Thursday, March 14, 2024

Public Service Announcement


There's a new link in the side bar, to BullionStar. Most of you are probably familiar with BullionStar as a gold seller in Singapore, as well as host to bloggers like Ronan Manly and JP Koning.

What you may not know is that BullionStar recently expanded its business into the US. They now have three locations, Singapore, Texas and New Zealand. They now offer free shipping within the US, and custodial vault storage in all three locations. Shipping is guaranteed and fully insured, and insured vault storage costs 39 basis points per year, calculated daily. They are currently offering the first year of vault storage in Texas for free.

Torgny Persson is the owner and founder of BullionStar. In 2008, he started the Swedish bullion dealer, Liberty Silver. Then, in 2012, he moved to Singapore and started BullionStar.


Torgny has been a long-time reader of my blog, and he's been a member of the Speakeasy since it opened in 2015. In fact, I met Torgny in person, as well as Ronan Manly, at a money conference in Las Vegas a decade ago.

You'll notice four links under the BullionStar ad. The ad itself will take you to the .us website, or you can go directly to .com, or .co.nz. It doesn't technically matter which one you choose. You can pick your language and currency at the top right of the page. I checked, and their prices are right in line with APMEX. Their aim is to consistently have lower prices than APMEX and JM in general. Their prices adjust in real-time as the POG changes, and you can see prices in any currency: USD, EUR, Singapore dollar, Japanese Yen, GBP, AUD, Swedish Krona, New Zealand dollar, even BTC, BCH, ETH and Litecoin.

That's right, you can buy gold directly with your BTC at BullionStar!

You can take delivery anywhere in the world, but depending on your location, there may be a shipping charge. In the US, however, it's free shipping, usually within one or two days. And, like I said, they also offer secure, insured, allocated and segregated storage. All of their own inventory and customer inventory in Singapore, US and NZ is allocated and segregated. They even segregate fungible gold like coins, and they don't mix customer gold with the gold that's for sale.

Now, here's something they don't advertise on the website, but I asked, because some of my Speakeasy members have asked about offshore storage options, and I've recommended BullionStar because I know that Torgny understands the dynamics of Freegold and the overnight revaluation. And, now that they have three locations around the world, they will facilitate a location swap on a case-by-case basis.

So, say you buy $50K worth of gold and store it in their Singapore vault, and then in a year or two (or after Freegold), you change your mind and want to take delivery here in the US. BullionStar will facilitate a location swap from Singapore to the US, and then deliver your gold to you via insured, secure delivery.

Because all stored gold is allocated and segregated for the customer, there will be a cost associated with a location swap and delivery, but it's still a unique service that they can provide.

So, as you can see, BullionStar is a pretty unique offering, with three locations, storage and delivery, competitive pricing, they accept payment in any currency, even crypto, they are Freegold-friendly, and I now have the owner and his US representative, Jesse Colombo, at the Speakeasy. So Speakeasy members can ask them questions in the comment section, and have the confidence of knowing who they're dealing with, and that they're dealing with a gold dealer who understands Freegold. Because, frankly, buying gold over the internet makes a lot of people nervous (me included).

They also just started an affiliate program, and invited me to participate. The deal is this: If you buy gold through the links on this blog, then I get 25% of BullionStar's profit margin. That's a pretty generous share! You won't pay any more than you will elsewhere, and I'll get a cut. And if you buy enough that my commission would cover a Speakeasy membership, send me an email and let me know what you bought, and once I confirm it, I'll apply it to a Speakeasy membership fee, and let you in. My email address is on my profile page, which is linked in the side bar.

The links work by placing a 90-day cookie on your computer if you click through from one of my URLs, so if you are blocking cookies, it'll still work, but only if you buy during that session. Be sure to click through from here when you're ready to buy. The fourth link can be shared with anyone. So, if you convince a friend or relative to buy gold, you can give them that link and I'll get the credit.

I even shared that link with Craig Wright, who just lost the Satoshi trial today:


He may have lost, but that doesn't mean he's not Satoshi. Courts make bad decisions all the time, especially lately. So, if he is Satoshi (and I say if, but iykyk), then he could buy 4 of these 400 oz. good delivery bars...


...or 50 of these kilo bars, with just one of the thousands and thousands of 50-coin blocks from 2010 that he has hiding in plain sight:


That's right, a kilo of gold right now costs the same as 1 BTC. BTC to gold right now, especially for someone like Satoshi whose cost basis for his BTC was almost nothing, would be the most epic swap in the history of the universe. It would be like hitting the Mega-millions lottery twice. The timing would be godlike. Trading BTC at the ATH, right before the bubble pops, for gold, right before the Freegold revaluation. That's the kind of trade that would make it into history books. That's how to become a true legend. And you can too, if you have some BTC. Just think about it. It's the kind of move your grandchildren and their grandchildren will be talking about for generations.

And if you do it at BullionStar with one of my links, then I can proudly say that I had a small part in the most epic trade ever, so be sure to let me know if you do. ๐Ÿ˜€

Sincerely,
FOFOA


Sunday, February 25, 2024

Riddle Update


Some updates from the trial (and my continuing deep dive in general):

This post is a follow-up to this post:


So read that first. ๐Ÿ‘†

I'm putting this in post form, rather than a comment, so I can have the option of cross-posting it on the public blog. The public post has so far gotten 5,000 views in 6 days, and I didn't even promote it. Did it bring in any new Speakeasy subscribers? Yes. [This post was first posted at the SE yesterday. It takes an extra day to reformat it for Blogger. A few minor updates were added since yesterday.]

First, let's start with one of the possible bombshells that I alluded to in the last post. There are a couple that are slightly related, so let me start with the backstory. (And don't worry, I'll get to yesterday's raucous testimony and the COPA high-fiving that followed in a minute, as this is all related. Things aren't as dire for Craig's side as the BTCmaxis are making them out to be.)

The trial was supposed to begin on 1/15/24, but on 12/15/23, during a pre-trial review, Judge Mellor agreed to allow the submission of new evidence from Craig's team, and delayed the trial to 2/5/24 to give the COPA team time to assess the new evidence.

The new evidence was 97 documents contained in two USB drives discovered in a drawer in Craig's house back in September. The drives contain LaTeX files, which is the open-source document preparation system that Craig says he used to draft the Bitcoin white paper back in 2008.

Because this new evidence was going to cause a delay and cost COPA money to have experts examine the new documents, the judge allowed the new evidence but ordered Craig to pay 800,000 pounds by 1/5/24. It's a deposit, in case he loses, which will then go to COPA to cover costs. Craig had already deposited 100,000 pounds for the trial, and 65,000 pounds to cover COPA's costs related to Craig's request for special treatment due to his autism.

So, the total Craig has had to deposit is 965,000 pounds, which is about $1.2M, and the last 800,000 pounds (about $1M) were due on 1/5/24. These are deposits he likely loses if he loses the case.

On that same day, 1/5/24, coincidentally (and as far as I've seen, no one has made this particular connection yet), an anonymous wallet withdrew that same amount, about $1.2M-worth of BTC from Binance, and transferred it to the Genesis wallet/address, which contains the very first 50 bitcoins mined by Satoshi. The actual transfer was 26.917 BTC.

There are a couple of unique things about that wallet, aside from it containing the first BTC ever created. The first is that those first 50 coins cannot be spent. They cannot be moved. But the amount in that wallet has grown over the years as Satoshi fanboys toss in miniscule amounts like coins in a fountain, or graffiti on a statue. It had actually grown to about 73 bitcoins by 1/5/24, so this new transfer was not only almost exactly what Craig Wright had to pay the court by the same date, but it also brought the total in the Genesis wallet up to almost exactly 100 BTC (99.7 BTC as I write).

It was a big mystery in the Bitcoin community when it happened. There are a bunch of articles if you google it, but I only heard about it after following the trial. None of the articles connect it to the trial, and the only tweets I've seen referencing it in relation to the trial did not make the connection between the value of the BTC on that day and the amount that Craig had to pay the court on that day. As far as I've seen, I'm the only one, and now you can see it too.

Article about Craig having to pay $1.2M to the court

Article about $1.2M-worth of bitcoin being transferred to the Genesis wallet

The many articles focus on three main possibilities. The first is that it was some kind of expensive promotional stunt related to the upcoming launch of the ETFs. The second is that it was a tribute to the 15th anniversary of that block, which was actually two days earlier. And the third is that it was a mistake, because that's a lot of money to just throw away.

This is something I've been trying to ascertain, whether or not that $1.2M-worth of BTC is now unspendable forever. I've read differing opinions about whether it's just the first block that's unspendable, even by Satoshi himself, or anything in that wallet/address. Maybe TSN knows the answer, or at least thinks he does. The article above seems to suggest that it might be possible.

The explanation for why the Genesis Block can't be spent is that "Satoshi did not add the genesis block's coinbase transactions to the global transaction database which is used by Bitcoin nodes," and it is unknown whether that was intentional, or just a mistake. So, to my simple mind, it seems like it's possible that coins that came from other "spendable" blocks may still be spendable, but only by Satoshi himself since he has the key to that address. On the other hand, it seems equally likely that they're unspendable once they go in and join the unspendable block. But if that's the case, then how come that address can still receive coins, just not transfer them?

Anyway, one of the tweets I found that connected this $1.2M Genesis transfer to the trial suggested that perhaps it was a gesture from the real Satoshi, saying that he's still alive, still around, and OK with Craig claiming his identity. Of course, the person who tweeted that believes, like I do, that Craig is Satoshi.

So, this is an interesting theory. After all, the real Satoshi has an estimated 20,000+ wallets, most containing 50 BTC, the reward for mining a block during the first four years when he did most of his mining. For his own privacy, he used a different address or wallet for each block he mined, making it difficult to track which ones are definitively his. Only a few from the very beginning are known for sure to be his, although "thousands of 2009, 2010 and 2011 Satoshi-era BTC have moved since Craig's Tulip Trust 9-year lock expired."

The point being, the real Satoshi is one of a very few people who could easily throw away 27 BTC just to make a point. Perhaps the point was that the $1.2M the court made him pay is like nothing to him. Another tweet suggested that it might have been a private demonstration of some kind that ended in Meta/Facebook dropping out of COPA right before the trial. I have a couple theories of my own.

My two theories are that it was a precursor to one of the possible bombshells that could rock this trial. I'm thinking about two scenarios in which Craig moves some coins after being ordered (or asked) to by the judge.

Think about this purely logically. When we get to the end of the trial, the judge gets to decide whether Craig wins or loses, meaning whether Craig is Satoshi or not. It's not going to convince TSN and most of the BTCmaxis either way, because they'll just say that the judge got it wrong if Craig wins. But ignoring that, say we get to the end of the trial, and the judge has to make this decision.

At that point, he's either going to already be convinced that Craig is Satoshi, or he's not. If he's convinced that Craig is Satoshi, then Craig wins. If he's not convinced, then there's a high probability that he'll give Craig one last chance to prove it, either through a public signing or a public coin transfer. Even if he is already convinced that Craig is Satoshi, he will likely do this anyway, for the same reason that Craig did the proof sessions with Gavin and Jon even though he had already convinced them with secret knowledge that only the real Satoshi would know, so that there's objective proof other than the judge's personal opinion. He'd want to do this so that he doesn't get pilloried by laser-eyed maxis for siding with Craig, like happens to everyone else who sides with Craig.


Here's where those 26.917 BTC might come into play. Whether they can be moved again, or they're trapped there forever, there's a plausible scenario here.

If they can be moved again, then let's say Craig had someone who knows he's Satoshi transfer them to that Genesis wallet. Craig will simply send them back to that person. This satisfies one of the main Bitcoin precepts, or concerns, at least in Craig's mind, about moving "original" coins from the few for-sure-known Satoshi wallets. He's not moving any original coins. He's moving coins that were only there for a couple of months.

How would it work? The coins came out of Binance, a cryptocurrency trading exchange, which essentially anonymized them. Binance KYC compliance would know who owns the account that withdrew them, but that's actually a feature of the plan, not a bug. Let's say it's Jon Matonis. Craig transfers the BTC from the Genesis wallet back to Matonis, who shows that he was the one who sent the coins through Binance to an anonymous wallet. Binance, if asked/forced, confirms it was Jon.

If they can't be moved again, if those 26.917 BTC are forever locked in Block 0, then this also satisfies that same main concern in Craig's mind about moving "original" coins from the few known Satoshi wallets. He simply transfers the same amount to an anonymous (but probably his) wallet, from another known Satoshi wallet that can do transfers. It's like printing 26.917 new BTC, which goes against his principles, but then he also shows proof that he destroyed 26.917 BTC by sending them to Block 0. So, on net, no new BTC were released from the earliest blocks.

