The long running mystery regarding the inventor of bitcoin, the world’s first digital currency, has finally been revealed. Craig Wright, a 45-year-old IT consultant from Australia, has come forward and provided evidence to the BBC that he is the anonymous founder of bitcoin, which was first introduced to the world back in 2009.
Until now the inventor of bitcoin has been known only by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. The elusive figure communicated only via electronic messages and had never hinted at their true identity, before cutting off all communication in 2011. Since 2009 there has been constant speculation about the figure’s identity.
The idea that Craig Wright was the person behind bitcoin was suggested by Wired and Gizmodo magazines in December 2015. These two technology publications claimed they had unveiled Wright’s identity based on a series of transcripts, emails and records. At the time, Wright did not comment on the claims, which soon became the subject of heated discussion amongst those in the finace and technology industries. Wright made the admission himself in a recent blog post, alluding to having technical proof of his claim. He also gave evidence to the BBC who interviewed him.
Jon Matonis, one of the founding directors of the Bitcoin Foundation, backs up Wright’s claim. After having “the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical”, he firmly believes “that Craig Wright satisfies all three categories”.
Wright describes himself on a LinkedIn page as a “senior management executive information security specialist”. He was the director of more than a dozen companies, some involved in cryptocurrency, until he removed himself from all of them in July 2015. He has previously caught the attention of federal authorities in Sydney recently, as his home was raided by Australian federal police in connection with a tax investigation unrelated to his connection with the digital currency). The decision to reveal his true identity was motivated by his desire to “dispel any negative myths and fears about bitcoin” according to Wright. He stated that: “I cannot allow the misinformation that has been spread to impact the future of bitcoin and the blockchain”.
Digital currencies (also called cryptocurrencies) are an innovative way of allowing consumers to make electronic transactions without the need for traditional banks. Since 2009, there are now believed to be over 15 million bitcoins in circulation (including the million reportedly owned by Wright). One BTC is approximately worth around USD $400.
Bitcoin is becoming an increasingly popular choice for online bookmaking, particularly poker. Many sites such as Betcoin.ag and Seals with Clubs are marketing themselves to poker players interested in gambling with digital currencies like bitcoin.