Reports: Police Raid Home of Possible Bitcoin Creator Craig Wright

Illustration for article titled Reports: Police Raid Home of Possible Bitcoin Creator Craig Wright

The Guardian and Reuters are reporting that police have raided the home of Craig Wright, an Australian CEO who was identified today in investigations by Gizmodo and Wired as a likely candidate for the secret identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the elusive creator of Bitcoin.

Hours after the publication of the stories, more than 10 law enforcement officers arrived at Wright’s home in the Sydney suburbs, some wearing white gloves and apparently searching the house’s cupboard and garage, according to the Guardian. The paper writes that the search is apparently unconnected to the creation of Bitcoin, and instead relates to an investigation of the Australian Taxation Office.

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A police officer similarly told Reuters reporters that the raid was “not associated with the media reporting overnight about bitcoins,” and said that the officers on the scene were “clearing the house.”

Documents that were provided to Gizmodo, many of which were corroborated by interviews, show Wright claiming to have played a role in the invention of the cryptocurrency. The documents also seem to indicate that Dave Kleiman, an American computer forensics expert who died in 2013, was involved as well.

One of those documents is an apparent transcript of a meeting between Wright and his associates and the ATO about the regulation of Bitcoin for tax purposes in Australia. At one point in that transcript, Wright is quoted as saying “I did my best to hide that I’ve been running bitcoin since 2009 but...by the end of this I think half the world is going to bloody know.” It is unclear whether that meeting is connected to today’s raid.

UPDATE: According to Reuters deputy Australia bureau chief Jane Wardell, police have also raided Wright’s office.

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Contact the author at andy@gawker.com.

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DISCUSSION

Between tax evasion and funding terrorism and other illegal activities, this was bound to happen. Now it is time for the various governments of the world to sift through everything and take all the nice things you have bought with your profits which is what they do best. It’s like drug dealers, they don’t want to bust you when you have a 10 year old Kia and living with your mom, they want to get you when you have a million dollar house and a few Benzes.