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Unmasking the Inventor of the Bitcoin

Technology By
Bitcoin is a digital peer to peer decentralized crypto-currency. Bitcoin is now accepted as a form of payment for many businesses and private transactions of goods and services. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)

 

In 2009, the first Bitcoin was released by an individual identifying himself as Satoshi Nakamoto. For those unfamiliar with it, a Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that is shared user to user (learn more below). Bitcoins can be used for a number of legitimate transactions. However, since they’re essentially untraceable, Bitcoins have also become the preferred currency of computer-savvy criminals. This compelled law enforcement officials to begin investigating Bitcoins and their “founder.” But it soon became clear that nobody knew a Satoshi Nakamoto.

Since the Bitcoin was first released, many have taken credit for its creation, with most claims dubious at best. But earlier this year, Australian investor Craig Wright outed himself as the father of Bitcoin. London Review of Books‘ Andrew O’Hagan details what happened next:

Ten men raided a house in Gordon, a north shore suburb of Sydney, at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 9 December 2015. Some of the federal agents wore shirts that said ‘Computer Forensics’; one carried a search warrant issued under the Australian Crimes Act 1914. They were looking for a man named Craig Steven Wright, who lived with his wife, Ramona, at 43 St Johns Avenue. The warrant was issued at the behest of the Australian Taxation Office. Wright, a computer scientist and businessman, headed a group of companies associated with cryptocurrency and online security. As one set of agents scoured his kitchen cupboards and emptied out his garage, another entered his main company headquarters at 32 Delhi Road in North Ryde. They were looking for ‘originals or copies’ of material held on hard drives and computers; they wanted bank statements, mobile phone records, research papers and photographs. The warrant listed dozens of companies whose papers were to be scrutinized, and 32 individuals, some with alternative names, or alternative spellings. The name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ appeared sixth from the bottom of the list.”

Read the full story about Wright and his ties to Bitcoin here. Learn more about Bitcoin in the video below.