Bitcoin coin and question mark at white background, toned

The Wright strategy is the Satoshi strategy—Why doesn’t he just sign it?

This post originally appeared on ZeMing M. Gao’s website, and we republished with permission from the author. Read the full piece here.

If Craig Wright is Satoshi, why doesn’t he just sign it?

“Sign it” specifically refers to signing with a private key of a satoshi-address that is publicly known to belong to Satoshi, such as that in the first mined block (block-1, not block-0), or the block-9 involved in the famous ‘Satoshi-Finney transaction‘.

The question of signature has always ranked at the top in the inquiry of Satoshi identity. But it is only because that people are stuck with the following logic based on self-centered and erroneous assumptions:

As Wright is trying so painfully hard to prove that he is Satoshi, while he could easily prove it by publicly signing a message using the private key of one of the bitcoin addresses known to be Satoshi’s, it clearly proves that he does not own the Satoshi coins, and therefore is definitely not Satoshi.

But the above logic contains multiple erroneous assumptions that are detached from the reality in which Satoshi and Bitcoin live.

At the same time, Craig Wright has made it plenty clear he is not going to sign. He made it especially clear in his sworn testimony in the recent defamation case Granath v. Wright tried in a lower court of Norway.

For his and/or BSV supporters, it is frustrating.

For his opponents, Wright’s flat out refusing to sign, even claiming that he destroyed the hard disk containing the private keys and therefore made it incredibly difficult to sign even if he wants to, amounts to conclusive evidence that Wright is making a fraudulent claim.

What his opponents believe is essentially a conspiracy theory: Craig Wright colludes with all the witnesses and supporters in an epic attempt to trick the court and the public to allow him/them to steal Satoshi’s coins.

Like any outlandish conspiracy theory, there’s always a possibility of it being true. Everyone has a right to speculate, and most of us are probably susceptible to the influence of our own interests and likings in various degrees.

But the only intelligent way to estimate the probability of a hypothesis is to objectively use Bayesian method of estimating probability which considers all available evidence together with appropriate weights. This, however, is not emphasis of this article. Please see: Mathematical proof that Craig Wright is Satoshi.

Therefore, instead of calling others stupid, I simply offer my perspective to be considered as a factor in reader’s own Bayesian probability estimate.

The Wright motivation is the Satoshi motivation

A major misunderstanding of this matter is about Craig Wright’s motivation of refusing to perform a public signature but instead choosing a much harder way to prove his Satoshi identity using traditional witness and evidential methods through the legal system involving courts.

People simply don’t understand why he would do that, and what could have been a reasonable motivation for him to do that, except for a fraudulent claim.

The controversy is highlighted in Craig Wright’s own testimony and the cross examination in the recent defamation case Granath v. Wright tried in a lower court of Norway.

When asked the exact question why he would choose the more difficult court process instead of signing, Craig Wright testified:

If I do that [referring to the signing – note added], there will be it, no one will ever look into anything else. If I do that, no one will look into proving via my past, the patents I’m doing, the people I knew, the processes… As soon as I sign with the key, it’s over. The other side have already said, Jameson Lopp [for example] came out with ‘if Craig signs with the key, all it shows is that he stole it.’ He said that publicly. Not only them. They have already gone out there to discredit me. But no one, once I do this, will ever do the effort to put together 90 or 100 people, to put the past together… It’s a lot of work doing this. As soon as I do that [referring to the signing – note added], they will just go, it’s done. And I refuse to have them do the easy way out which doesn’t build identity properly and just goes down into what these ‘code is law’ people want to do, which is to say ‘courts don’t matter because we’ve got Bitcoin.’ – Dr. Craig S. Wright, testimony in Norwegian court.

I hope people, whether you believe Wright is Satoshi or not, at least give an honest and objective consideration to the following:

(1) the evidence that has already been presented by Wright (see below about the Norwegian court ruling); and

(2) his explanation of what motivates his strategy, which may sound strange and counterintuitive if you only think from your own perspective, but would make sense if you can somehow put yourself in Satoshi’s position.

(3) the concept of ‘difficulty’ is a complex one, often depending on one’s perspective, goal and value proposition. It is self-centeredness for a bystander to claim that it should be easy for Satoshi to sign, because it only estimates the difficulty in the bystander’s self-centered position. The bystander has nothing on his shoulder or heart like what is borne by Satoshi. What is technically easy may be emotionally, intellectually and even morally extremely hard.

