The question of Satoshi Nakamoto is fascinating; over the years, many people have wracked their brains thinking about who it could be.
This week, the YouTube channel Across The Rubicon released a video summarizing why Australian computer scientist and polymath Dr. Craig Wright is likely Satoshi Nakamoto.
While there were some errors at the end of the video, which I’ll address when we get there, let’s begin with the said reasons why Dr. Wright is most likely Nakamoto in the hosts’ view.
Why Craig Wright is likely Satoshi Nakamoto
The host presents evidence along three lines for why he believes Dr. Wright is most likely Bitcoin’s inventor known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
1. Dr. Wright’s talent and qualifications
At CoinGeek, we’ve been talking about how Dr. Wright is uniquely qualified to have created Bitcoin and about his in-depth knowledge of it for a long time.
“Wright is the most decorated cybersecurity and computer forensics specialist of all time,” Across The Rubicon host begins. He lists his qualifications which are visible on the GIAC website and notes how long it took to obtain this knowledge. He also has two PHDs and 27 university degrees in all, he states.
As for formal qualifications, Dr. Wright has a long history of working at the cutting edge of technology. The host outlines some of this; he started at Kmart, later Dr. Wright designed the architecture for the first online casino in the ’90s, played a key role in setting up the mobile telecom network in Australia, and worked in cybersecurity for the Australian Securities Exchange. He then worked in an auditing capacity for BDO, where he handled a job for Centrebet that would lead him to Stefan Matthews.
2. The intellectual property Dr. Wright owns and his in-depth knowledge
Dr. Wright has stated that he wants to beat Thomas Edison’s record for filing patents. The host notes that his “insane” patent portfolio, combined with his breadth of knowledge—virtually unmatched on earth —are compelling reasons to think he may be Nakamoto.
For example, Dr. Wright owns the copyright for the original Bitcoin database and the white paper. On top of this, he has the largest library of blockchain patents, including one on complete on-chain NFTs.
Aside from his patents and intellectual property, Dr. Wright has the most impressive knowledge of Bitcoin. As well as over 50 hours of in-depth material explaining how Bitcoin works, Dr. Wright has given explanations on things like Bitcoin’s Turing Completeness that left so-called experts such as Nick Szabo stumped.
3. The social proof backing Dr. Wright’s claims
Many people wonder why Dr. Wright doesn’t just move some Satoshi coins or provide the private keys that only Satoshi would have to settle this once and for all. Aside from Dr. Wright’s repeated objections to the notion that this would prove anything conclusively, the host says clearly “he did,” and he also provided some compelling social proof, too.
What is he referring to? In 2016, Dr. Wright met Gavin Andresen, who Satoshi handed the Bitcoin project over to when he stepped back in 2011 at a hotel in London. In what is now known as one of the ‘proof sessions,’ he signed early blocks of Andreden’s choosing with Nakamoto’s private keys, convincing him beyond a reasonable doubt that he is Bitcoin’s inventor.
Yet, that wasn’t all the proof he gave Andresen. Dr. Wright also discussed things with Andresen that only Nakamoto could have known. The two had talked privately many times about Bitcoin, and in person, Dr. Wright picked up on and continued some of the things they had discussed. How could he have known what Andresen and Nakamoto discussed privately if he was not the man behind the pseudonym?
What other social proof is there? The host points out that Nakamoto used English associated with the commonwealth as opposed to U.S. English. For example, spelling words like ‘honour’ and ‘specialise’ are common in Australia, where Dr. Wright is from, as is the tendency to use words like ‘bloody’ and ‘snags,’ which Nakamoto did.
We can also look at the Bitcoin code itself. It was programmed in a language called Forth, which Dr. Wright is known to have specialized in. Nakamoto also coded a poker client into the original Bitcoin, which is one heck of a coincidence, given that Dr. Wright was involved in the online gambling industry early on.
Nakamoto had intervened before to rule out some people, such as Dorian Nakamoto, as being him when the press concluded he was. However, he has not done this regarding Dr. Wright, who has been vocally claiming to have invented Bitcoin for some time now, even taking the issue to court to prove it. Why isn’t Dr. Wright worried that Nakamoto might expose him, given the fact he has intervened before?
Lastly, in 2007, when working at BDO, Dr. Wright pitched the idea for Bitcoin to his boss Alan Granger. He called it something else back then, but the idea was a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Furthermore, Dr. Wright is adamant that Bitcoin should be run to the original specs outlined by Nakamoto in his whitepaper.
Reasons why Dr. Wright may not be Satoshi Nakamoto
The host finishes off the video with a couple of reasons why some people believe Dr. Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto. As is usually the case, there are some mistakes and logical leaps in this part of the video.
First, the host says Dr. Wright admits to falsifying records and backdating blog posts. Even if these things are true, they do not prove that Dr. Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto. He does not have to be a perfect person or saint to have been Bitcoin’s inventor. None of this undoes the vast evidence suggesting he is Bitcoin’s inventor. It should also be noted that Dr. Wright has provided evidence in court that his computer systems were hacked and documents were tampered with, denying that he changed them.
Second, the host points to a list of Bitcoin addresses Dr. Wright submitted to the court, claiming they were his. Some of these addresses subsequently printed messages to the blockchain claiming that they do not belong to him and that he is a fraud. However, this list, known as the ‘Shadders list,’ was algorithmically generated and was an estimation. A subsequent list of addresses was submitted under oath after being verified, and none of the addresses have printed such messages.
Overall, this video was well-researched, but it only scratches the surface. There’s much more evidence that Dr. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto. You can begin learning more about his thoughts on and understanding Bitcoin on his blog.
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.