Seeing that I propound to others the idea of Craig Wright being Satoshi, the inventor of Bitcoin, my friends in the professional circle who happen to be acquainted with Bitcoin and digital currency think I’ve been sadly deceived. Out of good intentions, they’d send me the Internet “evidence” to help me recover, not knowing that I am fully aware of everything they quote and know much more beyond that.
The typical evidence is a report about Gavin Andresen “regretting” for publicly acknowledging Craig Wright being Satoshi. And the report would miss not only the whole picture but the very essence of Gavin Andresen story. Given who controls the source of the report, it is not surprising. The quotes in the report may be real, as Gavin did say some of those things. But they would be out of context and completely misconstrued, all under a highly misleading headline.
Gavin Andresen was the lead Bitcoin developer and maintainer in the early Bitcoin years and was picked by Satoshi himself to take charge of the Bitcoin project when he chose to “disappear.” In 2016, Gavin was attacked almost unanimously by the BTC world immediately after he publicly testified that Craig Wright was Satoshi. His commit access to Bitcoin Core on GitHub was revoked and other Bitcoin management accounts locked by other Core developers under the pretense that Gavin must have been hacked (of course he was not, and it became clear he was not when he spoke again, but he was permanently exiled because he was considered “dangerous” to the BTC world).
Under pressure and being an intelligent and cautious man that he is, Gavin hedged for himself on an intellectual basis. He did it once, and then became silent in public.
Gavin was upset about Craig’s failing to fulfill his promise to publicly sign after their private signing episode. It was about Craig’s changing his mind on providing a public proof, and then posting an apology with a seemingly irrelevant essay instead (which Gavin called a “gobbledygook proof” and said he was “bamboozled” by it — but this was about the public proof that did not happen, not about the private signature session itself, another point of confusion). I would say that Gavin’s way of thinking is a bit self-centered and misses the greater picture, but I cannot blame him because I’m not sure if I would have done better than him in the same circumstance.
For an explanation of why Craig changed his mind, see Why I Believe Craig Wright is Most Likely Satoshi.
What is important, however, is that in his testimony under oath, Gavin essentially said that although he was upset about that, he still believed that Craig Wright more likely than not had used a Satoshi key to sign in the private session. He clearly continues to believe that Craig had most likely proven himself to be Satoshi, even though he continues to include an intellectual hedge, characteristic of a cautious person who is almost certain about something but couldn’t be 100% sure while at the same time sees no specific reason for doubt.
This is in the court records, but no one in the general digital currency world reports it properly. But they have failed to report the entire case properly and honestly, so there’s no surprise there.
Gavin did not rely solely on the private signature session, and even said that “[t]here are places in the private proving session where I could have been fooled.” But he said it on a theoretical and intellectual basis. He absolutely didn’t say nor mean that he was actually fooled.
And of course it is possible that he was fooled. It is precisely the point that Craig Wright himself has been emphatically making that a cryptographical signature alone cannot be an absolute proof of ownership.
The private signature session with Gavin, however, is nonetheless very strong evidence because it happened under a very highly controlled environment. Gavin knows it, and he has never denied it.
Gavin’s conviction was more heavily built on his lengthy and careful interrogative conversation with Craig about past communicational details between Satoshi and Gavin that only Satoshi himself would have known, and these details include not only personal nuances and historical nuances, but also very deep technical nuances.
Gavin Andresen’s testimony was only a small part of the evidence. Collectively, there is simply too much evidence supporting Craig and too little evidence supporting anyone else.
I think at this point, it is mathematically absurd to deny that Craig Wright is Satoshi.
For anyone to still deny this after actually having studied the evidence, it would be possible for the person to deny everything (such as moon landing) in this world which is based on evidence rather than the person’s own firsthand experience (and most things we believe about this world are based on evidence instead of our firsthand experiences).
Given the evidence, one could make a colorable argument that Craig Wright may be strategically deceptive and manipulative, but you cannot make an honest argument that he did not invent Bitcoin.
And I also understand why psychologically it is very hard for people to accept this truth. Craig Wright is not an easily likable person. Craig is someone you learn to admire, not to fall in love with immediately. His mind is focused on things that he is interested in and would talk about them with an extraordinary high level of confidence. And because those things that interest Craig happen to be technically and philosophically deep and hard, his talking about them tends to strike an unprepared audience as arrogance. I find myself still not attuned to his personality even after I’ve learned so much from him (thanks to his unparalleled polymathic knowledge). I can only reconcile it with the fact that he is an Asperger’s patient. And it does make sense from that viewpoint because Asperger’s patients tend to have a low EQ (often accompanied with a very high IQ) and be especially poor in making proper emotional and social connections with others. Considering Craig’s Asperger’s status, he is actually admirably self-controlled, and shows improvement through the years.
But his enemies took full advantage of this weakness of his and leveraged it many times over.
In relation to that, people confuse the question of “does the evidence support Craig Wright being the inventor of Bitcoin?” with the question of “does this Craig guy sound like someone who may have invented Bitcoin?”
The prejudice and lies rule supreme with that confusion.
Many also hated him for other reasons, including ideological differences and conflicts of economic interests. One is Craig being a conservative capitalistic libertarian versus BTC community’s strange mixture of anarchism and socialism narratives, and the other his Satoshi vision of Bitcoin threatening the deep economic interests that go even beyond the Bitcoin’s trillion. At the end of the day, these reasons probably matter more than others.
Satoshi is Right
So I’m convinced that Wright is Satoshi. However, what is even more meaningful is that Satoshi is right.
After 13 years, it has become increasingly clear that the Bitcoin described in the original white paper is the right technology, and most other things that came after it were created based on a certain misunderstanding of the original Bitcoin, in one form or another, and are unnecessary and misleading.
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is the true bitcoin blockchain based on Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper and design. It is the only blockchain that has the following properties:
- Unbounded scalability (orders of magnitude more scalable, designed to reach TPS in the millions);
- Supremely secure and reliable (continuation of the only blockchain that has the maximal PoW security track record);
- Extremely low cost (orders of magnitude less expensive, at 1/100th of a cent per transaction);
- Instantly verifiable transactions (due to UTXO, SPV and verification-before-the-next-chain);
- Full smart contract capacity with Turing completeness.
For more detail, please read the following articles (written as serious tech/economics studies):
- BTC and BSV, what is the real difference?
- Why BSV is a value creating system, while BTC a value absorbing system?
- Proof of Work (PoW) is the only way to prevent corruption
Satoshi’s Bitcoin (BSV) is the right framework for blockchain technology and the next generation Internet.
This conviction is more consequential than the conviction that Craig Wright is Satoshi. I have a strong aversion to personality cults, so I’ve carefully avoided becoming Satoshi’s devotee. I just hope that Craig Wright is treated justly and fairly. I’m thankful for his invention of Bitcoin and his continuous contributions to the field. And I also desire to make my own contributions, no matter how limited that would be.
BSV is good technology and also a good cause. It is value creation, and it will actually make the world better by giving utilities. BSV is a contribution economy in which participants create value, while BTC and most other digital currencies are extraction economies in which participants simply compete to extract value from others who may be less lucky in their timing (a characteristic of Ponzi schemes).
The other articles I wrote on Bitcoin and Satoshi are collected in Bitcoin & Blockchain (medium.com)
This article was lightly edited for clarity.
Watch: Dr. Craig Wright’s keynote speech “Set in Stone: What is a Commodity?” at the CoinGeek New York Conference
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