Australian Man Who Says He Invented Bitcoin Is Suing to Prove It

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jun 19, 2019

Craig Wright, an Australian, has insisted that he is the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym behind the inventor of digital currency bitcoin, and while the cryptocurrency community has long been skeptical of these claims, he is now escalating his battle for recognition through a series of lawsuits against his critics, according to Bloomberg

Bitcoin was first conceived of in a white paper released in 2009 authored by someone, or someones, going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Since then, speculation about who is behind the name, and consequently the development of bitcoin, has been something of a parlor game. Other contenders for the identity have included cryptography pioneer Hal Finney, computer scientist Nick Szabo, scientist Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, Finnish economic sociologist Dr. Vili Lehdonvirta, Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki, security researcher Dustin D. Trammell, Silk Road founder and convicted felon Ross Ulbricht, and a host of other individuals or teams. None of them were ever confirmed to be the mysterious Nakamoto. 

With all this in mind, it could be understandable that when Craig Wright, a computer scientist and tech financier, began claiming he was the man behind bitcoin, many believed it was all part of some elaborate hoax, especially given holes in his story that later emerged. There are also questions of motivation: while no one knows who Nakamoto is, his bitcoin wallet is still visible, and it holds over 1 million of them. One of the speculated reasons for his continuing anonymity is that this stash would make the person a prime kidnapping target. Others say that being identified could lead to unwelcome attention from government authorities. Still more have speculated that the person has remained anonymous for more idealistic reasons: not wanting to become the de facto leader of bitcoin, which was intended to be a decentralized network. With all these risk factors at play, it's easy to wonder why Wright would step up to claim this mantle. 

These questions have not dissuaded Wright, however. Bloomberg reported that Wright has been specifically targeting prominent individuals in the cryptocurrency community who have publicly questioned his claims that he is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto. He has said that his critics are criminals who benefit from human trafficking, though his suit is focused on claims that they have defamed him instead. 

Bloomberg pointed out that there is a very simple way for Wright to prove he is the person he says he is: make a bitcoin transfer from the famous wallet linked to Satoshi Nakamoto. He has refused to do so. 

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