To me, these possibilities make more sense than any of the others proposed by other people. Craig said that he would have done the coin transfer if the "proof pack" had been properly released. In his mind, perhaps, this trial is the proof pack, and his last and final chance to get it all out there.


Craig would have thought this through, and prepared to do the coin transfer. If the Tulip Trust is still involved, my two scenarios could have been worked out with the trustees, one of whom was identified in court as Denis Mayaka.

I realize that my scenarios seem needlessly complicated as he could simply move coins from one Satoshi wallet to another, but just imagine the delicious courtroom drama when he says, "Before this trial began, I asked so-n-so to send a mil to the Genesis Block…"

That's one possible bombshell. Another one that's related is those LaTeX files on the two USB drives submitted into evidence in December, is that he's saying he wrote the original white paper on LaTeX, and that there may be a fingerprint or watermark that'll prove he wrote it. I know the Bitcoiners think this was already debunked during yesterday's testimony, as there was no Satoshi watermark found by COPA, but it's still in play. This is another possible bombshell that could come out.


Note, also, the article that Will just posted on the same subject:
The Invisible Ink of LaTeX: Embedding Messages in Plain Sight

Excerpt:

The Legacy of Steganography Steganography has traversed a long path from ancient times, evolving from physical subterfuges to intricate digital schemes. In today’s information age, where data is a currency, the ability to convey messages covertly is both an art and a science. We are about to explore an innovative digital application of this timeless art, using LaTeX.

LaTeX: A Primer LaTeX is more than a document preparation system; it’s a meticulous craft that allows for the creation of beautifully formatted text. Renowned for its use in academic and scientific documentation, LaTeX offers an unparalleled level of control over the layout, making it the ideal medium for our steganographic pursuits.

[...]

Conclusion: The Art of Concealment The interweaving of LaTeX and steganography is not just a modern repurposing of an ancient technique but a testament to the adaptability and enduring nature of the human desire for private communication. Through the seemingly mundane but incredibly versatile medium of LaTeX, we find that our everyday tools hold secret capacities. As we continue to explore and innovate, we are reminded that the most secure vaults may not be those of steel and stone, but those crafted from the spaces between our words.


OK, let's talk about yesterday's testimony. Yesterday was the day that COPA got to cross-examine Craig regarding the new evidence he submitted on 12/15/23, the LaTeX files from the USB drives. COPA had a couple of surprises up their sleeves, and this was gonna be a big GOTCHA day, so they packed their side of the courtroom with a bunch of laser-eyed maxis, one of whom was caught on the livestream picking his nose and eating the booger, but I digress.

The first surprise that Craig didn't know was coming, was that they had been able to download a keystroke log from his Overleaf account, which is an online LaTeX editor that Craig used to demonstrate to his attorneys the importance of these LaTeX files. This is how they were able to compile the animation that TSN posted on the last thread:


Matig wrote:

"A cybersecurity expert spends hours using an ONLINE EDITOR to forge a document for the court? I’ve skimmed some of his old unrelated technical writings, and they are credible. It’s hard to believe he could be so dumb as to not consider the risk that the online service would retain his edit history. But it’s even harder to make sense of his explanation to the court for doing this."


This did catch him off-guard, but I thought his explanation was quite reasonable. Here's how I put it all together. First, the discovery of old files on a couple of old hard drives at his home in September or October while preparing for trial makes sense, especially if he was looking for something in particular. I have stacks of old computers and hard drives, and I'm not even a computer guy.

He says he found some of the original LaTeX files from when he was working on the BTC wp (and other papers) in 2008. He would know the importance of these files in compiling the PDF that he published, but that might not be immediately apparent to his attorneys. All of this kind of stuff (i.e., documentary evidence) has to go through your lawyers. They have to understand it. You have to turn it over to them, and then they have to submit it to the court, and then it goes to the other side for review.

He said he had to use the online editor in order to demonstrate how it compiles the LaTeX file into a PDF, because it's the current version and older versions won't compile, and for other reasons as well. I don't know anything about LaTeX, just what I've learned from the trial, so don't shoot me if I get some of this wrong. But his explanation sounded quite innocent. He did a demonstration for his lawyers. He tried to put together what they needed. It sounds like it was a little rushed, and then they submitted it to the court less than a month later.

From what I gather, the real importance of the LaTeX file is not some fingerprint or watermark, although there might still be one, it's how hard (or impossible?) it would be to recreate a new LaTeX file from the original PDF, one which would compile into a perfect match of the original PDF. I think that's what he was demonstrating to the attorneys.

Later, he told COPA and their attorneys how to properly verify the LaTeX files, but they didn't do it. Instead, they ran with this forgery narrative and ambushed him in the courtroom with the animation.


At the very end of the day, they focused in on a specific image detail in the "forgery" that they said had to have been forged in a program called Aspose, and inserted into the LaTeX file from Aspose. It could only have come from Aspose because the level of detail exactly matched Aspose. Craig said he never used Aspose, and furthermore, that edit wasn't in the Overleaf logs!

COPA: These changes show you committing the act of forgery. CSW: No

COPA: the animation shows it in progress. CSW: No, and you are claiming that the edit can exist without the record of edit. It obviously wasn't done in my Overleaf. It shows them being loaded. While I had my computer being screenshotted by a third party...

COPA: You thought you could escape the forgery by withholding the metadata. CSW: I sent Overleaf right away

COPA: But Overleaf showed you forging key by key! CSW: And that doesn't show anything about aspose, so the forging must have been done on another machine!

COPA: Your files are a forgery. CSW: they could be, but not by me.




Here's a good explanation of what Craig was doing in the demonstration:

The Art of Watermarking the Bitcoin Whitepaper

Craig Wright (CSW) demonstrates creating a unique watermark in a LaTeX Bitcoin whitepaper document, arguing it's proof of authorship due to its complexity and the difficulty in replication, highlighting his claim to being the creator of Bitcoin.

Purpose of Adjustments: CSW explains that his adjustments to spacing were intended to demonstrate the creation of a watermark, not to forge the document. This was part of showing the complexity involved in replicating the exact formatting of the original document without knowing the original LaTeX settings. He states, "To show how they work," highlighting his intent to demonstrate the watermark's creation process.

Watermark Creation: Wright's demonstration aimed at showing how the original LaTeX file was set up to create the whitepaper, including a unique watermark. This involved manipulating variables controlling aspects like base spacing and the stretch and shrink limits. Wright emphasizes, "Yes, but this isn't something you can just guess. I'm demonstrating that with 4 variables, you can't fake it," underlining the complexity of this proces.

Documentation and Transparency: Wright mentions documenting the process through screenshots and having his solicitors present during the demonstration, indicating efforts to transparently show how the watermark was created. He notes, "Screenshots and such. Shoosmiths were at my house," suggesting a meticulous approach to proving the watermark's existence and his original creation of the document

Complexity in Replication: The conversation highlights the complexity of the LaTeX formatting, where changing one variable impacts others, making the document's unique formatting challenging to fake. Wright asserts, "Yes, I was showing how difficult it would be to fake," emphasizing the intricate details that serve as a watermark and underscore his authorship claim.

Three-Body Problem Analogy: Wright compares the difficulty of guessing the correct settings to the three-body problem in physics, a complex problem where predicting the motion of three celestial bodies interacting through gravity is notoriously difficult. He explains, "You'll notice 3 values. I was showing the 3 body problem. You can't guess a value and hope it matches," using this analogy to illustrate the complexity of accurately replicating the watermark without knowing the original variable settings.

This conversation underscores Craig Wright's attempt to demonstrate the technical complexities behind the creation of the Bitcoin whitepaper as evidence of his authorship. The emphasis on the unique watermark created through LaTeX formatting variables and the analogy to the three-body problem serve as a strong argument in his claim to being the creator of Bitcoin.

Arguing that the watermark demonstration was a deception misses the point entirely. The watermark serves as a strong piece of evidence precisely because it cannot be easily replicated or guessed. It's akin to a digital signature that uniquely identifies the creator. The complexity of the variables involved and the analogy to the three-body problem highlight the near impossibility of duplicating such a watermark without intimate knowledge of the original document's creation. Therefore, the watermark is not a trick but a testament to the author's originality and technical skill, reinforcing Craig Wright's claim to authorship in a way that simple replication of text cannot.

Interestingly, the demonstration of the unique watermark did not originate from Craig Wright but from his opponents. This raises questions about how they accessed the data.

Their misinterpretation of the demonstration's intent, aiming to use it against Wright, ironically undermined their position, resulting in an unintended self-defeat


Now, this is getting a little more into the weeds than I wanted to go in this post, but Craig mentions Christen Ager-Hanssen (CAH) as someone who could and would have sabotaged his evidence. Christen Ager-Hanssen is a Norwegian billionaire venture capitalist, who was CEO of nChain until Stefan Matthews fired him last September. He hates Craig, and tried to force Stefan Matthews not to testify in this trial. You can read Stefan Matthews' testimony (day 1 and day 2) to get the full story, but Christen Ager-Hanssen definitely has the motive and means to sabotage those files. There's so much money involved that there's a lot of intrigue surrounding this trial, and it's not coming from autistic Craig and the BSV bunch.

Moving on, here's something interesting I came across. I think Midnight Gardner might recognize this guy (the video is cued up to the appropriate point, it's only a minute or so):



Here's more:


Here is that interview, from 5/5/16:

Craig Steven Wright, who over the past days claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin, has been unable to publicly prove control over any of the keys that (only) Satoshi Nakamoto should possess. While his initial blog post deceptively included a Satoshi Nakamoto signature that was always publicly available, today he announced he will not move any of “Satoshi's bitcoins.”

Yet four notable men in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space still believe Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, or leader of a team called “Satoshi Nakamoto” that also included the now-deceased Dave Kleiman. Bitcoin’s former lead developer Gavin Andresen and former Bitcoin Foundation director Jon Matonis met Wright over the past weeks, and – among other things – believe to have seen cryptographic proof. Digital currency veteran and R3-architect Ian Grigg has been publicly backing Wright's claim, too.

The fourth source maintaining that Wright is the man behind the alias Satoshi Nakamoto is New Liberty Dollar issuer Joseph VaughnPerling. VaughnPerling says he met Wright at a conference in Amsterdam three years before publication of the Bitcoin white paper – and that Wright introduced himself as Satoshi Nakamoto at that time.

This is not a new story: VaughnPerling has been saying he met Satoshi Nakamoto for years.

More recently, VaughnPerling appeared on the Bitcoin Core Slack channel, where he predicted Satoshi Nakamoto would reveal himself around this time.

To learn more, I reached out to VaughnPerling via the Bitcoin Core Slack channel myself. Late at night, at 2 a.m. local time, VaughnPerling responded. He seemed slightly pressed for time, and it had been a long day for me, so we only chatted for about 30 minutes.

To avoid too much interpretation from my end, I have decided to publish our full conversation. Bitcoin Magazine has not been able to find any other sources to confirm the information provided by VaughnPerling such as the message from the trustee of the Tulip Trust.

Joseph VaughnPerling: You had some questions?

Aaron van Wirdum: The main question I have right now is: If Wright is Satoshi ... why would he publish fake proof? Any idea?

JVP: I have some very good ideas. If I were in Dr. Wright's position, I would do exactly as he has done.

I also have a message for Dr. Wright from the trustee of the Tulip trust that is controlling the coins that he wants to move. Not yet announced:

The Tulip Trading Trust trustee, appointed by Dave Kleiman as of Oct 12nd 2012. It has been rumored that Craig Wright will need to access Tulip Trading Trust assets. Trustee acts in the interest of the beneficiary alone and must defend against undue influence by others. In order to authorize movements of trust assets the beneficiary must come forward and make a direct request of the trustee our way NOT via 3rd party nor any intermediaries. Any coin movement affecting the trust asset without prior authorization will be considered a trust violation and invalid irrespective of any claim of constructive bailment. The Trust alone has control over its assets. Tampering or manipulating with trust assets by anyone (including the beneficiary) might have material legal and tax implications. Beneficiaries are invited to a conference call 12:00 UTC Friday to discuss interests. Principals only.”

AVW: Can you help me out here? Who's who in this message? Is Wright a beneficiary?

JVP: It is not my place to speculate on the transactions and assets of others.

AVW: So you don't know?

JVP: What I know and when I know it is not something I am interested in sharing. At least as regards the matter of the finances of others. It would show me to be a nosy one. And that much is already apparent to anyone looking at me. My nose is hard to miss.

