Hoax or not?
The latest news on the Bitcoin front revolves around the creator of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto’s, identity.
The Bitcoin creator’s identity has, since the publishing of the original Bitcoin paper, been a complete mystery to everyone.
The original Bitcoin paper outlines a system independent of countries’ currencies, physical bonds or stock options.
It details a method whereby all known Bitcoin transactions are visible on the internet, but all identities remain hidden.
Monies are kept with reference to a “paper wallet” and banks are circumnavigated to ensure a more “fair” system for those involved in trading.
Published in Consulted, in 2008, the paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” written by Satoshi Nakamoto outlines the system that makes the online cryptocurrency Bitcoin valid.
It is also the basis for many other cryptocurrencies spawned in later years around the world including Darkcoin and Dogecoin.
Speculation has been rife over the years that Nakamoto is indeed not a 37 year old Japanese male, as has been represented in the past, but perhaps English as a first language speaker, or even a team of people behind the name.
Satoshi Nakamoto was a key part of the steep incline and development of the Bitcoin currency up until mid-2010, where he (or they) handed over control of the source repository to others involved in the development cycle.
Since Nakamoto retained control of over one million Bitcoins, this means that approximately $458 million USD is in his control.
There have been many attempts over the years to deduce the person or persons behind the Nakamoto mask.
These attempts began in 2011 by various researchers, delving into who they thought was Bitcoin savvy enough to come up with the main algorithm.
Investigative journalists have fingered various people that could be the originator of the paper, such as Vili Lehdonvirta, Shinichi Mochizuki, and Nick Szabo, however each person has denied the claims.
In 2014 there was hope that Nakamoto had finally been uncovered, in the unlikely alliance of a Japanese American by the name of Dorian Nakamoto and a cryptocurrency forefather who lived a few blocks away, Hal Finney.
Dorian was a physicist who works on defense projects and Finney was involved in the first Bitcoin transactions and development.
Unfortunately, Nakamoto denied knowledge of Bitcoin at all and Hinney passed away in late 2014.
If it was indeed Hinney that started Bitcoin, then unless he has given the details of his paper wallet to someone else, the coins are lost forever.
Although the ties with Nakamoto and Hinney seem to point to Hinney as the most likely creator of Bitcoin, there comes along a new contender for the crown.
According to various sources, an Australian computer scientist by the name of Craig Steven Wright may be the originator of Bitcoin.
This is due to hacked or leaked documents as of the 9th of December, 2015 to suggest his role in the cryptocurrency.
From here, it gets cloudy.
Wright has now shut down all of his online accounts, and has seemingly flown the country, while his Sydney house has been raided by the Australian police – with at least 10 police officers attending the scene, must to the delight of journalists camped outside the possible Bitcoin originator’s home.
The Australian authorities deny it is anything to do with Bitcoin and insist it is due to taxation concerns.
In the meantime, an email looking to have originated from a known associated Nakamoto account, firstname.lastname@example.org, sends a message saying that, “I am not Craig Wright. We are all Satoshi.”
Unfortunately it seems unclear whether this is the real Nakamoto, from a hacked or spoofed email address, or from an expired account.
A similar message from email@example.com last year indicated that Nakamoto’s accounts had been hacked.
This firstname.lastname@example.org address is linked to this email, too. These email accounts both supposedly originate in 2008.
However it seems that the whole thing may just be an elaborate hoax, set up perhaps by Craig, perhaps by various hackers.
It appears that it is possible for PGP keys to be falsely created back in time.
That is, we can falsely manipulate the timestamp on an email address’s creation.
This makes it much more likely that others, with ulterior motives, have created false email accounts pretending to be the Bitcoin mastermind Nakamoto.
Right now, it seems extremely unlikely that Wright is indeed Nakamoto.
In fact, all evidence points to this not being the case at all.
However, the online revelation that Wright is not responsible from Nakamoto may not even be from Nakamoto himself.
There’s a lot of muddiness in the Bitcoin identity waters, and we’re not quite sure that Nakamoto will ever be named, but we sure like the mystery.
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