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Everything you need to know about the mysterious Bitcoin creator, Dr Craig Wright

The most illusive man in the world of online currency finally has a face

Everything you need to know about the mysterious Bitcoin creator, Dr Craig Wright
03 May 2016

Back in 2008, something rather exceptional happened in the world of money.

A man by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin, the internet's first virtual currency. It didn't have a single repository, it wasn't linked to conventional financial institutions, it only existed in digital form. Some commentors heralded it as the 'future of money', whilst others feared it was the perfect cash form for criminal organisations. 

Since its launch, one big-money question has gone unanswered: who the heck is Satoshi Nakamoto, author of the first document that outlined the digital currency's technical workings? On 2 May 2016, like Clark Kent removing his spectacles, Australian entrepreneur Dr Craig Wright announced himself as the mysterious creator of Bitcoin.

Here's what we know about him.

Who is Craig Wright?

A 45-year-old Australian computer scientist, business man and inventor.

He doesn't live in lair built into the foundations of a volcano: he's got a very normal website you can read right here

He was born in Brisbane, Queensland, in 1970. He studied engineering at the University of Queensland before switching to computer sciences. He's also studied nuclear physics and organic chemistry, and holds a Doctorate in Theology. 

Former vice president of the Centre for Strategic Cyberspace and Security Science, Wright trained governments and corporate departments in online security, Cyber Warfare and Cyber Defence.

He's a very, very intelligent man. 

What does he do?

With a thirst for learning that apparently knows no bounds, Craig Wright is currently studying for a Master of Science and Finance at University of London.

He can also be found writing on his website about the regulation and acceptance of virtual currencies - which makes a lot of sense, given his involvement in its creation.

How much is he worth?

It's thought that Craig Wright holds around 1 million Bitcoins - the equivalent of $450m.

How did he reveal himself?

Craig Wright declared his identity to three news organisations - the BBC, the Economist and GQ - and on his website's blog.

Wright released a 'cryptographical key' to prove his identity as the creator of bitcoin - a private key that forms a unique mathematical pairing with a public key that Nakamoto shared back in 2009. This information links to blocks of bitcoins known to be possessed by the secretive Nakamoto.

Who believes Craig Wright?

In short - a lot of people.

Most influential among them is Gavin Andresen, chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation.

Writing in his blog, Andresen explains that he has previously communicated with Satoshi Nakamoto by email, and that after meeting Wright in London to discuss the revelations of Nakamoto's real identity, Andresen was "convinced beyond a reasonable doubt".

Such is the nature of the cryptography code Wright has used to 'prove' his identity, many security experts will remain unconvinced until Wright can provide further proof.

Why has Craig Wright gone public now?

"I have not done this because it is what I wanted. It's not because of my choice," Wright told the BBC. "I really do not want to be the public face of anything... I would rather not do it. I want to work, I want to keep doing what I want to do. I don't want money. I don't want fame. I don't want adoration. I just want to be left alone."

While Wright has outed himself, it's not the first time he's been identified as the creator of the virtual currency. Back in December 2015, Wired and Gizmodo named Wright as integral to the creation of bitcoin after receiving stolen documents that pointed to his involvement.

These accusations resulted in Australian authorities raiding Wright's home - linked to tax payments rather than bitcoin creation. Wright is apparently cooperating with the authorities on just what he owes them.

What next for Craig Wright?

Nope, he's not about to start living it up as the newly revealed web multi-millionaire.

Having revealed himself in the hope that the media might finally leave him alone, Wright says he plans to spend much of his wealth on research. He won't become the figurehead of the bitcoin currency, but rather remain involved in the background, ensuring it remains stable and secure. 

You'll also be able to find him writing on his forum/website/blog, continuing to educate the wider world with only a fraction of the incredible things that go on in that exceptional brain of his.

[Via: BBC, Economist]