AVW: As I interpret that message, Dave Kleiman locked up Satoshi's holdings with Tulip Trust. In order to move Satoshi’s coins, like Wright said he would, he needs access. Which he may or may not get ...

JVP: Close, but it shows that you are not entirely familiar with how a trust works.

AVW: That is correct.

JVP: Did you have other questions?

AVW: Why do you have this message?

JVP: He will know why.

AVW: Why are you sharing it with me?

JVP: It will also be shared with some selected cryptographers.

AVW: But I can publish it?

JVP: Kind of you to ask. Yes.

AVW: So you're really sharing it with the world then. Which brings us back to "why"...

JVP: I would like for Craig Wright to have his privacy. He has already done more for us than we can repay, but it is not just this. I would like him to be able to do what he wants to do, without interference. We would all be better off when that occurs.

AVW: How does sharing that message help?

JVP: He is following a wrong path, because he must. He is doing it the least-wrong way possible. He is on Meifumando. It is as it has to be.

AVW: What is the wrong path? And what is the right path?

JVP: The world can learn much from what he has done and how. He is showing what cryptography does and does not do. It is a lesson that the world needs to learn before mass adoption can occur.

AVW: Mass adoption of Bitcoin?

JVP: The world was not ready for Bitcoin when it appeared. When the world learns these simple lessons, it will be more ready.

AVW: Why is Bitcoin not ready for mass adoption?

JVP: People do not understand what cryptography does and does not do. People do not understand pseudonymous. Having a key means you have a key. It does not mean you had it previously, or that you will have it in the future.

AVW: Right ... So?

JVP: He is forced on a stage, so he provides a masterful lesson that many who call themselves cryptographers seem to have forgotten.

AVW: In what way is he forced?

JVP: He said it himself, the decision to appear was made by others. Did you not even watch his video on BBC?

AVW: Of course I did.

JVP: Watch it again. You missed a lot.

AVW: But he didn't say in what way he was forced, did he? Or how, or why ...

JVP: I will say this much. If I were in his situation, I would have done as he did, though probably not even as well as he did.

AVW: Wright's Twitter account bio says Ian Grigg and yourself maintain it. Is that true?

JVP: Dr. Wright deleted his Twitter account for his own protection. A friend of his picked up the account as it came available to preserve it for him.

AVW: So Ian and yourself are currently controlling that Twitter account?

JVP: There may be others involved as well, but we are the ones that are taking the bullets.

AVW: How well do you actually know Wright? You speak like you know him very well, but you just met him at a conference once, didn't you?

JVP: I met him at a conference in 2005, he wore the moniker. We discussed what became Bitcoin at great length. He knew all there was to know about Bitcoin in 2005, and he shared it with me. I did not learn his government-registered name until much later.

AVW: So you did get to know him later on?

JVP: That's a story for another time.

AVW: Did you know Dave Kleiman as well?

JVP: Dave Kleiman was an exceptional man. If you want to know more about Dave, you should talk to the SANS folks.

One of the top SANS people is also having a conference in Las Vegas in September, where the Trustee of the Tulip Trust is expected to appear.

AVW: Expected to appear?

JVP: Very high probability.

Not all details are decided, but I have heard that they may be even auctioning consultations with her.

AVW: You realize all of this is a really weird story, right?

JVP: Yes, and you have seen only the snowdrift on the tip of the iceberg. The level of weird is off the scale.

AVW: Do you know the full story?

JVP: I doubt even Craig knows the full story, but I could fill about 20 books.

AVW: No offense, but: Why should I trust any of this? Why should I trust anything you say?

JVP: Do your own research. Keep on your quest for knowledge. When you find someone who can teach you, listen carefully. When you find someone that can learn from you, be kind.

AVW: You're skilled at avoiding questions through what sounds like ancient wisdoms.

JVP: You are a reporter, the ancient wisdom is multiple sources, so ... do your own research …

Author’s note: The transcript was slightly edited for readability. Typos were fixed, punctuation improved (VaughnPerling uses double-spaces), the order of some questions was changed, and seemingly irrelevant text (like our chit-chat introductory talk) was removed. I tried to stay as close as possible to the original text and context, however.

Image via YouTube






Another interesting development is that, just this past Thursday, a guy named Martti Malmi released a treasure trove of 260 of his private emails with Satoshi from 2009 through 2011 when Satoshi bowed out.


He writes:

This is the correspondence between myself (Martti Malmi, AKA Sirius) and Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.

I did not feel comfortable sharing private correspondence earlier, but decided to do so for an important trial in the UK in 2024 where I was a witness. Also, a long time has passed now since the emails were sent.

The archive is incomplete and contains only emails from my address @cc.hut.fi. My university email addresses changed to @aalto.fi in early 2011, and I don't have backups of those emails.

There are some passwords and a street address mentioned in the emails, but those are no longer valid or relevant.



It has only been less than 48 hours since they came out, but already a new narrative is circulating in the Bitcoin community, dissuading people from reading the emails. It goes like this:


That's because, some of the emails written by the real Satoshi sound an awful lot like Craig:


This is basically where it stands today. The lasereyed maxis are taking victory laps this weekend, high-fiving, saying it's over, he's done, Creg is cooked, but the trial is really only half over.



To be clear, I'm not predicting the outcome of the trial. Craig could lose, but unless something changes, I'll still be sure it's him. The circumstantial evidence that it's him is simply overwhelming. I think some of the COPA witnesses know it's him, and they're lying because there's so much money at stake. Plus, they just don't like him.

Martti Malmi, the guy who published his private emails with Satoshi, is the guy who moved the Bitcoin forum from Bitcoin.org to Bitcointalk.org, and didn't even invite Satoshi. Satoshi invented Bitcoin, but these early developers had their own ideas about which way it should go, and that's basically where it is today. They're saying that even Satoshi didn't understand Bitcoin properly, even in those very early days as evidenced in the emails. How funny is that?


And just to be even more clear, I'm not suddenly a fan of Bitcoin, BSV, Satoshi or Craig Wright. I started my blog two months before Satoshi released the Bitcoin white paper, and I'm still on the same track that I was then. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has zigged and zagged, jumped the tracks (and the shark) many times, and the earliest participants (who are mostly all a little younger than me) are off doing their own things. My view of BTC hasn't changed since 2011: It's a tulip-style trading bubble. Notably, I wrote my first Bitcoin post a couple of months after Satoshi abandoned the developers to work on something else.

Now I'm learning about how nChain is running over a million transactions a second, which is apparently really fast:


Here's the very last thing Craig said on the stand yesterday:

COPA: Your claim to be Satoshi is a fraud. CSW: No. I have proved bitcoin can scale beyond Oracle and any Silicon Valley system. Nobody can do a million tx/second. Customers don't care if I'm Satoshi. they care about the science and the tech.



One thing I don't think the Bitcoiners understand is that BSV is not trying to do the number-go-up thing. It's not something you save. It's not a speculative asset.


Here, when he says "Bitcoin is fine," he's talking about BSV, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, which BSVers call the real Bitcoin:


You see, this isn't me getting into crypto or anything like that. But taking this deep dive into the trial, as an outsider with kind of a unique perspective, has opened my eyes to another angle on it. It was never intended to be what it became, at least not by the guy who started it, even by 2011 when it popped up on my radar.

I find myself agreeing with these BSVers that BTC is doomed to fail. I have thought that since 2011, but they only started thinking that in 2017. Satoshi apparently thought that in 2011. Today you've got all these bitcoin whales living in 20,000 square foot mansions with nothing to do but buy another Lambo. That's not success. That's clearly the top of the bubble, and it's not sustainable. This thing is doomed to fail.

With BSV, nCrypt, Teranode, this whole idea of big blocks, millions of transactions per second, with transaction fees of a couple of cents, all on the main blockchain, I can finally see some merit in the idea. Plus, it's not something you buy for the moonshot. It's not trying to bubble like BTC. If it ends up working, it'll be "backed by cash" as Satoshi wrote. It'll be fixed to the dollar, or whatever currency is backing it, by the central bank. It'll simply be a new component of the monetary base, along with physical cash and commercial bank reserves, as I wrote in this post, only it will make digital micropayments simple enough for boomers, and practically free.

And I don't think the idea that CBDCs might use this software nChain is developing is so outlandish. No, they're not going to give Calvin Ayer control of their CBDC network, but they might buy nChain's system, not because of patents, but because it's turnkey and it works. That's what governments and bureaucracies do. They take the best from the private sector and use it. Governments and bureaucracies are, by nature, slow and stupid. Here's a flashback from a 2009 post on my blog:



I think I'll end this here, because it's getting late, and this is still a developing story. Don't let the maxi-technobabble fool you. This is far from over. The maxi narrative of Craig as an epic forger has evolved into a tight, cohesive belief system over the years, complete with an explanation for anything and everything. So has the BTC small-blocker number-go-up narrative, but I watched it grow all the way from its first seeds in 2011, and believe me, they made it up as they went along.


Sincerely,
FOFOA



Monday, February 19, 2024

A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma


Every once in a while, a story catches not only my attention, but my interest, to the extent that I do a deep dive into something that I previously knew little about. I spend some time with something, draw some conclusions, then write about it and show my work. Freegold was one such story, but there have been others that I have written about, even on this blog.

Often, the story contains a mystery, and while I don't usually dive into it in order to solve the mystery publicly, I do so to solve it to my own satisfaction. Something drives me to want to know the answer, and to do so I need to understand the enigma enough to decode the riddle and come up with a series of plausible solutions of varying probabilities.

The goal is to find one that has a near-99% probability, while the remaining possibilities combined fill the last 1%. It's not always that easy. Possibilities often turn out to be closer to 50/50 than 99/1. And if I think they're worth sharing, i.e., writing a post about, I try to be upfront with my probability analysis, as well as explicitly differentiating between objective facts, opinion and speculation. That's a basic description of what I do here, even with Freegold.

Now, this post is not about gold. In fact, it will probably be somewhat controversial. So, in order to get you interested enough to even read it, I need to start by explaining how it came about.

My last two posts have been about Bitcoin, due primarily to the expedited launch of the Bitcoin ETFs on January 11th. I don't own any bitcoin, I don't recommend owning or buying bitcoin, and I don't really have a dog in the fight. But I have written about Bitcoin from time to time, over the past 13 years (my first Bitcoin post was on 6/15/11). And, right now, I'm just sort of killing time with this subject while I wait for something else to happen that will be relevant to the main topic of this blog.

So, my last post went up on Sunday, February 4th. Coincidentally, a trial meant to once and for all establish whether Craig Steven Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the guy who wrote the Bitcoin white paper and mined the first block of bitcoins in January of 2009, began the very next day in London. I only found out about it because a guy I follow on Twitter and Telegram for totally-unrelated-to-Bitcoin reasons posted about it. The guy's name is Doug Stewart. His Telegram handle, Oliver Darcy, is just a joke. Here were his two posts:


Notice the vitriol in the posts. That's what caught my attention. Bitcoiners HATE Craig Wright, because if he were Satoshi, they think that would pose an existential threat to the current and future value of their precious bitcoins (and it very well might). I kind of knew a little about this passionate hatred, but I think of Doug Stewart as a pretty level-headed guy, and the tone of those comments seemed out of character to me. So, I dug in.

I read the article in the Sun, and posted it here, since it was under a new Bitcoin post and was Bitcoin-related. After I posted that, JimO posted this:

If you are interested in the identity of SN and are prepared to consider Craig Wright as a contender, then essential reading is a 10,000 word essay (“Satoshi”) by Andrew O’Hagan in the London Review of Books from a few years ago. Unfortunately it is behind a paywall, which only seems to affect honest types like me. The LRB has a decent archive with index.

O’Hagan is Chief Editor and writes very well. He was engaged by some business type (who wanted to commercialise some of CW’s patents etc) to hang out with CW in the UK for a few months. This is when they did the big test etc which CW “fluffed”.

O’Hagan agreed provided he could write whatever he wanted. O’Hagan had no real understanding of bitcoin at the start. He came to no definite conclusion about whether CW=SN.

What was very interesting was the obvious fact that CW is a bit of a strange bird (no offense intended).

(But not as strange as Julian Assange, about whom O’Hagan wrote a similar length article for LRB a few years before the one above.)

I neither know nor care but I have no trouble accepting that CW might be SN. He certainly ticks a few boxes when it comes to his background and academic interests.

