The Inventor Of Bitcoin Could Be An Australian

The identity of “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the pseudonym of the mysterious individual or group that created the concept of Bitcoin in late 2009, has been the subject of frenzied investigation by the currency’s enthusiasts and the tech press for years. It turns out that the shadowy figure behind the digital alternative currency may be from Australia, and living in Sydney.

UPDATE: The house belonging to Craig Wright in North Ryde has been raided by police, The Guardian reports.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock

This Australian Says He And His Dead Friend Invented Bitcoin

A month-long Gizmodo investigation into Dr Craig Wright and the late Dave Kleiman, an American computer forensics expert who died in 2013, has revealed that they were almost certainly involved in the creation of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency protocol. Wright, from North Ryde in Sydney, is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and serial entrepreneur.

Wired has gathered enough evidence to suggest that Wright is the cryptocurrency’s creator that it’s confident in naming him publicly; it’s not certain of its discovery, but it’s more than confident — pointing to blog posts made by Wright before the public unveiling of the Bitcoin protocol, as well as his apparent ownership of a 1.1 million bitcoin blockchain worth $605,000,000.

In the last weeks, WIRED has obtained the strongest evidence yet of Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity. The signs point to Craig Steven Wright, a man who never even made it onto any Nakamoto hunters’ public list of candidates, yet fits the cryptocurrency creator’s profile in nearly every detail. And despite a massive trove of evidence, we still can’t say with absolute certainty that the mystery is solved. But two possibilities outweigh all others: Either Wright invented bitcoin, or he’s a brilliant hoaxer…

Possibly the strongest evidence is a leaked email about an alleged tax dispute that Wright had with the Australian government, where the self-described “security nerd, economist and researcher” supposedly suggests using Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity to reach out to then-New South Wales senator Arthur Sinodinos: “Would our Japanese friend have weight coming out of retirement?”

Wright lists DeMorgan Ltd in his Twitter profile, a company “focused on alternative currency” with “several Bitcoin based research projects”. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission proposed to deregister DeMorgan in June 2014 after its initial registration in January to an address in North Ryde in Sydney’s northwest. The company’s ABN, registered to an address in Wauchope near Port Macquarie and previously trading as “Vin De La Terre”, was cancelled in late October this year.

Wright is also the founder and CEO of Cloudcroft, an Australian supercomputing firm whose Tulip Trading C01N is currently ranked at #17 in the supercomputing world’s Top 500 list. Here’s a video where Dr Wright introduces Cloudcroft and C01N, a high-performance computing cluster designed for finance and apparently built in North Ryde in partnership with SGI, with 115,200 CPU cores and 146TB of main memory. Gizmodo has contacted SGI to confirm this information. Gizmodo Australia has also reached out to Dr Wright for comment.

Questions, comments, tips? You can find me on Twitter at @csimps0n.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.