The saga of Bitcoin’s mysterious founder took another bizarre turn today, when Dr. Craig Wright, an Australian businessman who claims to be the inventor of the cryptocurrency, reneged on his promise to move early bitcoins. Moving the bitcoins was widely perceived by experts as the primary method for Wright to prove his identity.
This morning Wright took down his website, leaving only an apology on the homepage.
These latest revelations come months after Gizmodo and Wired published parallel investigations into leaked emails and financial records that appeared to show Wright either as the creator of Bitcoin, or someone intent on taking credit for it.
Following those investigations, Wright disappeared—only to re-emerge this week and claim he was ready to prove that he was, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto. The person who invented Bitcoin should be able to provide cryptographic proof by digitally signing a file that would prove their identity. Wright’s provided proof, published on his new website this week, passes one of the first tests required to verify its integrity, security experts told Gizmodo, but quickly fails under harsher scrutiny.
After it was revealed his “proof” didn’t compute, Wright promised to move an early Satoshi bitcoin. Now, he’s backed out of this promise. We’ve reached out to Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis, two high-profile endorsers of Wright’s claim to Satoshi’s identity, for their reactions to this latest news. We will update when we hear back.