Craig Wright is an Australian computer scientist and businessman best known for his controversial claim that he is bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Born in 1970, Wright is also the chief scientist at nChain, a blockchain startup which promotes the use of bitcoin SV (BSV), a hard fork of the bitcoin cash (BCH) protocol (which is itself a fork of bitcoin).
In 2015, tech publications Wired and Gizmodo published separate articles speculating that Wright was Nakamoto after receiving leaked documents. In 2016, Wright publicly claimed that he was Nakamoto in a blog post. However, Wright’s claim has been met with much skepticism and he has been unable to produce incontrovertible evidence to support his claim.
Namely, after initially pledging to move bitcoin mined by Satoshi early in the project’s lifetime, Wright later reneged on his promise and declined to do so.
Wright has nonetheless maintained his claim, and in 2019, filed a United States copyright registration for the bitcoin white pape. The U.S. Copyright Office subsequently said it did not recognize Wright as Satoshi, and noted that it anyone can file for a copyright if they have $55 and a stable internet connection.
Likewise, the Copyright Office said that it did not investigate “whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.” The office’s statement rebutted a claim by Wright’s press representative that the government had accepted Wright as Satoshi.
Wright has filed lawsuits against multiple people who have called him a “fraud” for claiming to be Nakamoto, including ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, podcaster Peter McCormack, Hodlnaut (a pseudonymous Twitter user) as well as bitcoin cash promoter Roger Ver.
Wright has also come to blows with Ver over the future of bitcoin cash. In 2019, bitcoin SV came into existence after a hard fork of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. The fork split the Bitcoin Cash blockchain into two separate iterations, with BSV going on to host a Twitter competitor and other decentralized apps (apps).
As of June 2020, Wright continues to stir controversy. In late May, a list of bitcoin addresses Wright had provided as being his own in an ongoing court case were used to sign a public message calling Wright a “fraud,” suggesting he does not in fact own or control them. A week later Wright pushed back, maintaining that he does indeed have access to the “Satoshi” addresses filed in court.