Who is Craig Wright? If you have never heard of the infamous Craig Wright (or Faketoshi as a lot of people in the crypto community like to call him), you might be wondering why he is so famous. What has he even done? Is he involved in some big-scale cryptoproject? Did he come up with something new and interesting that has changed the whole community radically?
Well, according to some (and especially according to Mr. Wright himself) the answer would be a confident yes. But the story is far from being this simple…
Let’s dive into the seemingly never-ending saga that is the story of Craig Wright and how he claims to be no other, but the one and only Satoshi Nakamoto himself – the original man (or woman) behind bitcoin.
Craig Wright: computer scientist and entrepreneur
Before we jump into the really juicy things (aka the Satoshi story), let’s go back to the basics first.
So who is Craig Wright really? A quick Wikipedia search could answer that very quickly for you but we will tell you anyway, don’t worry about that. Mr. Wright is an Australian computer scientist, businessman and entrepreneur. He has worked as an academic and researcher at various institutions. (Though the exact number of degrees he has received is also a quite controversial topic. But that is a question for another day.)
But this is not why he’s famous, not even close.
Craig Wright is famous (or rather infamous) for one main thing in the crypto community. And what is that simple fact?
That he is Satoshi Nakamoto himself – or at least he claims to be.
But then why are people so cynical towards him? If he really is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym that was used to create the original code and white paper for bitcoin, then why aren’t people celebrating him?
Again, simple answer: because the majority of people don’t actually believe him.
Satoshi Nakamoto and all that we know about him
The story of Satoshi Nakamoto is probably the most fascinating one the bitcoin community will ever know. And not just because it was Satoshi who created bitcoin, but because it is truly one for the books.
Just imagine this: you create something that goes on to be this huge, incredibly influential thing that changes not only the technology but the financial sector as well. But then more than 10 year passes, and still, almost no one knows who you really are. (We say almost no one because there are certainly people who seem to know this person but the general public is still nowhere close to figuring it out.) There are virtually no known details about Satoshi’s private live or any clues about who he might be.
According to his P2P Foundation profile, the only source of information we seem to have about him is that back in 2012, he was a 37-year-old man from Japan.
Not a lot to go on from and even that seems made up to a lot of people. Satoshi’s English is completely perfect. This, of course, could still mean that he learnt it. But then how is it possible that even though he’s Japanese, there’s absolutely no sign of any Japenese words or phrases in any of the works that are considered to be Satoshi’s?
There are also some people who believe that Satoshi has died already, taking his secret to the grave quite literally. The reason for this is that there is a big amount of bitcoin linked to his name that has not been moved since 2011. It is a likely theory, but still no more than that: just a theory.
Satoshi is the biggest mystery here… But then if no one knows who he really is who’s to stop anyone to claim that they are Satoshi?
And this is exactly what Craig Wright does. And has been doing ever since 2015.
The first “proof”
Back in 2015, there were two investigations, done by Wired and Gizmodo, that both seemed to claim that Craig Wright could be Satoshi Nakamoto. They went back to some cryptographic signatures Wright used that could be proof of his identity – his identity as Satoshi, naturally. And Wright never denied these, instead it seems like he sort of just went with the opportunity. Later he came out with proof himself, showing again cryptographic signatures that were apparently linked to blocks of bitcoin mined by Satoshi himself.
But even that is a bit fishy as a lot of experts jumped to try to prove the alternative, including names like Jeff Garzik for example. According to some, the Wired and Gizmodo investigations, and then later Wright’s own statements, do not prove anything at all. It is still possible that he managed to simply reuse an old signature of a BTC transaction performed by Satoshi.
2019: Filing for copyright
In the coming years, Wright kept the story alive by feeding bits and pieces to media outlets but the real comeback came in 2019. This spring Wright decided to do something bigger. He filed for copyright claims over the original white paper and code at the US Copyright Office – and he got it.
But before we jump into any conclusions based on that, the Copyright Office itself was quick to clear any misinformation. They issued a press release specifically dealing with the Craig Wright issue that said, in a nutshell, that the copyright itself does not prove that Wright is the real Satoshi Nakamoto.
But why did they give him the copyright then, you might ask. Unfortunately, the copyright office does not investigate the real identity the owners of intellectual property when it is published under a pseudonym – which, of course, is the case for the original white paper and code for bitcoin.
So now, even though Craig Wright is richer with one more copyright claim, the story is still not over – and we are still nowhere near of finding out who is lying, who is telling the truth and most importantly, who is Satoshi Nakamoto.
The problem with Craig Wright
The real problem with Craig Wright is not simply that he’s (most probably) lying about being Satoshi and he is taking credit for something he did not create.
The bigger problem is that it’s also not what bitcoin would deserve – no matter how silly that sounds.
Bitcoin is decentralized, it is everyone’s currency. It does not discriminate – if you have internet access and a wallet, go crazy with bitcoin, you have everything you could ever need for that. It does not belong to a big, faceless institution like a central bank. It is not created or regulated by unknown people in suits. It is for the people and by the people.
As we said: it is everyone’s cryptocurrency – while simultaneously being no one’s.
And Craig Wright with his continuous efforts to claim it for himself ruins the whole idea, the very core of the concept of decentralization.
And this is why people in the crypto community do not seem to like him. Because he’s either lying, in which case, the answer is easy. People do not like liars. Or the alternative would be that he is really telling the truth. But that might be worse for the future of bitcoin and decentralization as a whole.
Of course, after reading this post you might be quick to judge Craig Wright (it certainly seems like we are, we know that.) But there’s really no substantial proof out there that would stand for Wright’s own words claiming to be Satoshi – at least as of yet.
There might be a day when some new pieces of information or details will come out and shed light on some of the things we’ve mentioned here. They might disprove our theories and opinions, or maybe they will disprove Craig Wright’s claims once and for all.
In the meantime, let’s all enjoy what Satoshi Nakamoto created for the crypto community – no matter who or where you are.