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Mystery Man Sitting On Enormous Bitcoin Fortune Reveals Himself As Founder

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Mystery Man Sitting On Enormous Bitcoin Fortune Reveals Himself As Founder

For those that don't know, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system for online payments that doesn't require a central authority.

So, if I had an apple and wanted to give you that apple, I could do that without someone else, a third party, verifying that I had lost one apple and you had gained one apple.

Of course, when you transfer this to the digital world, it brings up the major issue of duplication, so someone could be able to spend money they don't have more than once because it's not being checked by a third party.

Bitcoin bypasses that issue by using consensus in a massive peer-to-peer network to verify any transaction made using Bitcoin. Every Bitcoin user that puts their computer to work verifying transactions gets rewarded with new bitcoins proportional to the amount of computing power they donate to the network.

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I've tried my best to simplify Bitcoin for you there but if you need further explanation, follow this link.

Now, Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by a man by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. The only problem in the eight years Bitcoin has been around, is that Satoshi, as he's known, has never been identified.

Until now...

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An Australian entrepreneur by the name of Craig Steven Wright admitted to the BBC, The Economist and GQ that he was the currency's founder and has decided to come forward now because so many people were after him.

Despite Mr Wright's claims, many Bitcoin users and developers are skeptical about his admission.

Mr Wright told the BBC: "I didn't take the decision lightly to make my identity public. And I want to be clear that I'm doing this because I care so passionately about my work and also to dispel any negative myths and fears about Bitcoin."

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Bitcoin's supposed founder has come forward amid a period of uncertainty among long-term backers of the currency about how to expand the network.

Initially, Bitcoin was seen as a digital competitor to currencies used all over the world and enjoyed so much success that large financial institutions from across the globe have been putting a lot of time and effort into finding out how they can make transactions faster and cheaper, like Bitcoin.

Bitcoin has also sat and watched the rise of other virtual currencies like Ethereum, Robocoin and Dogecoin, and done little to combat it.

Long term backers of Bitcoin have been arguing that they should attempt to expand into the commercial realm while others say it should remain an 'outsider' in the financial world.

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And this is why Mr Wright, or Satoshi Nakamoto, has decided to identify himself as the founder. He posted on his blog: "Since those early days, after distancing myself from the public persona that was Satoshi, I have poured every measure of myself into research. I have been silent, but I have not been absent."

It is thought Mr Wright has now made a staggering £273 million since releasing Bitcoin as open-source software in 2009.

In the early days he communicated only by electronic message and never revealed his true identity. By 2011, he'd cut off all communication and since revealing himself, has had to prove who he claims he is.

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Mr Wright has done this by providing the BBC with digitally signed messages using cryptographic keys that were linked to messages created by Satoshi Nakamoto many years ago.

Wired magazine first identified Mr Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto in December 2015 but after a search of his house by the Australian Federal Police, they said it was not him.

Current lead Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen says he believes Mr Wright's claims but the Bitcoin community are yet to be wholly convinced.

The debate rages on the Bitcoin subreddit and that's partly down to the fact many programmers of Bitcoin are stood against Mr Andresen about which direction Bitcoin should be headed.

This is a huge step in the world of virtual currencies. With a figurehead now supposedly identified, the legitimacy of his claims are now being questioned. And the future of Bitcoin as the leading virtual currency is pretty much at stake.

Words by George Pavlou

Featured image credit: YouTube

Topics: Bitcoin

George Pavlou
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