With the recent lawsuit filed against Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Bitcoin “inventor,” many continue to scrutinize Wright’s claims. So far, his claims have not been proven, leaving many to provide their own theories on the identity of the mysterious figure behind the world’s most popular digital currency.

Bitcoin began as a white paper published in 2008 by an individual – or group – under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto.” Since then, the true identity behind the alias remains a mystery, but the rising popularity of the digital currency industry continues to spark curiosity.

Investigating Wright’s claims

The majority of the digital currency community dismisses Wright’s claim that he is the inventor of Bitcoin. Notably, this is due to Wright’s seeming inability to provide evidence proving a significant involvement with the currency’s inception.

In general, Wright is seen as a controversial figure by many members of the community, especially due to his championship of Bitcoin Cash.

While Bitcoin Cash is praised by its advocates, the currency continues to divide members of the community, with many questioning both its intention and necessity. Prominent figureheads have also spoken out against the currency, with Litecoin inventor Charlie Lee suggesting that any derivative of Bitcoin is a scam earlier in 2018.

Wright’s potential collaborator

Many in the community have long since moved on from Wright’s claims, yet the lawsuit recently filed against him on behalf of the late Dave Kleiman reintroduces some interesting talking points.

According to the complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida, a 2008 email prior to the original Bitcoin white paper was sent from Wright to Kleiman. It read: “I need your help editing a paper I am going to release later this year. I have been working on a new form of electronic money. Bit cash, Bitcoin . . . [y]ou are always there for me Dave. I want you to be part of it all.”

Additionally, the plaintiff alleges that Wright stole a substantial amount of bitcoin from Kleiman following his death, suggesting that Kleiman had a significant involvement in the currency’s early days.

While the lawsuit is not dependent on proving that either Wright and/or Kleiman were the currency’s true inventor(s), the case could provide some interesting insight to their alleged involvement with the currency.

The first bitcoin transaction recipient

Many theories focus on Hal Finney’s relationship with the early stages of Bitcoin. As a pioneer that worked on cryptographic software, Finney’s technological expertise seems to lend itself well to digital currency development.

These theories center around the fact that Finney was the first-ever recipient of a Bitcoin transaction, making him the platform’s second user. Purportedly, Finney lived near an individual with the birth name Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, who was chased down by the media following Bitcoin’s popularity boom. However, both figures denied that they are behind the “Satoshi Nakamoto” persona associated with Bitcoin.

Further oddity comes from the fact that Finney exchanged emails with the anonymous “Satoshi Nakamoto,” debugging version “0.1.0” of Bitcoin in a series of emails that Finney supplied to the Wall Street Journal in 2014 to clear his own name before passing away later that year.

“Bit Gold” as potential a predecessor to Bitcoin

After an investigative report from The New York Times in 2015 drew parallels between cryptographer Nick Szabo and the anonymous “Satoshi Nakamoto,” many conducted their own research surrounding the mystery.

The theory focuses on the report that Szabo proposed a concept known as “Bit Gold” prior to the original Bitcoin white paper. While the “Bit Gold” digital currency was never released, many call it a predecessor to the later release of Bitcoin.

In recent discussions, the idea that Szabo is the inventor of Bitcoin is polarizing, with some citing a lack of definitive evidence and a difference in writing styles between the two figures. Szabo himself denies that he invented Bitcoin, but admitted that there are similarities between the currency and his earlier project.

Questioning the need to identify Satoshi

There are many theories currently in circulation that attempt to identify the figure(s) behind Bitcoin. However, this mission was more prevalent during the currency’s early days. In modern times, many point out that Bitcoin has taken a life of its own with or without the help of its original inventor(s).

While identifying Satoshi could play a role in the lawsuit against Wright, it is unlikely that the figure’s identity will come to light anytime soon due to an apparent intent to remain hidden.

As advocates state, currencies like Bitcoin are decentralized and do not require the leadership of a governing figure in order to succeed. While innate curiosity may lead many to want to solve the mystery, Bitcoin continues to evolve at the hands of the community.

 

Image credit: Bitcoin logo

 

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