Bitcoin Creator and Superagent: what you need to know about Craig Wright

16 min read

It was recently revealed that Craig Steven Wright, one of the most controversial figures in the crypto community, had filed 114 blockchain patents since 2017. He also stopped using Twitter, where he often published his opinion on anonymity (bad), Bitcoin SV (the real Bitcoin) and other cryptocurrencies (also bad).

He is also known for being Satoshi Nakamoto, the original creator of Bitcoin. Here is the complete list of things you need to know about Wright.

Wright & # 39; s bio is really rich, but hardly verifiable

He was born in October 1970 in Australia, according to registration documents from one of his many companies. According to a Business Insider article in which he quoted his now-edited LinkedIn profile, Wright graduated from Padua Catholic College in Brisbane in 1987. In the early 1990s he worked as a sauce cook, & # 39; received his training in French cuisine & # 39 ;, and worked for three years working with a catering company.

Wright was reportedly studying at the University of Queensland while working as a cook. He initially took technical classes, but moved to computer science in his fourth year.

In 1996 he started, according to his former LinkedIn bio, at Ozemail, where he "steered a number of engineers", starting his eventful career in the tech. However, according to an article in Computerworld in 2007, he started working in IT when he joined K-Mart in 1985 – which was before he finished high school.

In April 1997, Wright said he joined the Australian Stock Exchange while maintaining security and firewalls. In November of the same year, he launched a company called DeMorgan, described as "a pre-IPO Australian listed company that focuses on alternative currencies, next generation banking and reputations and educational products with a focus on security and creating a simple user experience. "

In fact, Morgan was the CEO of about 15 companies until July 2015. As the Guardian points out, he resigned in one week as a director at Cloudcroft Pty Ltd, Coin-Exch Pty Ltd, Daso Pty Ltd, Demorgan Holdings Pty Ltd, Demorgan Ltd, Denariuz, Ezas Pty Ltd, Integyrz Pty Ltd, Misfit Games Pty Ltd, Interconnected Research Pty Ltd, Zuhl Pty Ltd and Pholus Pty Ltd, and remained the director of only three companies: Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence Pty Ltd, Panopticrypt Pty Ltd and Hotwire PE Employee Share Plan Pty Ltd. Currently, only his LinkedIn contains a startup called nChain, where he is said to have been a & # 39; senior scientist & # 39; has worked.

Wright seems to be a man with libertarian views. According to the Cypherpunk mailing list archive, Wright wrote in September 1996 that he had developed cancer during his years at the university and had taken out a loan to pay for medical treatment because health insurance did not bear it. He then said that he served in the army and worked at a gas station "although I am an engineer", and added:

"So why and for what reason would I have to pay tens of thousands each year to support others. I have never received any help from the government, I don't think I should pay. And what do I pay for … to protect the status quo. I believe there is more than enough help available for ppl. All they have to do is get rid of their butts and work. & # 39;

In short, Wright & # 39; s biography seems to be quite full and busy – or at least he portrays it that way. In addition to having two PhDs, Wright has numerous certifications in computer forensics and information technology (IT). In February, he published two Medium articles in which he claimed to have worked as an "agent of influence" in Venezuela and Colombia. He considered himself a James Bond-like character against terrorism and evil, and Wright says he was shot twice during the operation. At one point, he also claims that he was "once a pastor".

According to his story, the Australian entrepreneur returned from South America to witness Bitcoin – which he created (more on that below) – which is used on the darknet.

"I discovered the creation I had given birth to, something that I had designed to bring light, was used for all the worst reasons. Not only medicine, but people. Anonymity is a curse. Nothing good comes out of it. & # 39;

Wright has claimed several times that he is Satoshi Nakamoto and refused to provide sufficient evidence

Wright becomes a well-known figure in the crypto community after media reports linking his identity with Satco Shi, the pseudonym maker of Bitcoin, appeared at the end of 2015. Earlier, in 2014, one of the few reported links to cryptocurrencies was that he was trying to launch the world's first Bitcoin bank.

For example, in December 2015, Wired and Gizmodo reported within hours of each other that the Australian computer scientist and entrepreneur may be the creator of & # 39; the world's largest cryptocurrency.

The Wired story claimed that Wright "either invented bitcoin or is a brilliant hoaxer who very much wants us to believe he did it." It was based on documents and emails allegedly leaked by "an anonymous source near Wright" to an independent security researcher Gwern Branwen, who co-wrote the article with Wired author Andy Greenberg.

Gizmodo also had a story with documents allegedly obtained by a hacker who had access to Wright's email accounts and claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto was a common pseudonym for Craig Steven Wright and his friend, computer forensic analyst and cyber security specialist David Kleiman, who died in 2013.

In addition, on the same day the articles were published, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided the Wright home in the suburb of Gordon in Sydney. However, the AFP clarified that the operation was not related to the Bitcoin claims.

