'Satoshi' Denies Being Wright Amid Doubts Over PGP Data

Someone claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto has denied being Australian Craig Wright in a post to the bitcoin-dev mailing list.

Dec 10, 2015 at 1:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:01 p.m. UTC

Someone claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto has denied being Australian Craig Wright in a post to the bitcoin-dev mailing list.

The email is from satoshi@vistomail.com, which is widely attributed to Satoshi. The message reads:

"I am not Craig Wright. We are all Satoshi."

However, the message is not authenticated and it's unclear if the the address was manipulated or hacked. Satoshi's email was allegedly hacked last September.

An analysis of PGP key data by bitcoin core developer Greg Maxwell and Motherboard casts further doubt on claims that Craig Wright is bitcoin's creator.

Wired and Gizmodo published investigations on 8th December claiming that Satoshi's identity had been uncovered: bitcoin's creator is Australian Craig Wright. The stories mentioned several PGP public keys that were supposedly created and controlled by Satoshi.

But an analysis of the keys' metadata by Maxwell revealed problematic inconsistencies when compared with data from the sole public key known to be under Satoshi's control.

The keys referenced by Wired and Gizmodo use a different cipher suite than Satoshi's key. This cipher suite was also released in 2009, or about a year after the keys were supposedly created.

Maxwell posted his analysis on r/bitcoin and noted:

"That they were different at all was surprising, considering that they claim to be generated less than a day apart."

Maxwell also told Motherboard that he possessed chat logs where he discussed 'fake' Satoshi keys with others. The keys mentioned by Wired and Gizmodo were never referenced at the time, probably because they didn't exist then, he theorised.

Motherboard also analysed the keys, demonstrating that they could easily have been back-dated to show they were created in 2008. A key's creation date can be manipulated by changing the date and time of the machine it is created on.

Additionally, keys can be created that are linked to email addresses that the user doesn't control. Motherboard journalists demonstrated the creation of a backdated key and one linked to an email address not under their control.

Wright's whereabouts are currently unknown. Australian police raided his home and office several hours after the Wired and Gizmodo stories were published.

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