Craig Wright, a fifty-something-year-old computer scientist from Australia, has spent the better part of the last decade trying to convince everyone he’s Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin. Now, he might finally get a chance to prove it.
The case hinges on who wrote the infamous bitcoin white paper
that first imagined a world of payments “based on cryptographic proof instead of trust.”
Wright says he has overwhelming evidence he’s the preternaturally talented computer coder who thunk Bitcoin into life. To protect his intellectual property, he wants Cobra to take down the white paper from their website.
Cobra says there’s no way Wright is Satoshi. Their argument is, amongst other things, blunt: “if he was, that would make him the 25th richest person in the world, which he obviously isn’t.”
This is the first time judges could be forced to take a view on who invented Bitcoin. And, as with any Banksy-esque identity crisis, there’s good and bad here:
The (selfish) good: I’m excited to watch this play out. It would set social media alight if Wright showed up to court, pressed a button on a keyboard, and transferred away some of the early bitcoin known to be mined by Satoshi Nakamoto.
The bad: the elusiveness of Satoshi is half the fuel powering Bitcoin. In its S-1 filing earlier this year, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said
the entire crypto market could be destabilized if Satoshi’s identity was revealed.
Elsewhere in the cryptoverse:
the SEC is pressing ahead
with its Ripple lawsuit.