Government Investigation of Alleged Bitcoin Creator Craig Wright Intensifies

Stan Higgins
Jan 20, 2016 at 17:00 UTC
Updated Jan 21, 2016 at 14:00 UTC
news

Australian tax authorities are reportedly beefing up their investigation of Craig Wright, the researcher who last year was alleged to be bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Technology publications Gizmodo and Wired claimed in early December to have found evidence tying Wright to Nakamoto, each citing anonymous sources. Some observers were skeptical of the claims in the aftermath of the publications, drawing comparisons to Newsweek’s ill-fated report that pointed to an elderly California citizen as the true identity of Nakamoto.

According to regional news source The Australian, a special team from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) has been called in to investigate Wright, whose claims for millions of dollars in tax credits sparked the inquiry.

Authorities are said to be investigating whether Wright’s claimed bitcoin holdings were properly reported.

The report stated:

“The [ATO] team has been interviewing Mr Wright’s former business associates in Sydney about tax claims he made through businesses and as an individual, while the ATO has been questioning former associates on supposed deals done through Mr Wright’s network of companies that claim to have about $300m in market cap­italisation backed through bitcoin.”

The ATO investigation ultimately led to a police raid on a home previously occupied by Wright.

Perhaps most notable is that, according to The Australian, government officials don’t believe that Wright is Satoshi – rather, they believe “he may have created the hoax to distract from his tax issues”.

Authorities also reportedly believe that Wright may be currently residing in the UK.

Magnifying glass image via Shutterstock

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