“Some people will believe, some people won’t. And to tell you the truth, I don’t really care,” he said to the BBC.
The Australian entrepreneur identified himself as Satoshi to three media organizations – the BBC, The Economist, and GQ. In a blog post about his claims, he explains the process of verifying a set of cryptographic keys, showing that he digitally signed a text from Jean-Paul Sartre.
Last December, Gizmodo and WIRED published articles suggesting the Australian entrepreneur was the creator of bitcoin. Holes were soon revealed in the stories. As GQ noted, WIRED followed up with new evidence that suggested Wright might be a hoaxer.
Soon after the Gizmodo and WIRED articles were published, Australian police raided his home to assist an Australian Taxation Office investigation into tax payments. Wright told the BBC he was working in full cooperation with the office on tax matters.
The BBC reported that in a meeting with Wright, he digital signed messages with cryptographic keys designed during the early days of bitcoin’s development. The keys, said the broadcaster, are inextricably connected to blocks of bitcoins Satoshi is known to have mined.
“These are the blocks used to send 10 bitcoins to Hal Finney in January  as the first bitcoin transaction,” said Wright as he made a demonstration to the BBC. Wright said Finney – who passed away in 2014 – was among the engineers who helped him transform his ideas into the bitcoin protocol.
Asked why he’s kept secret for so long, Wright told the BBC that “I would prefer to be secret now.”
He added, “There’s nothing owed to the world where I have to come out and say, X I am Y. I mean no one needs to do that. It is my right not to say I did something. If I release a paper that actually benefits people, why do I actually have to take credit for it? Why do it?”
Wright said he didn’t decide to reveal himself now. “I had people do it for me,” referring to news reports about his probability of being Satoshi.
“They’re making my life difficult not for me, but for my friends, my family, my staff,” he said to the BBC. “I have staff here in London, I have staff overseas, and they want to be private. They don’t want all of this stuff to affect them. I don’t want any of them to be impacted by this. None of it’s true. There are lots of stories out there that have been made up and I don’t like it hurting those I care about.”
Wright told the broadcaster that he isn’t seeking money, fame or adoration. He stressed that if he were ever to win an award, say a Nobel prize, he would not take a cent. He also said he wouldn’t be making further media appearances, wanting to be left alone and carry on with his work.
“Look, I’m doing this, then I’m disappearing,” he said in an interview with GQ. “I’m not doing this to try and get in the media. This will never happen again, You’ve got this one thing. If you don’t like it, f— off.”
In its report, The Economist concluded that Wright could well be Satoshi, but pertinent questions remain.
The magazine said, “Evaluating his claims involves the application of a multi-step paternity test.” This test would involve Wright proving he has cryptographic keys only Satoshi would have, have convincing explanations for the discrepancies in the story that emerged when he was ousted in December, and possessing the technical knowledge to create bitcoin. There is also the matter of what developers who have collaborated with Satoshi think of Wright’s claim.
Administering this test, The Economist has a particular reservation about keys. Wright demonstrated to the magazine, as well as to former Bitcoin Foundation director Jon Matonis and lead bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen, the verification of the Sartre text signing for both blocks 9 and 1. However, Wright did not want to publicize the proof for block 1, because block 9 contains the only bitcoin address clearly connected to Satoshi, as he sent money to Finney. Wright told the magazine that repeating the process for other blocks wouldn’t bring more certainty. He also turned down The Economist’s request to send him another text to sign to demonstrate he indeed has these private keys.
Wondering why he had rejected its request, the magazine supposed Wright had access to only one proof, or that he could have used his supercomputer to calculate his signature. As suggested before, said The Economist, there is the possibility Wright could have gotten the keys from another person, such as Finney or Dave Kleiman, who is also deceased.
Meanwhile, Matonis and Andresen have said they believe Wright to be Satoshi.
“During the London proof sessions, I had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical,” sais Matonis, as reported by the BBC. “It is my firm belief that Craig Wright satisfies all three categories.”
Andresen said in a blog post that after having spent time with Wright, he is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Wright is Satoshi.
Andresen wrote, “During our meeting, I saw the brilliant, opinionated, focused, generous – and privacy-seeking – person that matches the Satoshi I worked with six years ago. And he cleared up a lot of mysteries, including why he disappeared when he did and what he’s been busy with since 2011. But I’m going to respect Dr. Wright’s privacy, and let him decide how much of that story he shares with the world.”
Reporting on threads on Reddit and Hacker News that poke holes into Wright’s claims, TechCrunch cited speculation that Andresen was possibly hacked. The publication linked to a tweet by bitcoin developer Peter Todd, who said Andresen’s GitHub Commit access had been revoked.
Andresen disputed the hacking claims at a conference Monday. “I’ll first say, I was not hacked. The blog post that I posted this morning…is indeed my words. I still believe that Craig Wright is, beyond a reasonable doubt in my head, Satoshi Nakamoto,” he said, as reported by Gizmodo.
The publication said serious doubts over Wright’s claim within the bitcoin community have to do with an apparent flaw in the cryptographic proof he offered of his identity. Both TechCrunch and Gizmodo link to a widely shared blog post written by developer Patrick McKenzie, who dismissed Wright’s post as “flimflam and hokum which stands up to a few minutes of cursory scrutiny, and demonstrated a competent sysadmin’s level of familiarity with cryptographic tools, but ultimately demonstrated no non-public information about Satoshi.”
Bitcoin image – Public domain image by Web-dev-chris