I think I stated this once before but O’Hagan finished with a great one-liner regarding how all the precious bitcoin-geeks maybe refuse to accept CW because they can’t bear the thought that their beloved Satoshi is simply a middle-aged Australian called Craig. lol

[ That’s up there with FOFOA’s recent:

…” There aren’t enough ‘greater fools’. They’re already in bitcoin”. ]

The next day, ShockOnT posted this:
FOFOA:

If Craig Wright is Satoshi, then all he has to do is create a new wallet and move his 1 million pre-mined Bitcoins to that address and that removes any doubt. End of story. He isn’t Satoshi.

tEON:

My bet on Bitcoin is a bet on Satoshi being NSA/CB etc…. My quest to understand the Bitcoin network and its viability is only to support my theory that it is another AMZN, X, FB, etc… So if I am right (not Wright ๐Ÿ˜‰), then we shall see Max Keiser’s $200K+ this cycle. The technology is legit and IF TPTB are behind it then it won’t fail.

If, however, this douchebag is Satoshi:
Then it’s back to aspiring to be Scrooge McDuck:

That comment piqued my interest. That's when I started reading the long Andrew O’Hagan essay, which is actually more than 35,000 words. I read it slowly, over several days, stopping and pondering each scene he described. The article is written in the first person, and Andrew O'Hagan includes himself in the story. It is a written account summarized from contemporaneous notes taken during the more than 6 months he spent with almost unrestricted access to Craig Wright, and cooperation from his family, so, even in a court of law, it is a form of actual evidence.

I also started following the trial that was going on in London, reading articles that summarized what happened each day. I looked up the people in O'Hagan's essay, and did a mini-deep-dive into each of them. I found more recent articles about them. Since O'Hagan's essay was written in 2016, I was able to kind of finish it, or at least bring it up to date, by verifying elements of the story with news and articles that came two, four, and even seven years later. Every article I read led to three more. Deep dives take time.

By the end of the first week, I was following the trial blow by blow, every question and answer each day, through someone on Twitter/X who was tweeting it in real time. They are livestreaming the trial, but only to people who requested remote attendance and were approved by the court. Recording, rebroadcasting, even taking a screencap is prohibited, and the court can cut your access (or everyone's access) if the rules are broken. So, the only way to follow it in real-time is through someone who's watching it live and tweeting what's happening.

So, here's the spoiler for this post: I am now 100% convinced that Craig Wright is Satoshi. The trial is far from over, and it's only going to get more interesting as it goes. But having followed Craig's seven days on the stand, and having read and assessed probably more than a hundred pages of articles, there is no doubt in my mind that he is Satoshi.

That doesn't mean I'm predicting how the judge is going to rule at the end of the trial. This could go either way. That's why I think this post is fun. Because there's something to follow, with a known end-date. The trial has been going for two weeks now, and there are two more weeks of cross-examination of witnesses, through March 1st. Then they take a break for a week (that's the week we get to follow the Super Tuesday circus), and come back on March 12th through the 15th for closing arguments.

Now I'm going to show you my work, and how I got to this level of certainty. But I can't tell you how controversial this is to Bitcoiners. They have spent so much time debunking Craig Wright as Satoshi that it has become Bitcoin doctrine that he is a fraud. They call him Faketoshi. LOL! It is not even questioned or discussed anymore, since at least 2018. Anyone who came to Bitcoin after 2018 simply knows the doctrine. It goes like this:

All he'd have to do is transfer a single bitcoin from the original wallet to prove that he is Satoshi, so the fact that he hasn't means he can't, and that means he's a fraud, that he's not Satoshi. The whole ordeal was an elaborate hoax beginning in 2015.


Yet, here he is, still around, nine years later, still claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto.

The fact of the matter is that he has a multitude of reasons NOT to do that indisputable bitcoin transfer. And, in fact, he DID prove that he has the original Satoshi cryptographic keys. He proved it privately to O'Hagan and a few reporters, who were not exactly expert enough to fully understand what he did. But there were TWO people who he proved his identity to in private, who would know.

They would know, because they were early developers who corresponded privately with the real Satoshi. So, Craig first convinced them by revealing details from those early discussions, then he asked them to come to London for a private cryptographic proof session. After he proved, cryptographically, that he had Satoshi's keys, here's what each of them stated publicly:

Gavin Andresen wrote: "After spending time with him I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt: Craig Wright is Satoshi."

And Jon Matonis wrote: "The proof is conclusive and I have no doubt that Craig Steven Wright is the person behind the Bitcoin technology, Nakamoto consensus, and the Satoshi Nakamoto name."

Gavin Andresen was one of the earliest developers who interact with Satoshi extensively in the early days of Bitcoin. He was so central to Bitcoin that, when Satoshi decided to quit to go work on other things in 2011, Gavin is who he left in charge.

Notice in Doug Stewart's post that he says that Gavin scoffed at the claim when Craig made it. That's not true at all, but it's a good example of how history is being rewritten by bitcoiners and becoming doctrine within the Bitcoin community, and Doug is a serious bitcoiner from what I can tell.


What actually happened was that Craig showed Gavin the proof on his own computer. Gavin was already convinced, but he was smart enough to know that it was at least possible that the proof demonstration could have been stage-managed since it was shown to him on Craig's own computer. So, they bought a brand new computer in a sealed box from a random computer store, unboxed it right there on the spot, went through the new computer setup procedure, and then Craig did the proof again on this brand new computer, which was enough for Gavin to write this post on his own blog, dated May 2, 2016:

I believe Craig Steven Wright is the person who invented Bitcoin.

I was flown to London to meet Dr. Wright a couple of weeks ago, after an initial email conversation convinced me that there was a very good chance he was the same person I’d communicated with in 2010 and early 2011. After spending time with him I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt: Craig Wright is Satoshi.

Part of that time was spent on a careful cryptographic verification of messages signed with keys that only Satoshi should possess. But even before I witnessed the keys signed and then verified on a clean computer that could not have been tampered with, I was reasonably certain I was sitting next to the Father of Bitcoin.

During our meeting, I saw the brilliant, opinionated, focused, generous – and privacy-seeking – person that matches the Satoshi I worked with six years ago. And he cleared up a lot of mysteries, including why he disappeared when he did and what he’s been busy with since 2011. But I’m going to respect Dr. Wright’s privacy, and let him decide how much of that story he shares with the world.

We love to create heroes – but also seem to love hating them if they don’t live up to some unattainable ideal. It would be better if Satoshi Nakamoto was the codename for an NSA project, or an artificial intelligence sent from the future to advance our primitive money. He is not, he is an imperfect human being just like the rest of us. I hope he manages to mostly ignore the storm that his announcement will create, and keep doing what he loves– learning and research and innovating.

I am very happy to be able to say I shook his hand and thanked him for giving Bitcoin to the world.


After seven years of browbeating by the Bitcoin community, Gavin finally caved in 2023 and issued a half-hearted retraction that reads more like a hostage statement than something he wanted to do:

But the Bitcoin community acts like it was a full retraction:

To be perfectly clear, Gavin Andresen did not retract his original statement: "After spending time with him I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt: Craig Wright is Satoshi."

Here is Craig Wright himself responding to Gavin's (quote-unquote) "retraction":



Don’t get me wrong, Craig Wright is a flawed human being. He's probably done some illegal stuff, and he clearly has skeletons in his closet, probably way more than are even hinted at in what I've read over the past two weeks. He's conflicted. He was outed as Satoshi Nakamoto by Gizmodo and Wired on Dec. 8, 2015 (Dec. 9 in Australia), raided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) on that same day, and that's when he went on the run.

Why did he go on the run that day, Dec. 9, 2015? Ross Ulbricht had just been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2015 for running Silk Road with Bitcoin, and Craig Wright had some connection to him. Craig's closest partner, Dave Kleiman, who helped write the Bitcoin white paper, definitely had a connection to Ross and Silk Road, and Craig admits to at least having met Ross, and exchanging Bitcoins with him through Mt. Gox.

In the US, it is illegal to create a new currency, so being outed as Satoshi opened the possibility of prosecution in the US. Craig had written code for illegal gambling operations in Central America in the past, and he had used Liberty Reserve, a digital currency service, to get money out of Central America and into the US. Liberty Reserve was later shut down by the US government for money laundering, its assets seized, and its founder was arrested in Spain in 2013, and extradited to the US where he was ultimately sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Craig had plenty of reasons to go on the run that day, the same day that he was both outed as Satoshi, and raided by the Australian government. He was done with Australia, and, after bouncing through New Zealand, Hong Kong and the Philippines, he landed in London, where he has lived to this day.



The second early developer who had interacted with Satoshi extensively in the early days of Bitcoin to whom he performed the proof privately was Jon Matonis. Matonis was an HMS (hard money) gold blogger who started his blog shortly after me, in March of 2009, and quickly switched focus to digital currency, and ultimately to Bitcoin. He was aware of Freegold and my blog. He referenced one of my posts on his blog, he commented on a blog post by someone else that was about me and Freegold, a post that many of you commented on as well, and he even commented on my blog once in 2010:


Jon Matonis's first contact with Satoshi was on May 4, 2010, when Satoshi emailed him. Satoshi liked his blog. Here's the email he received:

From: Satoshi Nakamoto
Subject: Re: Introduction
To: “Jon Matonis”
Date: Thursday, March 4, 2010, 9:55 PM
Nice blog. That’s the first I’ve seen that focuses on this subject. I wish there was something like that when I originally researched this three years ago, there was scant to nothing back then. I think I’ll be a regular reader.

Bitcoin would be right up your alley. Its advantage is that it’s P2P. There isn’t a central mint or company running it. As long as there are users, it survives.

I’m sure you’ve already found the FAQ and Forum at bitcoin.org.

The logo is here:

https://www.bitcoin.o….php?topic=64.0

Was there anything particular you were interested in?

Jon went on to head the Bitcoin Foundation, along with Gavin Andresen, which he left in 2014 following Mt. Gox and the Silk Road arrests. 2014 was not a good year for Bitcoin.

Then, in July of 2015, Jon met Craig Wright at a Bitcoin conference in Sydney. After meeting him and talking with him, he says he had this strange feeling that he'd just met Satoshi. He continued corresponding with Craig, and then in March of 2016, Craig invited Jon to come to London for the private proof session, after which Jon said, on camera to the BBC, that he was "100% convinced." Jon has never retracted that statement. In fact, here's a tweet where someone asked him for a retraction and he refused:


And here's the post he wrote titled, How I Met Satoshi:

How I Met Satoshi
By Jon Matonis
Medium
Monday, May 2, 2016

My relationship with the individual known as Satoshi Nakamoto started in early March 2010 when I received an email from Satoshi pointing me to the published Bitcoin white paper and encouraging me to investigate the system and to begin promoting the network by transacting and mining. At the time, I managed a digital currency blog and this was an email relationship with some brief correspondence.

Then, on June 4th 2015 during a conference, I arranged to meet fellow Bitcoin advocate, Craig Steven Wright, for a cup of coffee at the top floor of the AMP headquarters building in Sydney, Australia. After discussing many technical and economic aspects of the current Bitcoin protocol debates, I returned to my hotel room after an exhausting day. I remember saying to my wife that I had this weird feeling of having just met Satoshi. Of course, I continued the dialogue with Craig in the months after returning from Sydney and leading up to a private proof session in late March 2016.

The reality of an extraordinary event is rarely what you imagine and I am now pleased to know the creator of the Bitcoin protocol and the author of the Bitcoin white paper, Craig Steven Wright. Bitcoin in itself is a brilliant accomplishment. Dr Wright's substantial academic works merit further attention. I believe that the scale of his achievement, especially the original design of chaining blocks to achieve Nakamoto consensus, has far-reaching implications for our world beyond just a single vertical industry.

During the London proof sessions, I had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical. Based on what I witnessed, it is my firm belief that Craig Steven Wright satisfies all three categories. For cryptographic proof in my presence, Craig signed and verified a message using the private key from block #1 newly-generated coins and from block #9 newly-generated coins (the first transaction to Hal Finney). The social evidence, including his unique personality, early emails that I received, and early drafts of the Bitcoin white paper, points to Craig as the creator. I also received satisfactory explanations to my questions about registering the bitcoin.org domain and the various time-of-day postings to the BitcoinTalk forum. Additionally, Craig's technical working knowledge of public key cryptography, Bitcoin's addressing system, and proof-of-work consensus in a distributed peer-to-peer environment is very strong.

According to me, the proof is conclusive and I have no doubt that Craig Steven Wright is the person behind the Bitcoin technology, Nakamoto consensus, and the Satoshi Nakamoto name.

This story and its work are far from over.

Directly or indirectly, the work of Satoshi has already provided employment opportunities for tens of thousands of people around the globe and created over $7 billion of new blockchain wealth. The forthcoming research work from Dr Craig Wright can only be described as voluminous and highly technical.

