The Economist: ‘Craig Steven Wright Claims to Be Satoshi Nakamoto. Is He?’

The Economist:

This mystery may finally be solved: Craig Steven Wright — a 45-year-old Australian computer scientist and inventor who was outed against his will and with dubious evidence as Mr Nakamoto in December last year — now claims he is the real Satoshi. On May 2nd he published a blog post offering what he says is cryptographic proof that he is indeed the creator of bitcoin.

It’s an intriguing mystery, but I’d heavily emphasize the may in “may be solved”. Wright’s story still seems fishy to me.

Still, questions remain. Mr Wright does not want to make public the proof for block 1, arguing that block 9 contains the only bitcoin address that is clearly linked to Mr Nakamoto (because he sent money to Hal Finney). Repeating the procedure for other blocks, he says, would not add more certainty. He also says he can’t send any bitcoin because they are now owned by a trust. And he rejected the idea of having The Economist send him another text to sign as proof that he actually possesses these private keys, rather than simply being the first to publish a proof which was generated at some point in the past by somebody else. Either people believe him now — or they don’t, he says. “I’m not going to keep jumping through hoops.”

Such statements will feed doubts.

I don’t understand why Wright won’t sign another text, provided by The Economist. And there’s still no explanation for the backdated GPG key that was exposed last year. The backdated key doesn’t prove anything conclusively, but it sure is suspicious.

Update: Security researcher Dan Kaminsky cries foul:

Yes, this is a scam. Not maybe. Not possibly.

Update 2: The Economist is now backpedaling.

Monday, 2 May 2016