Given the fact that Wright’s opponents mostly focus on ad hominem attacks on the person, it’s unlikely that they will take heed to such a request, but for anyone who is seeking to find out the truth of the matter, it is important to ask these questions.

If Satoshi himself wants a micropayment system that supports both the rule of law and privacy, will he not do what Wright is doing?

Please be honest with this question. My own conclusion is: certainly yes. See below for more detail.

But the problem is that, we as the world tend to be so much more ‘small minded’ than Satoshi is, and we presumptively think that Satoshi would be primarily motivated in proving that he is Satoshi, not realizing nor understanding that the real Satoshi does not think the way most people do.

He is not motivated in just proving that he is Satoshi. He is singularly focused on protecting his invention and proving the right way it should work. His Satoshi identity is a secondary matter to him. If he could, he would have chosen to maintain the pseudonymity.

But when the choice of pseudonymity is no longer available, and when he is forced to prove his Satoshi identity, he is only interested in proving it in a particular way, not the proof itself.

And that ‘particular way’ happens to be the traditional witness and evidence through the legal system.

And in this, he is astonishingly consistent. In fact, a lot of frustration and outrage manifested either in the courtroom or social media is really a reflection of his incredible insistence on something that they can’t accept. You may choose to reject the evidence he has presented, but you cannot say that he is inconsistent.

But he is also beyond being consistent. Craig Wright’s understanding of both the psychology and economics of human behavior is so far above that of an average person that his strategy often comes across as being ‘incredible’. It shows in the courtroom dialogues even.

Just realize how difficult an endeavor Wright is undertaking, in terms of reaching out to hundreds of people in his past as witnesses. Instead of jumping into your own opposing or even ridiculing conclusion, please think from Satoshi’s viewpoint.

If Satoshi wants to establish Bitcoin as a system that supports the rule of law, would he not agree that Wright’s strategy is the right one?

If you don’t see the answer is yes, you’re missing the reality of economic and psychological mechanisms of how human society works.

And Wright’s opponents clearly understand this. Don’t assume that they are simply ignorant. Those who made the system work for their purpose not only know what is at stake, but also understand the vulnerability of the system they have built. That’s why they are fighting the way they do.

So this is the key: if Satoshi wants to prove his system, he would be doing exactly what Craig Wright is doing.

The Wright strategy is the Satoshi strategy.

Here’s the reason: at this stage, if Satoshi does sign publicly without first proving the identity through the legal system, he might have gained confidence of a larger percentage of people in believing his Satoshi identity (but still not be able to destroy the entrenched belief system of the opposing side), but he would have lost his system.

This is because, once that’s done, no one will be motivated to do what Wright is doing now (note, here I am referring to what he’s doing to prove his Satoshi identity using traditional identity-proving venues in order to establish Bitcoin’s rule-of-law foundation, not what he’s doing in building Bitcoin, which is an entirely different matter).

Perhaps more important, even if Craig Wright himself would still persist in doing it, no one would care about it that much. Seeing the signature, more people may come to believe that Craig Wright is Satoshi, but the shift in the public sentiment about Craig the person would not save the real Bitcoin. In fact, the signature event would lend more credence to the ‘code is law’ belief which Craig Wright considers is one of the primary corruptions that have occurred to Bitcoin and also the subsequent crypto world.

In a word, if Satoshi did it in the wrong way by first signing it, the real Bitcoin would become a sacrifice to the ‘code is law’ cult. It would be the true tragedy for both Satoshi and the world which would have been derived of a useful system for micro-payment and beyond (see the New Internet and Blockchain), and left with a useless system of speculations about other people’s speculations (See BTC and BSV, what is the real difference?).

To understand this, one must also consider the history. If Satoshi had initially come out to prove his identity before the ‘code is law’ narrative took a grip on people’s mind, the above described difficulty would not exist. But that’s not what happened. The reality is that now both Satoshi and the world face this dilemma. In this, Satoshi himself may have to take some blame. It was he who chose to be pseudonymous in the first place. His choice created a myth, which may initially have protected him, but later evolved into something that is not only cultish, but also a perfect manipulable thing.

But if Satoshi is the kind of person who cares less about what others think of him but more about what his invention can do for people and the humanity, will he not be willingly engaging in the kind of battle that Craig Wright is engaging despite the regrets?