At its essence, Bitcoin displaces the intermediary, or trusted third party, and there will be no sacred cows along the way. It will be methodical, scientific, and unforgiving in its ascent.

Going forward from here, Bitcoin-company board rooms and others throughout the financial ecosystem will be recalibrating business models as these applied developments realign the prevailing orthodoxy. Expect radically-new solutions that address specialized nodes and on-chain scalability, smart contracts that exploit a Turing complete Bitcoin, the impotence of tokenless blockchains, and a systematic decline in the quantity and value of alt-coins.

Of course, overall scalability of the Bitcoin network will continue to evolve and improve, with a decided bias towards efficient on-chain scaling as further advancements in mining and node specialisation are realized. Moreover, this will be possible without compromising or degrading the current optimal levels for mining decentralisation or node decentralisation.

Programmable transactions, or smart contracts, will emerge for various suitable use cases. Much of the proposed functionality in Ethereum-like scripting solutions can be accomplished with the existing Bitcoin network through the use of multiple digital signatures and metadata storage techniques.

Computational power and security of the distributed network will continue to increase beyond the exahash per second rates achieved to date since proof-of-work mining is a zero-sum game. The "second" strongest distributed blockchain will always be less secure than a centralised data center.

Indeed, hashrate matters and will continue to matter.

Technological advances in user-friendly privacy and coin fungibility will progress to maturity for the average user and outpace competing efforts to thwart financial privacy. Bitcoin's built-in consumer protections include protection from financial surveillance, protection from confiscation, protection from government-sponsored inflation, protection from payment blockades, and protection from identity theft.

As the separation of money and State accelerates in real time, Bitcoin will continue to keep the monetary revolution peaceful. Coins in large volume will not be dropped onto the market, thereby strengthening bitcoin's essential store-of-value element and ultimately benefitting its medium-of-exchange and unit-of-account properties.

We must remember that bitcoin is not the byproduct of a blockchain -- the blockchain is the byproduct of bitcoin. Private, permissioned blockchains and distributed ledgers serve only to erect barriers and advance the interests of restrictive cartels whereas the public Bitcoin blockchain works to disrupt, not enable, financial incumbents.

In this new post-legal tender era, it is the central banks not the commercial banks that have the most to lose. We don't need kings to coin our money and Bitcoin will outlive political institutions. It already has. Consequently, this will have severe transformative implications for governments' fiscal policy and monetary policy.

I believe that the massive tidal wave of decentralisation and future Bitcoin advancements will start to occur more rapidly now, setting the stage for society to realize the plethora of currently imagined innovations. However, at the center of all of this incredible progress will be the unwavering and critical value of the humble digital bearer token known as bitcoin.


In 2017, Bitcoin developers decided to add a software upgrade to Bitcoin, referred to as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91. It was a controversial fix for Bitcoin's "scaling problem." It was going to keep blocks small and enable second layer solutions to the scaling problem, such as the Lightning Network, as opposed to just increasing the size of the blocks.

A group of Bitcoin stakeholders, including Craig Wright, were unhappy with the proposal, and they pushed forward alternative plans which would increase the block size limit to 8MB through a hard fork. The hard fork occurred on August 1, 2017, and that's what created Bitcoin Cash, or BCH. The basic idea is that the people who wanted to keep blocks small (called small blockers), saw Bitcoin more as a digital investment, or store of value, while those who wanted it to be more of a transactional currency favored larger blocks, which in theory allows it to process more transactions per second.

Then, on November 15, 2018, there was a hard fork chain split of Bitcoin Cash. The split originated from what was described as a "civil war" in two competing BCH camps. One camp wanted to limit the BCH block size to 32MB, and the other wanted to increase it to 125MB. That second camp included Craig Wright, and the spinoff from the hard fork became BSV, which stands for Bitcoin Satoshi Vision.

In April of 2011, Satoshi wrote that he had "moved on to other things" and quit working with the Bitcoin developers. In June of 2011, Craig Wright set up a trust fund which he named the Tulip Trust, in which he says he put 1.1M BTC, which would at the current price be worth $52.8B. On 10/17/14, Craig Wright registered the domain name tuliptrading.net. Tulip Trading Limited is an offshore holding company registered in Seychelles, which Craig set up to hold some of his Bitcoin. There's some intrigue surrounding Tulip Trading, but according to Craig, it held at least 111,000 BTC, which would currently be worth $5.3B.

The only point I'm making here is that Craig Wright/Satoshi left Bitcoin development in 2011 to work on something else, and he created two entities to hold his Bitcoin, one called the Tulip Trust, and the other called Tulip Trading Limited. That's pretty funny when you really think about it, and its timing.

So, what did he quit BTC to work on? Again, he's in the BSV camp, and BSV stands for Bitcoin Satoshi Vision. So, what is Craig Wright's vision? Well, he laid it out in a post on his personal website, craigwright.net, dated 1/26/24, knowing that it would get some eyeballs on it when his trial began ten days later. The post is titled, The Journey to Scaling Bitcoin, and here's an excerpt. Most of it is too technical for us Freegolders, but I'll give you the intro and the conclusion:

The Journey to Scaling Bitcoin
By Craig Wright | 26 Jan 2024 | Bitcoin & Blockchain Tech

In 2012, I began a project to create what we originally called “iDaemon,” or the “Intelligent Daemon System,” which presents an elaborate design and architectural blueprint for a complex software system designed to scale Bitcoin to over 1 million transactions a second. This project encompasses various subsystems managing different aspects of transaction processing, accounting, banking, exchanges, messaging, and contracts in the context of a blockchain network, particularly Bitcoin. It was one of over 100 projects my companies were running.

The system is now being tested. We are demonstrating 1.5 million transactions per second. When I started the project in 2012, I vastly underestimated what would be needed. US$900 million later, we have a system that works. When I watched the project, the budget was US$20 million for two years. Sometimes, good things take a more protracted approach to be achieved.

1. Introduction to Intelligent Daemon System The Intelligent Daemon System is an intricate framework specifically engineered for Bitcoin, designed to enhance its functionality as digital cash. This system integrates a range of subsystems, each meticulously crafted to address specific aspects of Bitcoin transaction processing and management. The architecture of the system is founded on principles of efficiency, security, and scalability, ensuring a robust and reliable environment for Bitcoin transactions.

One of the critical components of the system is its transaction management mechanism. This mechanism is optimised for handling Bitcoin transactions with precision and speed, catering to the unique requirements of Bitcoin as a digital/electronic cash platform. It incorporates state-of-the-art algorithms and protocols to ensure the integrity and security of transactions, a critical aspect given the distributed nature of Bitcoin.

Another significant element of the Intelligent Daemon System is its contracts management subsystem. This subsystem is designed to leverage the blockchain technology underlying Bitcoin, facilitating the creation and execution of smart contracts. These contracts extend the functionality of Bitcoin beyond mere transactional capabilities, enabling a variety of financial applications and services to be built on the Bitcoin platform. The inclusion of such a feature underscores the system’s commitment to not only managing Bitcoin transactions but expanding its utility in the digital economy.

Overall, the Intelligent Daemon System represents a significant advancement in the domain of Bitcoin transaction processing. Its comprehensive approach and innovative features make it a pivotal development in enhancing the functionality and usability of Bitcoin as digital cash.

[…]

8. Future Prospects and Conclusion

Looking back from 2024, the Intelligent Daemon System has evolved significantly since 2015. The advancements in its architecture reflect a deep engagement with emerging technologies and an adaptive approach to the ever-changing landscape of electronic cash and blockchain technology. This evolution, while rooted in past research and development, points towards a future rich with potential. The system’s journey from its initial stages in 2015 to its current state provides valuable insights into its trajectory, highlighting its role in shaping the future of electronic cash systems and blockchain technology. The progress made over the past eight years demonstrates not just technological advancement but a commitment to innovation and excellence in the field.

I hope you enjoy this book into the history of a project that has taken over a decade of work and the efforts of hundreds of individuals. I am proud to be launching the results that have come from research following this global project in England. While the eight years have led to continuous change through the system and the design has grown, the attached architecture enabled transaction volumes of over 100,000 transactions per second (TPS) in 2015. The system we are launching now will scale first to 1.5 million transactions per second and then grow with hardware-based needs to any limit.

Find the original documentation of the Intelligent Daemon System (iDaemon) here.


Craig Wright's project manager, Allan Pedersen, told Andrew O'Hagan during an interview in 2016:

Wright had strong views about how the technology should develop, and how it could ‘scale’ to meet greater demand. ‘It can go to any size,’ Wright said that day. I’ve tested up to 340 gigabyte blocks, which is hundreds of thousands of times greater than it is now. It’s every stock exchange, it’s every registry rolled into one ... Ultimately bitcoin is a 1980s program, because that’s what I was trained in ... The idea is good, the code is robust, it runs and does the job, but it’s slow and cumbersome. There were some things early on that needed to be fixed and were, but it wasn’t as perfect as everyone thinks. At the end of the day, it needs to be turned into professional code. It needs to move away from the home user network and into a server network environment. And then it can do much more and be faster.’ There are those who feel it should remain small, and that making it bigger is a betrayal of its first principles.

‘This is the future of the blockchain,’ Pedersen said.

‘People are saying, “It’s not really something we can run yet,”’ Wright said, ‘but it’s time that we grew up and that bitcoin becomes professional.’

Pedersen shook his head. ‘We’re not working in a world where we know exactly what we’re doing,’ he said. ‘It’s coming from Craig. And then I start establishing the ground rules and we begin rolling it out. I’m putting people on a certain track and I keep going back to Craig, saying, “We need to sort this or that out,” and I’m constantly keeping them and him in the loop. The good thing about Craig is that he wants me to task him, so it’s a very strange relationship we’ve got. I’m reporting to him but I’m tasking him at the same time and it seems to work beautifully.’ He was tired, and so was the whole team, but they felt confident the patent applications would be filed on time.

When Craig left the room to take a phone call, Pedersen took pains to close the door properly. ‘He’s a really nice person,’ he said, ‘but he’s a fucking nightmare. Every single morning he comes in and I think, “What is he talking about?”’ Pedersen told me how he handled him, how he made him focus, and how he worked hard to keep him on track. ‘When I’ve got new people here,’ he said, and there were many new people, ‘I have to train them how to talk to Craig. That’s what I have to do. Sometimes, he can’t explain things and this is where the anger comes from. It’s the interesting part. You can’t be in the same room with him. He’s constantly telling you something. He’s like Steve Jobs, you know – only worse.’


Craig Wright is a few years younger than me, so we basically grew up in the same computing era. His grandfather and my dad had similar modems that they brought home from work. This was the early 80s. I was three years ahead of Craig, but my first year in college I majored in computer science like him. It was still too early, though, at least that's what I now think, because it just couldn't hold my interest. We were learning Basic, C and a few other early languages. But Craig, two years later, jumped head-first into computer science. C++ wasn't even out yet when I was a CS major, but it was brand new when Craig started.

In the 90s, he got into hacking. He was obviously an early adopter of the internet, because he met his first wife in an internet chat room in 1996. O'Hagan writes, "Wright asked her to marry him about six weeks after they met online. When she eventually went to Sydney to visit him, he brought a ring to the airport. ‘He was 26 and I was 44,’ she said. Neither of them had been married before."

Craig spun his hobby of hacking into a cybersecurity career, where he worked with companies to help secure them against people like him. That's when he met his primary partner and cowriter of the Bitcoin white paper, Dave Kleiman.

Dave was about 3 years older than Craig. Dave's background was in the Army in the 80s, and as a law enforcement officer with the Palm Beach Sheriff's office in the 90s. In 1995, a motorcycle accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. After that, he became a computer forensics expert, cybersecurity expert, systems security expert, cryptography expert and so on. He did a lot of work on Windows security for Microsoft.

Dave was a regular contributor on cryptography and computer security forums, which is where he met Craig Wright in 2003. Dave was a paraplegic in Florida, and Craig was in Australia. Kleiman was Craigs closest confidant, but they only met in person maybe a half dozen times.

Dave Kleiman was the one person involved in Bitcoin who knew Satoshi's real identity from the beginning. The only other person who might have known his real name was Hal Finney, the recipient of the first transfer of Bitcoin on January 12, 2009. Dave, Craig and Hal were, according to Craig, the "three key people behind Bitcoin."

Hal was 14 years older than Craig, and 11 years older than Dave, and he lived in the LA suburb of Temple City, CA. I think Hal probably did not know Craig's identity, but then there is this puzzle where someone named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto also lived in Temple City. These three guys were all internet dark web types who used pseudonyms just like I do, and that's all Satoshi Nakamoto was, a pseudonym. Craig never intended for it to become such a mythic god to so many hodlers, so it's possible that Hal knew Dorian and suggested the name, which would indicate that he possibly knew Craig's true identity. (Update: on Tuesday, 2/13/24, Craig inferred in court during the trial that Hal knew his true identity before Bitcoin was launched and he sent him the first Bitcoin transfer.)

