An Australian IT entrepreneur today identified himself as the creator of digital cash system Bitcoin, ending years of speculation behind the identity of the crypto-currency founder.
45-year-old Craig Wright has revealed his identity to three media organisations – the BBC, the Economist and GQ.
Wright identified himself as Satoshi Nakamato, the pseudonym he says he created when launching the currency in 2009.
He had earlier refused to comment when these three media outlets unveiled his identity in December.
But then today Wright came forward and provided proof of his true identity as the founder of Bitcoin.
In a statement, he said he is identifying himself because: “I care so passionately about my work, and also to dispel any negative myths and fears about bitcoin.”
“I cannot allow the misinformation that has been spread to impact the future of bitcoin and the blockchain.”
His claim was backed up by Jon Matonis, one of the founding directors of the Bitcoin Foundation, who said he “had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical”.
“It is my firm belief that Craig Wright satisfies all three categories,” he said.
Bitcoin has emerged as a dominant cryptocurrency, which allows consumers to make electronic transactions without commercial banks as intermediaries. However, no central bank has backed Bitcoin.
One Bitcoin is currently worth around USD 449.
Nakamato’s identity has been the subject of fierce speculation since he outlined the ideas behind bitcoin in an academic “white paper” in October 2008.
Wright has now unmasked that the pseudonym was a homage to Tominaga Nakamoto, a 17th century Japanese philosopher, merchant and advocate of free trade.