Is Craig Wright Satoshi? No!
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Dr Craig W Wright is probably the most controversial figure in the world of Crypto. A man outed by Gizmodo and Wired as the secret inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. A man widely accused of being a fraud, a liar and someone who exaggerates his achievements.
Only recently, Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin called out Craig as a fraud at the Deconomy conference and questioned whether he should be allowed to speak at such events. Litecoin founder, Charlie Lee, added to the debate, stating "I will not attend or speak at any conference that invites CSW to speak."
While few believe that Craig is Satoshi, there is a small group of respected people he managed to convince he is, most notably, Gavin Andreson, who wrote in his blog about why he believes that Craig is Satoshi. He was not the only one, Jon Matonis, founding director of the Bitcoin Foundation also claimed that Craig Wright is Satoshi, stating how he had a "weird feeling of having just met Satoshi".
Despite these people having claimed they have seen proof that Craig is Satoshi, and stated he would publicly prove he is, he never did. Craig's position is now to neither admit or deny. Further, many have uncovered evidence of lying and fabrication.
Few people in the Crypto community believe he is or could be, yet I approached the interview with an open mind. I read everything I could with two objectives:
Either convince myself conclusively that Craig is Satoshi
Or convince myself conclusively that Craig isn't Satoshi
And I could do neither. He is either a hugely misunderstood person, who invented Bitcoin but does not fit the hero picture people have for Satoshi or is is a complete fraud. While there are clear and serious questions about his character and honesty, I cannot conclusively say that he isn't.
The areas which leave a small window of doubt for me are as follows:
He did manage to prove to Gavin Andreson, amongst others. So either Gavin was in on the con, which I doubt very much, Gavin was the victim of an elaborate con or Craig did provide conclusive proof. Gavin's blog post is worth reading.
The details of the Kleinman case. Again, I suggest reading the details of the case and the full submission. While this is not proof that Craig is Satoshi, they were both undeniably involved with Bitcoin from very early on and managed to accumulate vast amounts of Bitcoin.
I appreciate that I open myself up to criticism by even suggesting the possibility he could be Satoshi, I am okay with this. I think it is important with situations like this to keep an open mind.
Do I believe that Craig is Satoshi, no I don't.
Do think there is a possibility, that if Satoshi is a group of people, then Craig could have somehow been involved or was close enough to the project in the early days to make a claim, or use it to construct a fraud, sure.
I enjoyed the interview, but I also recognise the flaws in his character. But Craig is still a human, and whoever Satoshi is, that person could also be deeply flawed. Others will likely point to more technical reasons why Craig isn't, for example, the criticisms of his writing and white papers and the more I read, the more I doubt he is.
Outside of the Satoshi question, Craig is a proponent of on-chain scaling, working on projects to grow and expand Bitcoin Cash. He is aggressively pursuing patents in this area, something which is questionable in a largely open source community.
Whatever you think of Craig, if you listen to the interview and you want to discuss it with me, then please do get in touch.
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Relevant Satoshi information:
Gavin Andreson: Satoshi
Jon Matonis: How I Met Satoshi
Emin Gün Sirer: Logical Fallacies in the Hunt for Satoshi
Emin Gün Sirer: How to Spot Satoshi
Kleinman legal case:
Craig on Bitcoin Cash:
BREAKDOWN OF THE SHOW
00.00.00 Show intro
00.07.30 About Craig, his work and introduction to his thoughts on Bitcoin
00.11.16 Craig's first involvement with Bitcoin
00.14.26 Early legal issues and impact on Craig's life
00.18.05 How people see Craig and how it doesn't fit the picture people have of Satoshi
00.23.30 The fair criticisms of Craig
00.27.33 Why Bitcoin Cash over Bitcoin
00.30.32 Why can't both sides of the scaling debate leave each other to work on their own technology
00.31.45 Nodes and their role
00.33.10 Craig's thoughts on Segwit2x
00.35.53 The future for Bitcoin Cash and Craig's pursuit of patents
00.39.23 The rebranding of Bitcoin as Bitcoin Core
00.47.49 What is the hold up with Bitcoin Cash rolling out the vision
00.58.39 Trust of Bitcoin v Bitcoin Cash
01.01.49 What is Bitcoin Cash bringing to Developing World countries
01.10.42 Goals for Bitcoin Cash
01.12.55 Relationship with Dave Kleiman and the lawsuit
01.21.23 Closing thoughts