The man I know, Dr. Craig S. Wright, is exactly that kind of a person. I believed him when he said to me in a private correspondence: “I just want to serve.” An honorable soul, knowing that he is taking a path on which only suffering is guaranteed.

Didn’t the Norwegian court reject Craig Wright’s evidence?

The Oslo District Court has ruled that Magnus Granath’s Twitter campaign against Dr. Craig Wright did not amount to unlawful defamation in Norway.

But avoid jumping to easy conclusions from this court decision. If you are a hard-core supporter of anti-Wright campaign, you have a reason to celebrate for the time being at least. But if your real interest is not the defamation case itself but the truth, please note the following critical distinctions.

In the particular suit, when it comes to Wright’s Satoshi identity, the two parties are at asymmetrical positions:

Wright must prove to the court that he is Satoshi in order to win the case (and that only being a necessary requirement, and not even a sufficient one, because Wright still must prove what Granath did was defamatory in light of the evidence presented);

Granath did not need to prove that Wright is not Satoshi in order to win, but just needed to prove what he did was not unlawful (if Granath could prove Wright was indeed not Satoshi, he would have a solid truth-defense, but the truth-defense in this case is a sufficient defense but not a necessary one, and Granath chose not to amount a straight truth defense, evidently wisely).

That is just how the case is set up. The key issue is defamation. One does not commit defamation just because what he said subsequently turned out to be untrue. In some jurisdictions, if one’s statement had some reasonable basis at the time of making, it would not be defamatory even if the statement turns out to be untrue.

The judge of the Norwegian court took the contemporary social media views (existed at the time when Granath made the statements alleged to be defamatory) as the requisite ‘reasonable basis’. Whether the judge has committed a legal error will need to be determined in an appeal, but regardless of the final result of this case, it would be an error to infer that the Norwegian court found Craig Wright was not Satoshi. All the judge concluded was this: what Granath did then did not amount to unlawful defamation according to the Norwegian law. Nothing else.

Granath v. Wright is not over. There could be an appeal in Norway. Even if Wright loses the appeal, the conclusion would still just be that Granath’s Twitter campaign against Wright did not amount to unlawful defamation in Norway in the light of contemporarily available evidence at the time of the occurrence.

In addition, for Craig Wright, there main case is the parallel defamation case in the United Kingdom, which is set to be heard next year.

Should he ever sign?

However, the above is not to argue that Wright should never sign. Ideally for Craig Wright, as well as for the Bitcoin community, he should eventually choose to sign after the objective of establishing Bitcoin as a system for rule of law has been accomplished. That way, the signature would work not as a ‘corner stone’ of the system, but rather a ‘capstone’ as a thing to be beheld, or at least a pillar at the gate as a testimony.

But what if the legal system does not yield an ideal conclusion? What if the result is an ambiguous one, with mixed conclusions in a courtroom and accompanied with mixed reactions and perceptions by the public?

I personally believe in that case, Craig Wright should be prepared for a certain degree of compromise by willing to sign at a point when not signing would clearly result in a less favorable situation for the genuine Bitcoin.

Other related matters

In relation to the signature, the following are also relevant:

(1) he did sign it, multiple times, but only privately for key witnesses and partners, not publicly;

(2) Vitalik Buterin’s ‘signaling theory’ was false;

(3) people confuse ‘missing evidence to prove a positive fact’ (Wright hasn’t publicly signed to prove that he is Satoshi) with ‘having evidence to prove the negative fact’ (therefore it proves that he is not Satoshi);

(4) Wright’s inability to handle people relations with necessary ambiguity (largely as a result of his Asperger’s condition) has made things far more difficult than it was necessary (for example, as evidenced with his BBC debacle in which, although BBC’s team and the main reporter were clearly biased and even dishonest, they were not set to intentionally discredit him, and therefore the relationship could have gone better and more remedial).

(5) people’s susceptibility to biased emotions and personal interest, and failure to considers all available evidence together with appropriate weights using Bayesian method for estimating probabilities. Please see: Mathematical proof that Craig Wright is Satoshi.

Below are additional analyses related to the above matters. The analyses were previously discussed but are still valid today.

Why doesn’t he just sign?

A short answer is that he is not allowed to freely use those private keys, because all coins had been put into a series of trust accounts (the Trust), and using the keys by him for such personal reasons would violate the terms of the Trust.

