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Is Craig Wright’s Campaign to Convince the World That He Invented Bitcoin Over?

Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist has claimed for years to be Satoshi Nakamoto—the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin—has signaled that he may be ending his infamous campaign to convince the world that he is crypto’s founding father.

“I have been too angry for too long as I cared for external validation,” Wright tweeted late Wednesday. “The only validation I seek now is from my family and from seeing my ideas come to fruition and to be used by the world. Not everyone wants what I have to offer…”

Since 2016, Wright publicly claimed to have invented Bitcoin, despite having never been able to produce the private keys to Satoshi’s Bitcoin address—essentially the only way to prove it.

Wright’s attorneys told Decrypt in 2020 that the computer scientist did not have possession of Satoshi’s keys, and would not clarify who else had them or why. But they maintained that Wright expected to receive them at a later date. In the two years since, none have emerged. 

In August, a British court ruled that Wright submitted “deliberately false” evidence in a defamation case he filed against Peter McCormack, a podcaster who repeatedly called Wright a “fraud” for claiming to be Satoshi.

The court determined that McCormack’s tweets caused serious harm to Wright’s reputation, but the judge ultimately awarded Wright damages of £1, stating it would be “unconscionable” for Wright to receive anything more after submitting false evidence.

Wright first gained notoriety in 2015, after a Wired article argued the computer scientist invented Bitcoin by citing blog posts by Wright that discussed the cryptocurrency days before its beta release in 2009. Wright then came forward and confirmed that he was in fact Satoshi. But evidence from the Wayback Machine soon thereafter revealed that the blog post may have actually been written years later, in 2013 or 2014, and backdated.

Wired backtracked, stating it now doubted Wright’s story, and considered it a potential “hoax.”

The intervening years saw Wright file a litany of lawsuits against a number of crypto leaders who publicly doubted his story. Most were dropped, dismissed, or ultimately unsuccessful. One of the last of those suits, against crypto influencer Hodlonaut, saw some resolution in October when a Norwegian court determined that Hodlonaut did not defame Wright when he called him a “pathetic scammer” who was “clearly mentally ill” and a “fraud.”

Wright, tweeting Wednesday, did not appear to surrender his claims to inventing Bitcoin, characterizing anyone who doubted his identity and story as “[t]hose seeking greed,” who “loathe all bitcoin stands for and seek to twist it.”

But years of public and legal skepticism of Wright appear to have made an impact. 

“I no longer care what you think,” Wright wrote. “I seek to see my creation used. The rest is no longer important.”

If his goal truly is Bitcoin’s adoption, Wright’s days of anger should soon be behind him.

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