Whether Craig Steven Wright is the creator of bitcoin that he claims to be, a potentially more important mystery remains: Where is the substantial pile of the initial digital currency he is believed to own and does the inventor plan to sell it?
Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, identified himself Monday as the bitcoin inventor almost five months after he was outed in media reports as the man behind the virtual currency.
In a blog post and interviews with three media organizations, Wright said that he developed the original bitcoin software under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, a claim that’s been disputed by others. Wright provided technical evidence, including the original encryption keys, that have been confirmed by prominent members of the bitcoin community, the BBC reported.
Still, Wright’s claims are technically difficult to verify. The Economist, which, along with the BBC and GQ, interviewed Wright about his assertions, said the businessman “could well be” who he claims to be, but he didn’t definitively show he had control over an original stash of bitcoin suspected to be owned by Nakamoto. According to some estimates, Nakamoto holds more than 1 million bitcoin, worth about $450 million at current rates, but they have never been touched, the Economist reported.
"At this point, it doesn’t matter who created it,” said Barry Silbert, founder and chief executive officer of the Digital Currency Group. “If it’s Craig, he’s not been contributing to the protocol for a long time. Where it really does matter is how many bitcoins does he own, and whether he plans to sell them. ”
Wright was named as the creator of bitcoin by both Wired and Gizmodo in December. He said in the media interviews published Monday that he decided to go public to end the press speculation about the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto and stop the unwanted attention on his work and family. More than one other person has previously been identified as the original creator.
“Some people will believe, some people won’t and to tell you the truth I don’t really care,” Wright said in a video clip posted to the BBC’s verified Twitter account. “I don’t want money, I don’t want fame, I don’t want adoration. I just want to be left alone.”
Wright couldn’t be reached for comment.