Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto is Craig Wright: Q&A

In an interesting news development, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as the creator of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto. His admission follows years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the digital cash system. And, here’s a set of questions that could be associated with this revelation and the answers for them:

How did he reveal the secret?

Wright revealed his identity to three media organisations – the BBC, the Economist and GQ. At the meeting with the BBC, Wright digitally signed messages using cryptographic keys created during the early days of Bitcoin’s development. The keys are inextricably linked to blocks of bitcoins known to have been created or “mined” by Satoshi Nakamoto. “These are the blocks used to send 10 bitcoins to Hal Finney in January [2009] as the first bitcoin transaction,” said Wright during his demonstration, according to the BBC. Renowned cryptographer Hal Finney was one of the engineers who helped turn Wright’s ideas into the Bitcoin protocol, he said.

Does he have proof?

Yes, Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin’s creator.

Do people believe him?

A few prominent members of the Bitcoin community say they have confirmed his claims. But many others in the Bitcoin world are asking for more proof.

What’s Bitcoin?

It is often referred to as a new kind of currency. But it may be best to think of its units being virtual tokens rather than physical coins or notes. Like all currencies its value is determined by how much people are willing to exchange it for.

It was founded in 2008. It is designed for secure financial transactions that require no central authority, no banks and no government regulators. Bitcoin would let transacting parties remain anonymous, keep transactions very secure, and eliminate middlemen fees.

What does it hope to achieve?

What drove its initial development was its purely digital existence, away from the control of government regulators. The values of other currencies can rise and fall when a central bank decides to print more paper money. But since Bitcoin is digital and there is a limited number of them, the expectation is that it won’t be prone to such devaluation.

How does it work?

To receive a Bitcoin, a user must have a Bitcoin address – a string of 27-34 letters and numbers – which acts as a kind of virtual post-box to and from which the Bitcoins are sent. Since there is no registry of these addresses, people can use them to protect their anonymity when making a transaction. These addresses are in turn stored in Bitcoin wallets, which are used to manage savings.

Why has Wright revealed it now?

That’s because, as he claims, he wants to “work”. By going public, Wright hopes to put an end to press speculation about the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.

“I have not done this because it is what I wanted. It’s not because of my choice.

I really do not want to be the public face of anything. 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,” the BBC quoted him as saying.

How much of Bitcoins he has?

There are currently about 15.5 million bitcoins in circulation. Each one is worth about $449 (£306). Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to have amassed about one million Bitcoins which would give him a net worth, if all were converted to cash, of about $450m.

 

 



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