Ryan X. Charles

‘Craig Wright is obviously Satoshi Nakamoto’: Ryan X. Charles describes experiences with Bitcoin inventor


BSV developer Ryan X. Charles has reiterated his firm belief that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. In a short video posted as the Kleiman v Wright trial approaches its conclusion, Charles warned that “malicious actors” and disinformation campaigns in Bitcoin and the wider world are limiting what people understand about the world around them.

How it all began

Echoing sentiments expressed often in the wider BSV industry, Charles said his support for Dr. Wright and his vision “actually has come at great cost to me personally. I would have more money now if I had done things differently.”

He describes his experience discovering Bitcoin in early 2011, while working as a physicist. He then left his PhD studies in 2013 to work full time on Bitcoin projects.

Charles confessed (again, echoing others’ experiences) that he didn’t believe Dr. Wright’s Satoshi claims at first glance—following the December 2015 “doxxing” and WIRED/Gizmodo articles. It was instead in 2016, when Gavin Andresen, Ian Grigg and Jon Matonis revealed their convictions that Dr. Wright was telling the truth, that he began to pay more attention.

“From that day forward I started to take Craig seriously. If you know who (those three men) are, it mattered that they asserted that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. They are people that wouldn’t make a mistake about something like that.”

Even then, he gave Craig Wright’s claims “about 60%” probability, before meeting him in person later. In that time, he left a position at Reddit to found Yours.org and other Bitcoin-related projects, meeting Dr. Wright at the nChain offices.

At that time, he considered himself a Bitcoin expert with plenty of experience as a developer, but his first in-person conversation with Dr. Wright taught him three completely new things about Bitcoin—ones that seemed counter-intuitive to him at first.

Wright’s other speeches and statements reinforced the fact he has a knowledge of Bitcoin far deeper than anyone else. It’s an understanding only Bitcoin’s creator could have. Charles’ “Theory of Bitcoin” video series of 35 in-depth discussions with Dr. Wright starting around 2020 are examples of this and should be required viewing for anyone wanting to learn what Bitcoin can really do.

Disinformation and ‘DoS attacks on the mind’

It was Andresen’s attestation in particular that left an impact—though less because of who he was than the BTC developer group’s reaction to it. It was the first time, Charles said that he “realized there are malicious entities involved in Bitcoin and in cryptocurrency.”

For background: When Satoshi Nakamoto departed the Bitcoin project, he left Gavin Andresen as the steward and sole developer with commit access to the Bitcoin code repository. In the ensuing years, others gained similar access privileges.

However, on the very same day Andresen attested that Dr. Wright was Satoshi, strange things began to happen. Several social media accounts began posting that Andresen must have “been hacked,” and his repository commit access (on GitHub) was revoked. For the record, no-one produced any evidence that Andresen had been hacked then or since, and he has never claimed it himself.

This was soon followed by news articles where, as Charles said, headlines would appear to debunk Dr. Wright’s story, but the articles they fronted contained details that left the possibility wide open.

This tendency to read headlines only and not the details (and then pass judgment on them) is a noticeable trend in other news topics as well. This oversupply of information and propaganda leads people to like and share headlines that support their worldview and biases, leaving them generally mis- or uninformed on serious issues.

Referring to a malicious hacking technique that involves disabling internet servers by overloading them with useless data, Charles called it a “DoS attack on everyone’s minds.” Like the botnets used in these attacks, there’s a very low cost to creating multiple social media accounts and fake news sites, and flooding them with disinformation.

This opened the door to endless pump-and-dumps, criminals and scammers, and “blatant frauds” to populate the Bitcoin/blockchain space and promote their own narratives, often at Dr. Wright’s expense. There’s a false over-emphasis on Dr. Wright “signing with the key” despite the fact this would prove only that Dr. Wright has Satoshi’s keys, not that he’s actually Satoshi.

The way you know who people are in your life is you know them personally, Charles said. You accumulate information and personal experiences, and the amount you trust them is based on this accumulation. His own experiences have left him with no doubt at all that Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin may have caused both of them a lot of angst and turmoil in their lives, but Charles concluded that he looks forward to releasing his newest BSV projects—ones that utilize features like SPV that he came to understand only after his many hours spent learning from Craig Wright.

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