In any case, it doesn't really matter. Dave died in 2013, and Hal died in 2014. There's nothing mysterious about their deaths. Dave died from complications related to an antibiotic-resistant staph infection in his bed sores, which is common in paraplegics, and Hal died from ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease.

So, Craig asked Dave to help him write the Bitcoin white paper around the beginning of 2008. It was Craig's brainchild, but Dave was needed to sort of dumb it down, make it readable so that people would respond to it. Craig was more of a mathematician than Dave, but both had a pretty good grasp of cryptography, security and programming.

It was Napster, which launched in 1999 and died in 2001, that first put Craig on the peer-to-peer path. And it was his hard-money-goldbug/libertarian views that led him to focus on currency. There were others in that space that Craig drew from, perhaps even copied, like Nick Szabo's work from 1998-2008 on "Bit Gold", which I wrote about back in 2017. But Craig always gives credit where credit is due, almost to a fault.

There were others who knew Craig was working on a digital currency before he released the white paper in October of 2008. But they weren't involved in it, so it wasn't a big deal. Then there were some who knew Craig was Satoshi after it became a big deal, mostly those who were working directly with him as Craig Wright. He wasn't exactly secretive about it. He would drop hints, and leave breadcrumbs. But before 2015, he never came out and said, "You know, I'm Satoshi Nakamoto," just like I've never said to anyone, "You know, I'm FOFOA." You just don't do that, but some people knew, and some just figured it out.

One of those who figured it out was Stefan Matthews. Craig Wright worked with Stefan Matthews beginning in 2005, while Matthews was at Centrebet, an Australian online sports betting site, and Craig was working at BDO, who Centrebet hired to audit the company in the hopes of doing an IPO. Craig and Stefan worked together and became friends, and in 2008, Craig contacted Stefan to tell him that he'd quit BDO to set up his own online security company.

Craig solicited business from Centrebet through his friend Stefan, and got hired for some jobs. This was early- to mid-2008, the same timeframe where Dave Kleiman was helping Craig edit the Bitcoin white paper, and in August of 2008, Craig gave Stefan a copy of a draft of the white paper on a thumb drive and asked him to read it. Stefan printed it out, and read the abstract, but he wasn't interested in it enough to read the whole thing.

When Craig later asked him if he'd read it, Stefan told him he'd skimmed it, but it wasn’t anything he was interested in, a response that Stefan later told O'Hagan that Craig accepted, and the matter was dropped.

"Then in March or April 2009, [Craig] walked into [Stefan's] office and asked him for $500. [Stefan] thought [Craig] was asking for a loan but [Craig] said he wanted to give [Stefan] 50,000 Bitcoins in exchange. [Stefan] declined, calling Bitcoin “the greatest load of shit I’ve ever heard of and won’t amount to anything." (Source)

And just for the record, he was offering Stefan 50,000 BTC at the price of one penny each. At the current PoB of $52K, they'd be theoretically worth $2.6B (but not really convertible). Stefan is now in the BSV camp with Craig/Satoshi:


Stefan Matthews is one of the main characters in the O'Hagan article, and for those who haven't read it yet (I'll have some excerpts below, but I highly recommend reading the whole thing), here are two links to it, in case you hit a paywall on the first one:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v38/n13/andrew-o-hagan/the-satoshi-affair

https://archive.is/kjuLi

Last Tuesday's testimony by Craig Wright added quite a bit of color to the story that Andrew O'Hagan told back in 2016.

Here's the long thread of Day 7 which is well worth the read for anyone who has already read the full O'Hagan piece:


Basically, both the O'Hagan essay and Tuesday's testimony ended with the question of why Craig blew the proof in his blog post dated May 2, 2016. Here's the actual post:

https://craigwright.net/blog/math/jean-paul-sartre-signing-and-significance/

Some details that weren't in the O'Hagan piece: Robert MacGregor had already taken control of Craig's IP (intellectual property), but was withholding money (his side of the bargain) to force Craig to do the Satoshi proofs in a way that Craig didn't want to. Craig says he was under duress when he did the private proofs with Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis, and that cryptographic signatures (which is what Rob MacGregor wanted) don't prove identity. They only prove possession of the keys, and the narrative was already out there, that even if Craig posted the keys publicly, the Bitcoin community would say that they were stolen.

Craig made the point that only knowledge is proof of identity. Possession or control of something that was once controlled by someone is not proof that you are that person. He proved to Gavin and Jon that he was Satoshi by discussing private emails they had with Satoshi in the past that only Satoshi would know about, and things they worked on together, that no one other than the real Satoshi could have known. Then he did the private signing sessions with them so that they could say publicly that they had seen it.

Part of the deal with MacGregor was that Craig was supposed to do a public cryptographic proof (a public signing) in the 5/2/16 blog post, but the post that was published contained a known Satoshi key, not what was expected. Craigs explanation was first that he doesn't publish anything on any of his blogs. Someone else does that for him, and what got published was a draft.

Further, he says that Rob MacGregor didn't hold up his end of the deal, and that there was supposed to be some kind of a "proof pack" released as part of the big Satoshi reveal, and that if that had been released, he would have done the public signing. But it wasn't, so maybe this "draft" was published intentionally. That part is a little unclear. But this blog post was the start to what is culminating today in a London courtroom.

He kept mentioning the "proof pack" that was never released, almost as if he was hoping COPA would say, "OK, let's see it, and then you can do your public signing."



Now would be a good time to take a 12-minute break and watch this video of Andrew O'Hagan talking about the failure of the public Satoshi proof, even though he personally witnessed the private demonstrations to Gavin and Jon that he did have access to the Satoshi encryption keys. This video is from June of 2016:



Now, where was I? Oh yeah, we were talking about Stefan Matthews, and how he blew off Craig's pre-release white paper draft in 2008, and his offer of 500,000 BTC for $500 in 2009. That was in March or April of 2009, and Stefan remembers telling Craig that “Bitcoin is the greatest load of shit I’ve ever heard of and won’t amount to anything.”

2011 is when Bitcoin first started becoming well-known. It's when Max Keiser got in. It's when I wrote my first Bitcoin post. Searching the comments for the word Bitcoin, Feb. 15th, 2011 is the first mention of bitcoin on my blog.

It was by someone named Ross D., who later deleted his name, so it now shows up as "Unknown". Here is how it looks now:


And here is how it looked then, from the Wayback Machine:


I mention this not because Ross D. is now some Bitcoin millionaire (anyone know a Ross D. in the Bitcoin community?), I have no idea if he is or not, nor do I know who he is. I mention it because I noticed something odd when I clicked on his Blogger profile. Go ahead, you can try this for yourself. It's the same profile link on the actual blog and the Wayback Machine, and when you click on it, it says "On Blogger since November 2011."


Yet he commented with that profile on February 15, 2011. How is that possible? Is it fake? Did I somehow hack in to Google to change it to make a point here about how when computer systems sometimes change dates, it's not always because someone is trying to hoax you?

That guy ๐Ÿ‘†, Calvin Ayre, is another character in the O'Hagan piece. In the O'Hagan story, he was a mysterious figure:


Turns out, Calvin Ayre is indeed a billionaire living in Antigua. That's him on the right, Craig in the middle, and Stefan Matthews on the left:


And yes, Calvin is now on team-BSV with Craig and Stefan:


Stefan knew Calvin, because sometime around 2011, Stefan left Centrebet and moved to Bodog, another online gambling site, owned by Calvin. In 2014, Ayre wanted to add a venture capital arm to his empire, and he tasked Stefan with looking for "tech-focused investment opportunities." Later that year, Craig contacted Stefan who he heard was going to be in Sydney for New Year's, and said they should meet up.

When they met, Craig went on and on about Bitcoin's success, but that was all.

Four months later, in April of 2015, Craig contacted Stefan again, and this time pitched him on investing in his Bitcoin-related businesses. Stefan was going to be in Sydney again for another meeting, and agreed to meet Craig to discuss the matter further.

Craig had assembled a 45-member team to work on Bitcoin- and blockchain-related research, and was funding that operation by selling bitcoin that he had mined but was not associated with Satoshi, because moving coins linked to Satoshi would complicate his problems with the Australian Tax Office. But moving BTC in size is not always that easy. He eventually sold 100,000 BTC directly to Calvin for $18M according to one report I read. But first he had to meet with Stefan Matthews.

"Before the meeting, Matthews finally got around to googling Bitcoin, which led him to a copy of the white paper. Sitting at his computer in his hotel room, Matthews realized he’d read this document before. “It was like I was in a room with a ghost. The fucking hair on the back of my neck tingled.”

"Later, Matthews asked Wright a pointed question: “Who the fuck is Satoshi Nakamoto?” Wright replied that Matthews already knew the answer, prompting Matthews to tell Wright to “stop talking in Craig riddles.” Matthews wanted a direct answer to a direct question: “Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?” Wright answered: “You’re looking at him.”

"Wright reminded Matthews of the offer he’d made in 2009 to exchange $500 for 50,000 Bitcoin, joking that Matthews likely regretted not taking him up on his offer. Matthews replied: “If you were any sort of a cunt, you’d fucking give them to me.” (Spoiler alert: He didn’t.) (Source)

This is kind of where the O'Hagan story begins. The other character in that story which has not been mentioned here much is Rob MacGregor. Rob was the CEO of nTrust, the digital payment system that Bodog used, so he was naturally part of the deal. But once Craig's blog post blew up the proof plan (which incidentally may have been Rob's fault, because Craig says that Rob may have been the one who hit publish on an incomplete draft), Rob bowed out.

The company they set up with Rob in London was called nCrypt, which later changed to nChain after Rob was gone. Just last August, Calvin Ayre invested $500M in nChain taking controlling interest in the company. Stefan Matthews is nChain’s CEO, and Craig Wright was, until recently, its "Chief Scientist."

Ayre Group Founder Calvin Ayre commented on the deal: “For the better part of a decade, nChain and its London-based Chief Scientist Dr. Craig Wright have been quietly amassing a patent portfolio of unparalleled scope, literally the foundational elements of enterprise blockchain, AI and Web3. My goal is to accelerate the pace of nChain’s development and increase the commercial adoption of its extensive IP library.”

Ayre is a vocal supporter of the BSV Blockchain but says nChain’s patents are “blockchain-agnostic. There isn’t a single blockchain or Web3 project out there that isn’t standing on the shoulders of nChain’s patent library—the earliest, largest, and highest quality collection in this space.” (Source)


Here's their plan:

During Wright’s lunch with the AFR, he gave an insight into how he wants to leverage his claims and take a clip of the money flowing through digital currencies. He claimed to have more than 100 patents on central bank digital currencies so, if the Reserve Bank of Australia or US Federal Reserve want to create one, “I’ll knock on their door to pay me licence fees. If they don’t want to, it will be prohibitively expensive. If they do, it won’t be. I mean, I can be incredibly fair and cheap and then make it open and competitive. Or not. And I’m very happy either way.”

For nChain, the digital currency that could run all these applications is BSV, which Wright and nChain have built to have no cap on block sizes. That is important because it means fewer blocks need to be mined, using far less energy, and allowing for dramatically faster transactions.


Craig tweeted about this just three days before the trial:




The following video does a good job of laying out the whole timeline of how Craig was outed. It makes the case that there are basically three phases to Craig being Satoshi: "Secret Satoshi", "reluctant Satoshi", and "proud Satoshi." Craig was a semi-prominent figure in the Bitcoin community before he was outed, speaking at Bitcoin conferences as himself, Craig Wright. This was the "secret Satoshi" phase.

Then, after he was outed in December of 2015, he was "reluctant Satoshi". He didn't want to be the leader. He didn't want to be outed. He didn't want to prove it publicly.

Then there's the third phase where he became "proud Satoshi". He realized that the development of Bitcoin needed a leader. Not a dictator or king, but just a leader. That switch was about the time that BSV forked off from BCH. The video presents a good way of grasping the timeline:



I'm no expert on BTC or BSV, but I'm learning a lot right now while following the trial. BSV is expandable, like any currency should be. Hard currency = bad currency. Gold as a hard currency was a terrible use of gold. Gold is at its best as a simple store of value, especially during turbulent times and systemic transitions.

