessman. He claims to be the real person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto—the creator of bitcoin—a claim that is disputed within the bitcoin community.
In December 2015, two parallel investigations by Wired and Gizmodo alleged that Wright may have been the inventor of bitcoin. Subsequent reporting, however, raised serious concerns that Wright was engaged in an elaborate hoax.
Hours after Wired published their allegations, Wright’s home in Gordon, New South Wales and an associated business premise in Ryde, Sydney were raided by the Australian Federal Police. According to the AFP, the raid was part of an Australian Tax Office investigation.
On 2 May 2016, Wright publicly claimed to be the creator of bitcoin. This claim was corroborated by Bitcoin Foundation founding director Jon Matonis in a blog post, stating “For cryptographic proof in my presence, Craig signed and verified a message using the private key from block #1 newly-generated coins and from block #9 newly-generated coins (the first transaction to Hal Finney).” Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik agreed that evidence provided by Wright does not prove anything, and security researcher Dan Kaminsky in his blog concluded Wright’s claim was a scam. Jordan Pearson and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai said that “Wright simply reused an old signature from a bitcoin transaction performed in 2009 by Satoshi.”
Afterwards, Wright said that he decided not to present any further evidence to prove that he is the creator of bitcoin. In a message posted on his website, Wright wrote:
I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot. When the rumours began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this. I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry. And goodbye.
Earlier in an exclusive interview with BBC, Wright had promised to give “extraordinary proof to an extraordinary claim.”