Craig Wright

Craig Wright talks about Bitcoin’s true purpose on the Building Blocks Podcast

nChain Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright recently joined Gregory S. Bledsoe on the Building Blocks podcast. For two hours, the pair discussed everything from the true purpose of Bitcoin to Dr. Wright’s reaction when he was outed as Satoshi Nakamoto, to “coins will move,” and more. Listen to the podcast or read our summary below.

Who is Gregory S. Bledsoe?

Bledsoe is an entrepreneur and the host of the Building Blocks Podcast. He opens by stating that he came to believe Dr. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto after hundreds of hours of diligent research. He says that, initially, the Wired and Gizmodo articles that doxed Dr. Wright did not convince him, but he became convinced over time.

Bledsoe clearly states his belief Bitcoin is the most significant innovation since the opening of the internet. “It’s another collaboration layer,” he says, noting that the internet changed the game regarding what was possible in terms of collaboration. He believes that Bitcoin exponentially lowers the barriers to entry again, making all types of hitherto unimagined collaborations possible.

What’s Bledsoe’s background in Bitcoin? He became aware of the white paper around 2011. Initially, he tried to mine without much success, but he kept following Bitcoin. Over time, he noticed that core developers were making changes he disagreed with, wrecking the incentive structure that made Bitcoin special. Giving up, he sold his coins and moved on. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he looked back into digital currencies and found Bitcoin SV. He was delighted to see that it was back to what he thought was interesting in the first place, leveling the playing field and taking out rent-seeking middlemen and gatekeepers.

Dr. Wright agrees that most people don’t understand the importance of the incentive structures in Bitcoin, reminding us that it’s a competitive economic system. He says that proof of work, signature verification, and scaling are all important; it’s the entire system working as one that matters.

Why did Dr. Wright decide to fold up the tent on the Satoshi pseudonym?

He answers that he “didn’t really.” In fact, he had the biggest Bitcoin company in the world as of 2013. He stepped back from posting as Satoshi due to personal problems (divorce) and legal issues with the Australian Tax Office (ATO). 

Elaborating on the legal issues, he explains how he put a research and development claim into the ATO in 2009, and they argued that it was a hobby that would never make any money. This ended up in court, and Dr. Wright ultimately won. However, the situation created lots of bad blood and cost him lots of precious time and resources.

On having Asperger’s Syndrome

Bledsoe talks about having ADHD and how that makes him different and not always able to meet the expectations of neurotypical people. He feels Dr. Wright is the ultimate example of taking neurodiversity and turning it into a superpower, enabling him to do something others simply could not do.

Dr. Wright agrees that it has its good side. He says he can sit and study for 10 hours straight while most people struggle to focus for three. He deeply values education and learning, so the hyperfocus he can muster can be a good thing in that context.

On being doxed by Wired and Gizmodo magazines

Most people know by now that Dr. Wright was doxed by two magazines simultaneously in 2015. Both Wired and Gizmodo claimed that he was likely Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin.

Dr. Wright remembers how, at the time, he neither confirmed nor denied being Nakamoto. He says the doxing turned his life into a circus and recalls how people were following him, taking pictures of him through windows, and generally invading his privacy. He says that he’s been living under scrutiny ever since and gets recognized a lot more these days. Going from being completely unknown to this has been challenging for him as he is a private person.

Dr. Wright has said many times that all he wanted was to step back, research, and create new things. He told Steffan Matthews this when starting nChain. However, he has learned that he has to lead and explain his vision, or people won’t understand it.

Eventually, Dr. Wright realized the media wouldn’t go away. He reluctantly admitted he invented Bitcoin and asked to be left alone. Eventually, he re-entered the industry, giving suggestions such as trying to convince people in 2017 that SegWit wasn’t a good way to go. He emphasizes that he didn’t try to use his authority as Nakamoto to make his points but instead tried to convince them not to change the rules using reason and by explaining the unintended consequences.

These days, he’s still against changes to the protocol because they create a different system. He says he has no problem with people making a new system (like Litecoin) as long as they don’t call it Bitcoin. He reminds us that the main reason the protocol should be set in stone is that it takes power away from everyone and distributes it equally.

Bitcoin is different from other so-called ‘cryptocurrencies’

Anyone who has listened to Dr. Wright extensively knows that he understands the history of previous attempts at creating digital cash well. He once again explains to Bledsoe and his audience how Bitcoin is different.

One of the main things that differentiate Bitcoin from other attempts is that it is traceable, Dr. Wright reminds us. He recalls how eCash and others could not be traced, and this is what ultimately broke them. Bitcoin, by contrast, is private but traceable through good old-fashioned intelligence, tracking people down, asking questions, and conducting investigations. This makes it private but not anonymous. If authorities want to focus on bad actors, they’ll have to put time and resources into it, leaving everyone else to get on with it.

“The Coin part is just the incentive structure that powers the Bit part,” Dr. Wright continues, explaining how it’s all integrated. He sees a world where people stuck on $1 a day because they can’t afford to open bank accounts will be able to multiply their earnings thanks to Bitcoin. In this way, it’s a tool for economic liberation. Bledsoe builds on this thought, reflecting on how trillions of dollars are locked out of the global economy because of the cost of doing business in the payment layer and how Bitcoin unlocks this.

Dr. Wright reminds us that he is building the platform but doesn’t care what people build. He says to create anything as long as it’s legal and reminds us that the Bitcoin script was to allow innovation in a properly decentralized way. BTC Core took this out, he tells us, and that gives them the power to change the protocol and break your product if they don’t like you. This can never be seen as a good thing, making their ‘decentralization‘ mantra hypocritical and false.

On ‘Coins will move’

Dr. Wright has said many times that coins will move. Bledsoe wants to clarify what he means by that. He asks if recent movements from early wallets were linked to Dr. Wright.

“Stop caring about other people’s money” is his only answer.

Final words for the BSV community

Bledsoe asks Dr. Wright if he has any words for the BSV community. He answers that we should stop speculating, quit thinking about how much money we can make through other people’s efforts, and consider what we can build for ourselves.

Watch: Dr. Craig Wright’s keynote speech: A Better Internet with IPv6 and BSV Blockchain at the BSV Global Blockchain Convention

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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