A substantial part of the evidence in the reports – along with earlier claims made by Wright – was soon declared incorrect. First, Wright's Cloudcroft company had declared two supercomputers, one of which was allegedly produced by computer manufacturer SGI. However, SGI quickly made it clear that "Cloudcroft has never been an SGI customer and that SGI has no relationship with Craig Steven Wright, the CEO of Cloudcroft."

Wright also had two PhDs on his LinkedIn page, including one from Charles Sturt University. Eventually, Forbes contacted the university and discovered that Wright had not received any doctorates, although it gave him three masters in the areas of network and system management, management (IT) and information system security. Wright received a Ph.D. later at 2017 from Charles Sturt University.

Also, a technical analysis of two public PGP keys that are attributed to Wright, but also linked to Satoshi Nakamoto, has shown that they are made more recent than the documents in which they were displayed.

Finally, a number of posts in Wright & # 39; s now deleted blog that seemed to portray him as a person directly involved in the creation of Bitcoin had been updated or edited; the archived versions of the 2013 messages do not show any of those breadcrumbs that Wright would have planted to mislead the media and to think he is Satoshi.

After the aforementioned stories went live, Wright immediately switched off his social media accounts and disappeared for a few months. He returned on May 2, 2016 (he now lives in London, UK, according to his LinkedIn profile) and has publicly stated that he is the creator of Bitcoin. Later in the same month, Wright published a sentimental excuse in which he refused to publish proof of access to one of the earliest Bitcoin keys, saying that he lacks the "courage".

However, Wright still claims to be the pseudonymous developer of Bitcoin. Last month, the entrepreneur submitted two nearly identical comment letters to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in the United States, in which he again stated to be Satoshi. The documents were submitted in response to the Agency's request for industry input and feedback on the mechanics and market of Ethereum (ETH).

In particular, Wright wrote that he worked "under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto" and "completed a project that was started in 1997 and that was partially submitted to the Australian government under an AusIndustry project registered with the Innovation department as BlackNet. "

BlackNet – an alleged predecessor of Bitcoin – was submitted to the Australian government in 2001, according to a tweet from Wright (he deleted his Twitter profile earlier this month).

On Reddit, user Skoopitup argued that the BlackNet paper allegedly submitted by Wright in 2001 had largely copied the official Bitcoin White Paper (published in October 2008), which in particular contained significant corrections in an earlier draft previously submitted by Satoshi in August 2008 was shared.

In his remaining comments to the CFTC, Wright wrote:

"The amount of misunderstanding and misleading information that has spread across bitcoin (…) has led me to make the choice to become more open to the public. The system that I have created is partially designed to prevent fraud as much as possible to end with any technology. The lack of understanding … has resulted in (…) a spread of old scams. "

The Australian entrepreneur has still not signed a message with the key associated with the Bitcoin genesis block, which can be seen as strong proof that he is actually Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wright played a key role in the BCH hash wars – and now claims that Bitcoin SV is the original Bitcoin

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a cryptocurrency that appeared on August 1, 2017 after leaving the original Bitcoin blockchain via a hard fork in an attempt to control its scalability problem.

The BCH network performs hard forks as part of planned protocol upgrades. However, the fork that was planned for November 15, 2018 was disrupted by a competitive proposal that was not compatible with the original roadmap. As a result, the BCH community was split into three fractions: Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin SV.

Craig Wright led the Bitcoin SV team, whose goal was to restore "the original Satoshi protocol" by changing the current BCH structure. Specifically, this involved completely overwriting the Bitcoin ABC network scripts and increasing the BCH block size from 32 MB to a maximum of 128 MB to increase network capacity and scale. Bitcoin SV & # 39; s cryptocurrency design was created by the Wright nChain company.

At one point, after Jihan Wu, co-founder of the great crypto-miner and manufacturer Bitmain, who supported the Bitcoin ABC team, suspect Wright from a Blockstream spy and a "fake Satoshi". In response, the computer scientist went into a verbal battle. More specifically, Wright tagged Roger Ver – another ABC advocate – and Bitmain with bankruptcy threats and allegations of involvement in Silk Road machinations and child pornography.

Although Bitcoin ABC essentially won the so-called "hash wars" and secured the original BCH ticker, Bitcoin SV lives on. At the end of February, the value of Bitcoin SV increased by 20 percent, which made it into the top 10 of the largest cryptocurrencies due to market capitalization. From the time of the press, Bitcoin SV is the twelfth largest token, with a market capitalization of $ 1.5 million, according to CoinMarketCap.

Craigh Wright has many blockchain patents

According to the Hard Fork publication, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published 155 patent applications filed by Wright – all filed through its company nChain. Thirty of those were published this year. The earliest document date relates to August 31, 2017.

Most of those applications call blockchain. Specifically, Hard Fork writes, the term "blockchain" was used 114 times in patent titles. "Cryptocurrency" in turn is only displayed six times, while "Bitcoin" is not mentioned at all.