In fact, he is not supposed to have access to such keys at all, but whether that is the actual case is unclear.

What made things more complicated is that he had previously claimed that he was going to sign publicly, only to rescind the offer later. That all happened publicly. This of course became the “proof” that he is not Satoshi, and in fact also the “proof” that he is a fraud, to his enemies and those who did not want to believe his claim at least.

What really happened, however, was that he initially thought he was going to make a compromise with the Trust in exchange for a greater benefit of proving himself to the world, but only to learn later that the negative consequence would far outweigh the perceived benefit. He realized that, not only would the consequence be far more serious than he had thought, but also the benefit was far less valuable than what he had perceived. He didn’t realize this until after he had made the promise publicly and had subsequent deliberations over the matter.

For further detail concerning the Trust and the related lawsuit, please read the later sections of this article.

A bit more background:

First off, he did sign it, on multiple occasions, but only privately.

Individuals no less than Gavin Andresen and Stefan Matthews have not only witnessed it but also personally and publicly testified for it.

Gavin Andresen, in particular, witnessed the signing with a highly contesting and purposeful mindset as he knew what was at stake. After witnessing the first signature, he even went on to request an even more stringent condition for signing. After Wright rejected the idea of signing on Andresen’s own laptop computer for privacy and security reasons, a second signature was done using a completely new laptop computer bought at a store on that day, on the spot, delivered in manufacturer-sealed condition to Andresen. Andresen was completely satisfied and publicly testified for Wright being Satoshi.

It should also be noted that Andresen’s case carries an exceptional amount of weight, and his conviction had a strong additional support. Andresen was arguably the most important individual in the Bitcoin development community other than Satoshi himself. He was the lead Bitcoin developer in the earliest years of Bitcoin and also the founder of Bitcoin Foundation. While Satoshi was anonymous, the two men had extensive private interactions and communications. To prove to Andresen, Wright provided him numerous pieces of unique and important historical knowledge of the Satoshi-Andresen interaction during the early days of Bitcoin, the kind of knowledge that Andresen was completely certain that only Satoshi would have. This is more important than a signature (See below Comment 5 — Unique knowledge as evidence).

Andresen not only gave public testimonies that he was convinced that Wright was Satoshi, but also subsequently testified for the same under oath in a legal deposition, which was presented to the court.

While Andresen himself later expressed dismay over Wright’s failure to provide signature proof publicly, he never retracted his testimony. The crypto community completely distorted his expression of dismay to mislead people into believing that Andresen had retracted his testimony. The straight and verifiable fact is that he never did. Only people who superficially follow propaganda believe or are under an impression that he did.

For reasons quite understandable given the extreme adversarial and oppressive anti-Wright environment that formed subsequently, Andresen has chosen to keep a low-key.

Despite all the evidence, those who take a presumptive position that Wright could not be Satoshi have found it not difficult to imagine reasons to doubt or discredit these private signatures. They therefore demand some kind of a public signing.

So for them, the question really is, why doesn’t Wright sign again, publicly, and upon demand?

Note that people who ask this question are usually not making an inquiry, but rather rhetorical.

The Signaling Theory

Vitalik Buterin even elevates the matter to a rather absolute conclusion according to signaling theory. According to Buterin, the true Bitcoin creator could have chosen a clear and obvious way to show his identity, “instead he’s taken this path where he … tries to only show that signature to a few select people and we’re supposed to trust them.” “In general, signaling theory says that if you have a good way of proving something and a noisy way of proving something, and you choose the noisy way, that means chances are it’s because you couldn’t do the good way in the first place.” Buterin said.

The suggested “good way” of proving is to use the private key of an address known to belong to Satoshi to sign a message publicly. Because it is commonly accepted knowledge that there are identifiable addresses in the Bitcoin Genesis block that certainly belong to Satoshi, anyone who claims to be Satoshi would have access to the private keys of these addresses, and may use any of them to prove his identity by either signing a message or making a payment.

I must admit, the fact that Craig Wright has not publicly used the private key of an address known to belong to Satoshi is the biggest source of lingering doubt. However, Buterin’s argument (which has since had an extremely large influence and following) is based on flawed logic.

