I’m conflicted. Craig Wright has unveiled himself as the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. Something about this story just doesn’t sit right with me.
I can’t work out whether I just don’t want it to be true, or whether something genuinely doesn’t add up. Gavin Andresen is far more informed than me, and has been in contact with both Satoshi and Wright – that he is convinced of Wright’s authenticity should be enough to satisfy me.
I don’t know what my vision of Satoshi Nakamoto is, I just know that Craig Wright is not my Satoshi. It’s easy to get carried away and forget that whoever created Bitcoin is almost certainly a fallible human being who can never live up to the weight of expectations that have been projected upon them.
There’s a difference between being fallible however, and just dodgy. Some things about Wright’s story strike me as the latter. He claims to own the world’s 17th most powerful supercomputer, but there is no evidence of this and the manufacturer denies selling it to him. He also faked having a PHD on his LinkedIn profile and is having his tax affairs scrutinised in Australia.
He’s publicly declaring himself as Satoshi Nakamoto to end speculation… while making it incredibly difficult to independently verify his claim, under the convenient excuse that he likes “being difficult”. When Wright demonstrated his proof to journalists, it is not impossible that he altered the software to give the appearance of validating something that is actually invalid. This is why independent verification is important, something that my Satoshi would have valued.
The problem is, I don’t know what standard of proof I require. Even if Wright demonstrated possession of private keys known to be held by Satoshi that I could verify for myself, I’d still want to know the role of others who ‘helped’ him create Bitcoin, notably Hal Finney and Dave Kleiman who are now sadly deceased and unable to confirm his version of events. Perhaps I like the mystery so much I’d perform the mental gymnastics required to, in my mind at least, keep it alive.
I may well come around to the idea that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, and if I can let go of my doubts, I want to give Wright the credit he deserves and celebrate his gift. Until then I remain sceptical and, quite possibly, unreasonable.
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