Wright has written about his patent application via Twitter (which has been deleted). According to the screenshots quoted by Hard Fork, Wright decided to file his patents in Europe because it was "harder":

"As soon as we have the EU, we have the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) in the US. The US is simpler."

The Patent Cooperation Treaty has been signed by 152 countries. After filing an international patent application under the PCT, applicants can simultaneously receive protection for their inventions in many countries.

According to Bloomberg, business blockchain patents are "an essential ingredient for companies that want to reform financial services or allow profitable cryptocurrency-related businesses to thrive." In fact, such patents help companies attract investment, protect property rights, and collect monopoly profits from other companies. companies that use their inventions.

It has been argued that Wright is filing patents without the intention of actually using them, but instead demanding large payouts from companies that happen to use similar technologies in their work. As Marc Kaufman, a lawyer who is co-chair of the Blockchain Intellectual Property Council at the American Chamber of Digital Trade, Fortune said:

"His tactics and activities have all traces of a patent assertion entity or what is pejoratively known as a troll. I am not aware that his companies have products. & # 39;

Craig Wright is charged with at least $ 1 billion

In February 2018 the estate of David Kleiman – Wright & # 39; s employee and computer forensic expert who died in April 2013 apparently of natural causes related to complications from an MRSA infection – brought the lawsuit against Wright to the US District Court of the southern district of Florida. The estate is represented by Ira Kleiman, the brother of David.

According to court records that appeared on Reddit, the plaintiff claims that Wright has stolen hundreds of thousands of BTC, worth more than $ 5 billion dollars at the time, from the estate of David Kleiman. The plaintiff's statement claims that Wright acknowledged that Kleiman's friends and family were initially unaware of the wealth he had collected.

In particular, the statement states: "Wright" forged a series of contracts that claimed to transfer Dave & # 39; s assets to Craig and / or companies controlled by him. Craig reversed these contracts and forged Dave & # 39; s signature on them & # 39;

Wright contacted the estate of Kleiman after the death of his employee and revealed that he and David had worked together to develop blockchain and Bitcoin, the plaintiff said.

New documents were published online in December 2018, indicating that the court had rejected repeated requests from the nChain chief scientist to close the lawsuit.

In a modified lawsuit supported by Judge Beth Bloom, a figure of BTC 300,000 ($ 1.5 billion per print time) was now circulating.

"The court finds that claimants have sufficiently submitted a claim for conversion", confirms the legal document and continues:

"The Amended Complaint alleges that the Defendant converted at least 300,000 bitcoins upon the death of Dave and transferred them to various international trusts, which was an unauthorized act that deprived the Claimants of the bitcoins therein. ..) the Defendant Movement to Reject. "

In March 2019, Jeff Garzik, one of the earliest contributors to the bitcoin codebase, was reportedly summoned by the court for documents relating to the Kleiman complaint. Wright.

Specifically, the court demanded "all documents, communications, and agreements that support his (Jeff's) personal theory that Dave Kleiman is Satoshi Nakamoto." In an interview with Bloomberg in 2018, Garzik suggested that Dave Kleiman was the original creator of Bitcoin.

Wright has no particularly good relationship with the crypto community

After some of the above-mentioned contradictions regarding Wright's claim that he surfaced Satoshi, the crypto community became increasingly skeptical about the Australian computer scientist. However, some of his claims regarding other cryptocurrencies certainly did not help.

In January 2019, for example, he called Andreas Antonopoulos, author of the book & # 39; Mastering Bitcoin & # 39 ;, a & # 39; shitcoin expert & # 39 ;. In February of this year, Wright told the Ran Neuner of CNBC Africa in a rather crude form that he knows how to deanonymize and destroy privacy coins Zcash and Monero, which he apparently is going to do "somewhere this year":

"If you have a privacy coin, I'll show you that it's basically as private as walking through Times Square with your pants around your ankles."

In October 2017, in a now deleted tweet, Wright argued that the Lightning network & # 39; oversold & # 39; used to be.

At the 2018 Deconomy conference in Seoul, South Korea, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, publicly questioned Wright's ability and called him a scammer.

"Given this so many non-sequiturs and mistakes, why is this fraud allowed to speak at this conference?"

In reply, Wright tweeted: "Oh well …. it looks like I broke Vitalek … 🙂 He is a twig … must remember that he must be gentle next time …"

Last week the Australian entrepreneur deleted his Twitter page after removing more than 10,000 tweets.

On March 17, not long before he knew his presence on the social media outlet, Wright tweeted that he "will take aggressive action to make any site that is wrong or make false claims", referring to people who call him fraud, among others stuff.

"You are not entitled to lies under & # 39; free speech & # 39; neither intimidation, defamation and defamation, & # 39; he wrote. "If an error is reported in a malicious context that pertains to me, expect us to live in a barrel when we're done with you."

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Written by

Don Bradman

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