First of all, he incorrectly assumes that Craig Wright has made it his GOAL to prove to the public that he is Satoshi, and therefore should naturally pursue a clean path of signaling at all costs. The truth is that Wright initially tried very hard to hide his identity, and only came to admit it publicly when he was outed. Although he has subsequently even come to publicly assert that he is Satoshi in contexts where there is clearly such a need for him to say so, all this is different from playing a game of a single purpose: to prove that he is Satoshi.

That is not the game Craig Wright is in.

Wright has repeatedly said that he has no obligation to the general public to prove that he is Satoshi. Although he has been forced to acknowledge that he is Satoshi, he says he doesn’t care if others believe him or not. You will have to look at the entire history, his personality, and his public showing, to understand (or sympathize) why he has that attitude. He kept it as a secret until 2015, when he was doxed. Even with the public lawsuits, he of course earnestly defends his work and reputation, but this is different from actively promoting an identity. He finds himself in a very complex situation, part of that is a conflict between his own interests. On the one hand, he wants to promote the Bitcoin that he believes in (BSV), but on the other hand, regardless of what he claims, it is against his financial interests to crash BTC price because over 90% of his wealth is in BTC.

Now, Craig Wright has a way of expressing these things that never fails to annoy people. But like him or not, you must admit that he’s perfectly logical, if you at least understand what his position and motivation are.

Second, Buterin talks about “signaling theory” in pure abstract, failing to consider the true “cost” to the one who signals.

All signaling has a cost. Speaking of the “noise” of a signal is looking at it from the recipient point of view only. The one who signals has his own cost to consider. If a signal that may be clear and may have less noise to the recipient is too costly to the sender, to the extent that it would overweigh the benefit to the sender, the sender will not choose that signaling path.

In the case of Craig Wright, being coerced to sign would be highly costly. And being a proud man that he is, once he has chosen not to, it becomes more and more costly to backtrack later.

It isn’t just that Craig Wright doesn’t consider publicly proving he is Satoshi an important goal, but more importantly also because he has a principled belief in the proper way identity and ownership SHOULD be proved. This is not merely an idealistic stance, but has fundamental value to what he believes Bitcoin as a system is. Compliance with the legal standard of identity and ownership, especially under common-law systems, is now an extremely important distinction between BSV and BTC (and most other digital currencies).

In addition, Wright has put all Satoshi coins into a quite sophisticated trust structure, in which he as the trustor deliberately gave up access (actual possession) to the coins. He did it for many reasons, personal safety being one of them. (And the public, including the judge of the Florida court, finds it incredible.) This also significantly increases the cost of the signaling path for him. And if you understand the legal construct and the purpose of a trust, you will see that is actually the point of having a trust in the first place.

At the same time, because he does not make it a primary goal to prove to others that he is Satoshi, he receives relatively less benefit from doing that.

In summary, the supposedly less noisy signal is too costly for Craig Wright to use and therefore he chooses not to use it, at least for the time being. Therefore, his decision not to do it for the time being is also perfectly logical.

Now with a pending lawsuit in which an adversarial party is claiming partial ownership of his property, why would the public expect him to eagerly come out to prove such ownership? To just satisfy a public curiosity?

Again, I’m not completely on the side of Craig Wright on this point yet. I will wait for additional forthcoming clarification.

But the fact that the public has generally accepted Buterin’s flawed logic is a tragedy.

Besides, Buterin is not stupid. His forcible assertion of a flawed logic is really a result of his self-interest in this matter.

The Satoshi strategy

My conclusion is that, if I were Craig Wright, I too wouldn’t sign it publicly until I have proven that legal ownership of bitcoin is more than just possession of a key.

There are three chief reasons.

First, Craig Wright has got more than 100,000 BTC coins (which are separate from the 1.1 million Satoshi coins) stolen from him, and the only way to get them back is to prove that legal ownership of the coins as an asset trumps possession of a key. Wright is in fact actively pursuing this route to recover the stolen bitcoins through a pending lawsuit[1]. That alone is billions of dollars at stake.

Second, more importantly in principle and greater scheme of things, Wright wants to prove that only the original Bitcoin complies with the law because it has both traceability and enforceability of property laws, that means his coins held in the Tulip Trust may only move according to the law.

Third, although there is an acute need to vindicate himself personally, that is not the most important thing. For safety reasons, Wright didn’t even want to be outed as Satoshi initially. He was doxed. If others don’t understand him, he himself knows that his endgame is not to prove he is Satoshi but to prove he is right about Bitcoin and how it will change the world for the better according to his own vision.