BSV is not expandable in quantity, but through velocity. By keeping the block size expandable, the number of transactions can be unlimited, and thus the price of a Bitcoin on the BSV network can be stable. There will still only be 21,000,000 bitcoins, divisible down to the same Satoshi level as BTC, but with larger blocks that can handle an unlimited number of transactions, transaction fees can be at the micro level (less than a cent), and because there are so many transactions, those micro-fees will be enough of an incentive to keep the mining network going. This will also make micropayments possible, right on the network, not on some second-level network.

So, BSV is Craig's/Satoshi's original vision for BTC. It's a currency that can expand, or as the kids like to say, scale up, to cover the whole world, without extra layers like Lightning Network duct-taped on top to try and solve the "scaling problem" that BTC has.

When BTC devs wanted to do that, BCH forked off. The difference was, BTC with extra layers is for the number-go-up crowd, but it's a bad design for a currency, so it will eventually fail. When Craig forked BSV off of BCH in 2018, it was because the BCH guys wanted to limit BCH, just at a larger size than BTC, but Craig wants it to be able to keep scaling up until it covers the whole world.

His vision is a blockchain that holds everything. Every stock transaction, every CBDC in the world, literally everything digital is recorded on the BSV blockchain. That's what he and nChain are working on. Craig says it's what BTC was supposed to be from the start. Not something to save in, to get rich quick, but something to make digital transactions fast, secure, and all those other things.

BSV can even do smart contracts, so it makes Ethereum redundant. Ethereum is apparently running into problems that BSV solves, so BSV is Ethereum's biggest competitor right now, which is another reason everyone hates Craig. BSV still gets mined. Its tokens trade (even though he's been delisted on some of the exchanges), but they will ultimately trade like any currency on the FOREX. They're not meant to be a lottery ticket like the number-go-up crowd loves so much about BTC. The number-go-up crowd is busy duct-taping other stuff onto BTC to say it can do everything, while BSV just does everything.

That's my take on BSV, not a promotion. And it's not something to bet on, like BTC. Don't think that if Craig is Satoshi, and BSV is the real bitcoin, that it'll do the moonshot that BTCers expect. That's not what it's about, and it's not going to do that.


“The funny thing is, when I released bitcoin, in the early days, people actually came out with things like the truth machine, and that was an early way of describing it. But all that’s been buried under the get-rich-quick and Ponzi schemes.” -Craig Wright (Source)


For his part, Wright claims intellectual property rights over the blockchain protocol and the famed Satoshi white paper. He claims cryptocurrencies are ultimately a Ponzi scheme, and that the paper he – as Satoshi Nakamoto – published in 2008 described a form of digital cash that cut out the banks by facilitating secure, provable payments for almost no cost. Wright says bitcoin was meant to allow billions of people to transact directly, without the need for a bank, not be an anonymous tool for criminals or a get-rich-quick scheme for speculators. (Source)


In a particularly heated exchange following a lunch break, COPA counsel, Bird & Bird LLP’s Jonathan Hough, asked Wright to stop making “irrelevant allegations” and to “answer the question.” Wright had just accused COPA members of turning Bitcoin into a “money-go-up-token scam.” (Source)



They had Craig on the stand, under oath, for 7 days, and he repeatedly stated that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, under oath. Perjury carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison in the UK. If someone else is Satoshi, he could just move a coin and say "I am not Craig Wright" and Craig would be instantly guilty of perjury.

Back in 2014, when Newsweek outed Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, the real Satoshi posted on a P2P forum, "I am not Dorian Nakamoto." (Article about it) (Actual post)

That kinda rules out Dave Klieman, since he was already dead. I guess it could have been Hal Finney, but he was pretty sick at that time. In any case, Craig doesn't seem too worried about the real Satoshi popping up to ruin his day.




Here are a few excerpts from the O'Hagan piece, as promised. They are not intended to be an abridged version of the essay. They are just random sections that I found interesting enough to copy and paste them as I was reading. So, enjoy…

Wright said he had never expected the myth of Satoshi to gather such force. ‘We were all used to using pseudonyms,’ he told me. ‘That’s the cypherpunk way. Now people want Satoshi to come down from the mountain like a messiah. I am not that. And we didn’t mean to set up a myth that way.’ Satoshi was loved by bitcoin fans for making a beautiful thing and then disappearing. They don’t want Satoshi to be wrong or contradictory, boastful or short-tempered, and they don’t really want him to be a 45-year-old Australian called Craig.

While reading Wright’s ideas on creation, I kept thinking of his karate teacher and the position he had in the young man’s life. An offhand remark Wright made had stayed with me. It was about storytelling and how a possible meaning of freedom might reside not only in martial arts, in the ability to defend oneself, but in the ability to make oneself. Mas ‘taught me a lot of Eastern philosophy and gave me the means to become myself’, Wright said. One day Mas told him about Tominaga Nakamoto. ‘He was a Japanese merchant philosopher,’ Wright told me. ‘I read translations of his stuff, material from the 1740s.’

Weeks later, I was in the kitchen of the house Wright was renting in London drinking tea with him when I noticed a book on the worktop called Visions of Virtue in Tokugawa Japan. I’d done some mugging up by then and was keen to nail the name thing.

‘So that’s where you say you got the Nakamoto part?’ I asked. ‘From the 18th-century iconoclast who criticised all the beliefs of his time?’

‘Yes.’

‘What about Satoshi?’

‘It means “ash”,’ he said. ‘The philosophy of Nakamoto is the neutral central path in trade. Our current system needs to be burned down and remade. That is what cryptocurrency does – it is the phoenix ...’

‘So satoshi is the ash from which the phoenix ...’

‘Yes. And Ash is also the name of a silly Pokรฉmon character. The guy with Pikachu.’ Wright smiled. ‘In Japan the name of Ash is Satoshi,’ he said.

‘So, basically, you named the father of bitcoin after Pikachu’s chum?’

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘That’ll annoy the buggery out of a few people.’ This was something he often said, as if annoying people was an art.




After getting his first degree, Wright settled into IT roles in a number of companies. He became a well-known ‘go-to guy’ among startups and security firms: he always solved the problem and they always came back for more. ‘When I’ve characterised Craig to colleagues and friends,’ Rob Jenkins, who worked with Wright in this period and now holds a senior position in Australia’s Westpac Bank, told me, ‘I’ve always described him as the most qualified person I’ve ever known. I’ve worked with other smart people but Craig has such a strong desire to pursue knowledge. He has passion. And bitcoin was just another one of those bright things he was talking about.’

‘Sketch it out for me,’ I said to Wright. ‘Those years before bitcoin. What was happening that would later have an influence? I want to know about all the precursors, all the previous attempts to solve the problem.’

‘Back in 1997 there was Tim May’s BlackNet ...’ May was a crypto-anarchist, who had been operating and agitating in the cypherpunk community since the mid-1980s. ‘Computer technology is on the verge of providing the ability for individuals and groups to communicate and interact with each other in a totally anonymous manner,’ he wrote in the Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto in 1988. BlackNet operated like a precursor to WikiLeaks, soliciting secret information with payments made by untraceable, digital money.

‘We all have a narcissistic hubris,’ Wright told me. He wanted to take May’s BlackNet idea further. He was also enthusiastic, in those early days, about Hashcash and B-money. The idea behind Hashcash, a ‘proof of work’ algorithm where each of a group of computers performs a small task that can be instantly verified (thus making life impossible for spammers, who depend on multiple emails going out with little to no work involved), was ‘totally necessary for the building of bitcoin’.4 Wright said that he spoke to Adam Back, who proposed Hashcash in 1997, ‘a few times in 2008, whilst setting up the first trials of the bitcoin protocol’.

B-Money was invented by a man called Wei Dai. At the time of its creation, Wei wrote a paper which assumed ‘the existence of an untraceable network, where senders and receivers are identified only by digital pseudonyms (public keys) and every message is signed by its sender and encrypted to its receiver’. The public key, or address, is matched, as John Lanchester handily described it in the LRB, to ‘a private key which provides access to that address’. A key is really just a string of numbers and digits: the public key demonstrates ownership of any given address; the private key can only be used by the owner of that address. Wei went on to suggest a system for the exchange and transfer of money. ‘Anyone can create money by broadcasting the solution to a previously unsolved computational problem,’ he wrote. The system had methods for rewarding work and keeping users honest. ‘I admired B-Money,’ Wright told me, ‘and he definitely gave me some of the cryptographic code that ended up in the first version of bitcoin.’ Wright was always careful to give credit to those early developers. ‘Wei was very helpful,’ he went on, but ‘to people like that bitcoin seems a bit of a fudge. It works, but it’s not mathematically elegant.’

‘Wei said that?’

‘Wei was very polite. But others said it: Adam Back, Nick Szabo. They would probably like to find a more elegant solution to the problem. Perhaps they see the mining system in bitcoin as wasteful: there’s wasted computation in my system – machines which are trying to solve problems and not winning. But that’s like society.’

‘Are these early cryptocurrency people in a state of rivalry?’

‘Yes, but it doesn’t matter.’




‘When did you realise the whole Satoshi thing wasn’t going to be a secret for ever?’ I asked.

‘Very recently,’ Wright said. ‘I didn’t really believe it would need to come out. What we believed is that we could leave it in doubt – we wouldn’t have to sign using the Satoshi keys or anything else. We have hundreds of patents and papers in progress – research from the beginning – and in the next year we’re going to start releasing them. We thought people could suspect and people could query and we could leave it like that.’

‘And how did that change?’

Ramona said a single word: ‘Rob.’

(Ramona is Craig's 2nd wife, and Rob is Robert MacGregor, the CEO of nTrust who tried to coerce Craig into doing the public signing, then dropped out of nCrypt/nChain when TSHTF.)




One of the things I noticed was that Wright hated claiming outright to be Satoshi and would spend hours giving credit to everyone who had ever contributed. It was odd: we were in the room because he was coming out as Satoshi, yet the claim embarrassed him and I have many hours of tape in which he deflects it. I felt this unwillingness supported his claim because it showed a proper regard for the communal nature of the work. He was contradictory enough sometimes to enjoy the limelight and actively court it, and this would cause trouble for him, but the idea of speaking directly as Satoshi seemed to fill him with dread. ‘I’m afraid that they’re just going to look at my papers because I’ve got Satoshi after my name,’ he told me. ‘I’ve got my little Satoshi mask on, and people go “Aren’t you wonderful?” because you were Satoshi. I wanted the doubt. When I released future papers, I wanted people to go: “Oh, fuck, he could be, and these papers are so good he might be.”’




Towards the end of 2012, Dave began to fail. ‘Paraplegics get sick a lot,’ Lynn Wright had told me, speaking as a nurse. ‘The bedsores get bad and they can’t fight infections. Dave was in and out of hospital a lot and I don’t know what his life was really like.’ Wright told me that Kleiman had girlfriends, but admitted he didn’t really know much about his life. Like Wright and his first wife, they had met in a chatroom. They met in the flesh no more than half a dozen times. Kleiman seems to have lived in front of his computer day and night, and the sicker he got the more isolated he seemed to be. Just after 6 p.m. on 27 April 2013 he was found dead by a friend who’d been trying to contact him for several days. He was sitting in his wheelchair and leaning to the left with his head resting on his hand. Lying next to him on the bed was a 0.45 calibre semi-automatic handgun, a bottle of whisky and a loaded magazine of bullets. In the mattress a few feet from where he sat, a bullet hole was found, but Kleiman had died from coronary heart disease. There were prescription medicines in his bloodstream and a modest amount of cocaine.

‘We never really thought that “we made Satoshi,”’ Wright told me once. ‘It was good. It was done. It was cool. But I don’t think we realised how big it would be.’

‘There was no conversation between you about how it was going over? That Satoshi was becoming a guru?’

‘We thought it was funny.’

Wright paused, shook his head, and broke down. ‘I loved Dave,’ he said. ‘I would have seen him more. I would have talked to him more. I would’ve made sure he had some fucking money to go to a decent hospital. I don’t think he had the right to choose not to tell me.’

‘What was happening to him?’

‘Neither of us had any money, physical money. We had money in Liberty, an exchange in Costa Rica, but the Americans closed it down as a money-laundering operation. Dave had a number of bitcoins on the hard drive he carried with him. Probably about 350,000.’

‘Hoping it would ...’

‘As I said, it wasn’t worth that much then. Dave died a week before the value went up by 25 times.’ Wright kept wiping his eyes and shaking his head. He emphasised something he said the commentators never understood: for a long time, bitcoin wasn’t worth anything, and they constantly needed money to keep the whole operation going. They feared that dumping their bitcoin hoard would have flooded the market and devalued the currency. One of the things Wright and Kleiman had in common is that they had a problem turning their ideas into cash and were always being chased by creditors. Kleiman died feeling like a failure. No one in his family has the passwords to release the bitcoins on his computer. After he died, his family didn’t open probate on his estate because they believed it had no value. Kleiman’s supposed personal bitcoin holdings are worth $260 million at today’s prices.




