Craig Wright: Uh, Actually, I Won’t Prove That I’m Satoshi Nakamoto

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Craig Wright, the weirdo Australian who’s now spent two different news cycles as the center of speculation that he is mysterious Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, backed off a pledge he made earlier this week to provide further proof of his role in the creation of Bitcoin. “I do not have the courage [to provide any kind of proof whatsover],” he writes in a blog post. “I cannot.”

On Monday, Wright published a blog post meant to demonstrate his identity using a method that was quickly discredited by other Bitcoin experts. His “proof,” clever enough to convince those who are not intricately versed in Bitcoin, was revealed as … not much at all.

So Wright made another offer: to move some of the crypto-currency out of the so-called “Satoshi stash” — a bundle of nearly 1 million Bitcoins worth about $450 million. Verifiable via the blockchain, Bitcoin’s public ledger, Satoshi’s trove has sat untouched since Bitcoin’s inception. If Wright really wanted to prove that he is Satoshi, he could move a small amount out of the reserve, demonstrating that he held the private keys to do so. On Wednesday, he announced that “in the coming days” he would move some of those coins.

Now Wright is reneging on his promise to provide more proof, and his website now directs to an emotional good-bye message.

I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.

Wright also apologized to his supporters, including early Bitcoin participants Gavin Andresen (who retracted his support for Wright as Satoshi earlier this week) and Jon Matonis. The message ends with the final line “And goodbye.” Wright will presumably not be heard from any time soon.

I can’t say definitively that Wright was lying about being Satoshi Nakamoto, but, boy, this seems like the type of thing someone would do when they’re caught in a lie.