Therefore, his publicly signing under pressure just to prove his identity would be self-defeating. It would seriously undermine not only his multibillion-dollar lawsuit, but also the very principle about Bitcoin he tries to prove. Signing on demand by others only shows to the world all that matters is indeed the possession of a key, not the legal ownership, exactly what Bitcoin’s enemy claims, and contrary to what Craig Wright wants to prove. In addition, it also violates basic sense of personal rights, as Wright owes no obligation to those who demand him to sign.

“Sign it!” is a trap designed by Wright’s enemy. Signing under pressure just to prove an identity to an enemy is also to succumb to the cult of tech worship, which today manifests itself in the absolute authority of a digital signature, but tomorrow may manifest itself in something else.

In fact, considering the above, if I were Craig Wright, I wouldn’t have promised to sign it publicly in the first place, which he foolishly did. But I’m talking about this with the benefit of hindsight. Craig Wright had to do it under an enormous amount of pressure with limited foresight, and he nevertheless realized his mistake quickly.

On the other hand, if I were Craig Wright, I will sign it after the legal ownership issue has been settled. That would establish the right order of things.

Why did someone else sign against him?

Like in many cases, a simple headline does not tell the real story, but only creates a misleading impression that is factually wrong.

False impression 1: Someone signed from Satoshi addresses to prove that Wright was not Satoshi. Further, many clearly extrapolate from here to assume that the real Satoshi has signed to rebuke Wright.

The fact: Those addresses signed by others are not among the special addresses that are publicly known to be Satoshi’s. Yes, they are found to be among the tens of thousands of addresses submitted by Wright to the court, but that is a different concept. The publicly known Satoshi addresses are a subset of the list of addresses Wright submitted to the court. In the court, the matter was not about Satoshi identity, but about Wright’s bitcoin ownership. Wright naturally submitted all addresses that he assumed to be owned by his Tulip Trust, and those addresses constituted a larger set.

Given the large size of the submitted set which included tens of thousands of addresses, how does the fact that somebody else signed from a small percentage (less than 1%) of those addresses constitute a dispositive proof that Wright was not Satoshi? This is a logical fallacy. It may be considered as a factor among many in a probabilistic determination, but violates the logic and the law of probability to consider it alone to be determinative to the whole question. See Mathematical proof that Craig S. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright can be Satoshi, and there can be many reasons why someone else has access to some of the addresses submitted to the court. Those addresses either do not belong to Wright but were included mistakenly, or they do belong to him but somehow the access to those keys was compromised.

Besides, the court only cared about ownership, not the key access. Why didn’t Wright’s opponents go to the court to tell the judge that Wright didn’t own those bitcoins and therefore should not be subject to the Kleiman lawsuit?

Therefore, think about what the signature event has proven. Firstly, just because someone signed using some of the submitted addresses doesn’t mean the person has signed using the addresses publicly known to be Satoshi’s. Secondly, even if someone did sign from some of the Satoshi addresses, it only casts a doubt on Wright’s Satoshi identity, but does not constitute a dispositive proof that he is not. All evidence should be considered together to estimate the probability of a certain hypothesis using a proper mathematical model. See Mathematical proof that Craig S. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.

False impression 2: Craig Wright was bragging about owning Satoshi addresses, but got a slap on face when somebody else signed from those addresses.

The fact: Craig Wright was ordered by the court to make an exhaustive list of all bitcoin addresses he owned. In an attempt to comply with the court order, he made a long exhaustive list of tens of thousands addresses, of which a small percentage (less than 1%) turned out questionable because somebody else appeared to have the private keys of those addresses (but the true ownership of the bitcoin in those addresses is undetermined).

You see how far the false impressions created by the media and propaganda are from the facts.

About someone else signing against Craig Wright, I also wrote about it in section “controversies and biases” in the article: Why I believe Craig Wright is most likely Satoshi.

A simple point worth repeating is that there were tens of thousands of addresses involved, and Wright was ordered by the court to provide a complete list of addresses. Given the circumstance, it is understandable that he would choose to err on the conservative side and include all addresses believed to be owned by him.

That someone else appears to have the private keys to a small percentage of all tens of thousands of addresses submitted isn’t shockingly unusual. It could be a result of mistakenly including some addresses that do not or no longer belong to him, or addresses that were legitimately included because they did belong to him, only with their keys stolen without the owner’s knowledge. Or it could be some other unidentified reason.

A small percentage of all tens of thousands of addresses turning out that way is not an unusual thing to happen. It has its own weight as evidence, but does not carry a weight anywhere close to the kind that conclusively proves Wright is not Satoshi, especially given the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Strangely, that is exactly how his opponents are ascribing to it, with strangely high level of conviction—so high that they’re willing to ignore all other counter evidence. Even a narrowminded fixation on the digital keys can’t explain it fully. There must be another strong force that drives it. Some people simply cannot accept Wright’s Satoshi identity irrespective of the evidence. It shows not only here but in all other related cases. See, for example, The defamation case Wright v. McCormack is telling.

Alleged lies and inconsistencies

Concerning the lying and inconsistencies, they carry even less weight.

First, it is not a valid argument, because it is purely ad hominem attacks on the person, rather than logical reasoning.

Second, the thought of a live person evolves as he deepens and broadens his understanding. Sometimes even if the person’s thought has never changed, his wording can still change due to changes of context and even changes of the very definition of the words and phrases. Find a person in this world who has 100% literal consistency in everything he’s said over 14 years! In fact, Wright is exceptional even in this respect. I could hardly find a person more consistent than Wright is even if the inconsistencies he allegedly committed were all true.

Third, the accused inconsistencies are quoted out of context and have little or no relevance.

Fourth, many of them are no more verifiable than the opposite claims regardless of the relevance.

An intelligent person’s thinking is a system as well as a process, and is far more important than mechanical matches of words spoken. In this regard, Wright is simply exceptional. Both the overall picture and the deep insights plus surprising nuances about Bitcoin in his recent publications (including patents, articles, and forum posts) are amazingly consistent with what Satoshi described in the whitepaper and early Bitcoin communications. Measured by either the depth or the consistency, there isn’t a single person who comes even remotely close to it.

Finally, put this in perspective: The task is to prove or disprove Wright invented Bitcoin, not that he is a perfect saint, nor whether he fits the image of the Satoshi persona according to what you and I had imagined.

Treat Satoshi identity as a probabilistic matter

If you are a firsthand witness, you can probably say, “I know” with near certainty. And the closer you are to a firsthand witness, the more certain you are.

Even for people who are not a firsthand witness, evidence must be properly weighed according to the distance to a firsthand witness. Not everything carries the same weight as evidence.

Furthermore, once you are moved away from firsthand witnesses, everything becomes a probabilistic matter, and you must evaluate all things together accordingly.

There is always contrary evidence to any proof. For one who starts with a preconceived conclusion, you will almost always find something to support your conclusion, but you may be far off the truth because you have hung yourself on isolated pieces of information or even just a sentiment.

For important public matters like the identity of Satoshi, the inventor of Bitcoin, the public should treat every independent element of evidence as a factor, put all evidence together according to a probabilistic determination, and evaluate the probability mathematically.

Everything is connected, increasingly so. It is time to be done with the mentality of seeing things in mechanically isolated pieces and expecting an absolute proof to separately come out from each piece, and learn to evaluate all available evidence holistically with a proper probabilistic model.

Therefore, put everything together, reach your conclusion. Don’t be fooled by dishonest and manipulative assertions and presentations in the media.

Many things are probabilistic in nature, and few can be proven with 100% certainty, especially complex matters. A mathematical probabilistic determination is the only reliable way to appraise such complex matters. See Mathematical proof that Craig Wright is Satoshi.

I’ve weighed the evidence I could discover and reached my conclusion. But I cannot speak for others.

See for example:

Mathematical proof that Craig Wright is Satoshi

Why I believe Craig Wright is most likely Satoshi

Watch Granath vs Wright Satoshi Norway Trial Coverage Livestream Recaps on the CoinGeek YouTube channel.


Note [1]: The case is quite unique in that although the thief stole the keys placed in a digital safe box, so far they have not been able to access those keys. The safe box was created by Wright himself using a rather elaborate scheme. It is unlikely that the thief will be able to break into the box anytime soon. But because the digital safe box is stolen, Wright himself can’t access those keys either. In the lawsuit, Wright tries to provide clear evidence that he is the owner of the related addresses, and asks the court to move the coins to another address without keys. The case is not only about the underlying asset itself, but also a matter of principle that Wright wants to prove. See Digital assets are subject to property laws. Also see the above discussion in the article.

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