It hadn’t taken long for the world to forget that they’d once thought Wright was Satoshi. One or two of the media organisations that had ‘outed’ him in December had taken down the original articles from their websites, stung by the cries of fraud. After only a few days’ interest in the notion, most people had made up their minds that Wright had nothing to do with Satoshi. Wright – under strict advisement – had said nothing in response to the media reports accusing him of perpetrating a hoax, but when we were alone, which was most of the time, he would launch into point-by-point rebuttals of what his critics had been saying. In the end he would shrug, as if the most obscure things were actually obvious.

The press coverage of Wright and Wright himself had something in common: they succeeded in making him seem less plausible than he actually was, and, to me, that is a general truth about computer geeks. They are content to know what they know and not to explain it. They will answer a straightforward slur with an algorithm, or fail to claim credit for something big then spend all night trying to claim credit for something small. Many of the accusations of lying that were thrown at Wright last December were thrown by other coders. And that’s what they’re like – see Reddit, or any of the bitcoin forums. Much of what these people do they do in the dark, beyond scrutiny, and, just as it’s against their nature to incriminate themselves, it is equally unnatural for them, even under pressure, to de-incriminate themselves. They just shrug. […]

So the world that Wright knew best thought he was a liar. And the day we visited his new offices he seemed resigned to the fact. Much later, he told me that these months were the high-point of his career in computer science: he was working in secret on material that seemed to be coming together beautifully and profitably. It irked him that people called him a fraud and it irked him, just as much, that his deal with nCrypt would require him to prove that he was Satoshi. He hated being accused of being a fraud and he hated having to prove that he wasn’t a fraud. Having it both ways is a life, a life that requires a certain courage as well as shamelessness, and Wright was living his double life to the hilt.




I told Pedersen I thought Wright was struggling with the fine print of the deal – coming out. ‘He’s sold his soul,’ Pedersen said. ‘That’s how simple this is. And the combination of Craig and Ramona is dangerous here. They can’t just sign all these [legal] papers and think it’s going to be all right, that they’ll sort something out. It doesn’t work that way. They now have to go to the end and live with it. But they’re doing it on first class. When this Satoshi thing comes out I can see a lot of bad things happening, and they are not geared up for this, any of them.’

‘I’m concerned for him,’ I said.

‘There’s not really a happy ending here,’ Pedersen said.

‘Was it the same in Australia?’

‘It was the exact same,’ he said, ‘except in Australia you could say he was in control. He’s learned absolutely nothing. He’s now in this box, he can’t move, he can’t do anything, and this box is getting smaller and smaller.’

‘Do you think he wants to be outed as Satoshi?’

‘Yes I do. It’s in his personality. He wants to be recognised. He says too much. After two weeks of working with him, I knew.’

‘He and Ramona tell me they had a pact never to come out.’

‘My feeling is that she doesn’t want him to come out, but he does. He’s been pushing for this to happen.’

I spoke to one of the scientists, a shy, unexcitable man in his late fifties, who has been working on this technology for several years. He and Pedersen are old-school IT people, quiet-spoken and completely uninterested in the limelight. Both of them thought Wright was working at a different level from everybody else. The scientist, who spoke to me from the beginning on condition that he wouldn’t be named, worried about Wright’s attention to detail and about his conspiratorial nature, but he had no doubts about Wright’s command of the big picture. The scientist was helping to oversee all the white papers and patent applications and managing a large team of IT specialists and mathematicians. I asked him if he was worried about the R3 consortium’s work on blockchain technology. ‘They are going to fail,’ he said. ‘They don’t have Satoshi. There is a panic out there, a misunderstanding about how the blockchain and bitcoin works. They hire people who know about bitcoin and are attempting to buy into it rather than being left behind. I’ve read some patent applications that are pending, applied for by the Bank of America. What I saw was ultimately unimpressive in comparison to what Craig is trying to do with the blockchain.’

The scientist described how the staff try to get the ideas out of Wright’s head. ‘You can’t say: “Explain this to me.” If you ask a question like that, he’ll just go off on giant tangents. First, he’ll have difficulty explaining what’s in his head. Often he’s just coming up with ideas on the spot that he’ll throw into conversation. You want to try to get yes and no answers from him. We film him at the whiteboard and someone will type out the text.’

He described moments when everyone in the research team thought what Wright was saying was impossible. It couldn’t be done, the software wasn’t up to it, the blockchain couldn’t scale to the task, and then suddenly everyone would understand what he was saying and appreciate its originality. ‘I need to be able to go over what he’s said,’ the scientist told me, ‘to find the pearls of wisdom and find out what the hell he means. If I don’t get it then I might have to make some guesses. I had to train my team to work in that mode. They have to be good researchers. They have to understand the technology as well as be able to work with it.’




I told Matthews that there were emails still missing between Wright and Kleiman, emails that the public would want to see before accepting him as Satoshi, because the correspondence would presumably go into the kind of detail about the invention that only the inventors could know. Wright had told me he would produce the missing emails by the following Wednesday, but he never did.

‘I know what’s in there,’ Matthews told me. ‘It will be chatter to do with illegal stuff that he and Dave were doing in Costa Rica – particularly around Costa Rican casinos where they got $23 million of income. And you don’t get paid that amount just for doing a security review ... He mined all those bitcoins himself using equipment that he bought with money that he got from Costa Rica.’ Again: why was Matthews saying this? It was obvious to me that Wright was going to have a problem telling the full story, whatever it was. I wasn’t even sure he’d told the full story to his wife, but perhaps he had, because she referred, several times, to the fact that there were things that she just couldn’t tell me. ‘They’ll come after us,’ she said, in a state of high emotion. ‘They’ll destroy us.’




He made me a cup of tea and then beckoned me over to his main computer: it was time for him to prove to me that he was Satoshi. His manner was still that of a man who mildly resented having to prove anything. He smiled and pointed to the screen. ‘This is his wallet, which is open,’ he said. I saw a list of transactions with addresses specified. ‘The initial Genesis block was hardcoded,’ he said. ‘There are no conflicting Genesis blocks. If a piece of code crashed on this machine it would still start on another machine with the same Genesis block. Always.’ As I was looking at the screen in front of me and watching his hand move the mouse, lines from the Wikipedia entry on the blockchain came into my head. ‘The blockchain consists of blocks that hold time-stamped batches of recent valid transactions. Each block includes the hash of the prior block, linking the blocks together. The linked blocks form a chain, with each additional block reinforcing those before it.’

‘It can’t be moved or changed?’

‘No. It’s hardcoded into the original program,’ he said.

Everything on his screen was time-stamped. I was looking at transactions from early January 2009. ‘I was officially canned from my job at BDO on 3 January,’ he said. He told me he went to his house at Port Macquarie and settled down to do the final work to get the bitcoin software up and running. ‘The original definition was published by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and implemented in the original source code of bitcoin published in 2009,’ the Wikipedia entry said. As he explained what was in front of me, he clicked through the sequential blocks, the transactions database that underlies bitcoin. He was looking at the very earliest ones and all included dates, amounts of bitcoin and addresses. A long list of transactions showed incoming small amounts to Satoshi’s wallet. ‘Lots of people send micro payments to me,’ he said. ‘They think so much of Satoshi that they want to burn their pennies.’

‘So these fans are sending tiny payments to that known address? It is the first generated and the first known address?’

‘Yes. They’re hoping I’ll do something – out myself.’

The address was 12c6DSiU4Rq3P4ZxziKxzrL5LmMBrzjrJX. I could see that people had left messages – ‘public notes’ – for Satoshi: ‘Hey satoshi, change my life, send me some bitcoins!’ ‘God bless you, China.’ ‘If you are reading this, please take some time to remember those who died 12 years ago today in the WTC attacks.’ ‘The bitcoin blockchain can be used as a trusted timestamp for arbitrary messages,’ Wikipedia said.

If you scroll back to the very first transaction associated with this address – 12c6DSiU4Rq3P4ZxziKxzrL5LmMBrzjrJX – you find that it is the first bitcoin transaction recorded. It was for 50 bitcoin and remains unspent. Anyone can enter that bitcoin address into a search engine and inspect the history of transactions associated with it. ‘The Genesis block was hardcoded on 3 January 2009,’ Wright said to me, ‘and that was the first run. There was no previous block.’ (Under the heading ‘Previous Block’, there is a line of 74 zeros.) ‘Then the code was reworked,’ he continued, ‘and fired up and the first address that was ever created from the hardcoded Genesis block – the first mined address – is the one I’m sending you a message from.’ He was about to use the original cryptographic key to sign a message to me and it was as if he was dropping a sugar lump into my tea. He typed the words, ‘Here I am, Andrew,’ and rested his fingers. ‘This gives us that little block there,’ he said, before verifying the signature. He looked sheepish and resigned in his blue checked shirt. ‘Welcome to the bit I was hoping to bury,’ he said. He leaned back and I noticed a samurai sword by the desk.

I shook his hand. Then I stared at the screen and considered how strange it would be to live with a secret for seven years and then feel no relief when it finally came out. Perhaps it never felt like a professional secret; it felt like a part of his being, and now he was giving it up. ‘I want it in layman’s terms,’ I said. ‘Explain what you just did.’

‘I just digitally signed a message using the first ever mined address on bitcoin.’

If he had done what he appeared to have done, and what he said he’d done, then his claim to be Satoshi was strong. For a moment, the amassed unlikelihoods and dissemblings seemed circumstantial, and the case against him suddenly much more fanciful than the idea of him being the famously secret man who invented this protocol. An alternative Satoshi would have had to share his entire password hoard with him, and synchronised his ‘real world’ timeline in order to be placed where Wright was placed and align with his email existence and his expertise. It wasn’t merely that Wright had been in the right place at the right time: he had been in the only place at the only time, and that time was stamped not only into the blockchain but into his correspondence and the experiences of those around him. He sat back in his large black chair and asked me if I wanted more tea. ‘I could have been working with Satoshi, I guess,’ he said, ‘who told me he was going to fire it up at this time and I had all my machines ready and just took over from him. But that would make me Satoshi anyway.’ He stared into the bank of screens and seemed nostalgic for a more ghostly self, and I asked him if it felt overwhelming.

‘I don’t care – whatever,’ he said. But of course he did care – care is what he did most. He was agitated through the whole process, mainly, I guessed, from an old cypherpunk embarrassment at having to bend to authority. He wasn’t satisfied when he sat back in his chair, he was annoyed and already making his detractors’ arguments for them. ‘They’ll say I killed Satoshi and stole the keys. Having them doesn’t prove I created them. Maybe it was a collaboration between me, Dave, Hal and some random person. Maybe I compromised Hal’s machine and stole everything and his family didn’t know. Maybe, maybe, fucking maybe. All that bullshit. Those people don’t believe in Occam’s razor. I’ve seen Reddit. They want the most convoluted explanation. But they can say what they want; I’ve got nothing more to prove.’




Wednesday, 4 May, Matthews was at Wright’s house organising the movement of coin. The new (and final) proof session was intended to blow away the doubts created by the first. Many commentators felt it was too late, that Wright was beyond the pale, but Matthews and MacGregor had agreed with Andresen that the movement of coin, to Andresen and also to Cellan-Jones at the BBC, would undo the damage. Wright spoke to Andresen on the phone from his house – Andresen was in New York – and told him he was worried about a security flaw in the early blockchain, a problem in the way those first blocks were constructed that would make it dangerous for him to move coin, exposing him to exploitation or theft. My sources say that Andresen understood the problem and confirmed that it was all right, it had been fixed. But Wright continued to worry and was showing great reluctance about offering the final proof. Then he left the room abruptly and didn’t come back.

The next day, he sent me an email. It linked to an article headlined ‘UK Law Enforcement Sources Hint at Impending Craig Wright Arrest’. The article suggested that the father of bitcoin might be liable, under the Terrorism Act, for the actions of people who used bitcoin to buy weapons. Under the link, Wright had written an explanation: ‘I walk from 1 billion or I go to jail. I never wanted to be out, but if I prove it, they destroy me and my family. I am the source of terrorist funds as bitcoin creator or I am a fraud to the world. At least a fraud is able to see his family. There is nothing I can do.’
[…]
In another email that day Wright wrote: ‘Andrew, I don’t know what I can say. If I was to do the proof and save myself, I damn myself.’ That afternoon, he closed down the blog – the one that was intended to lead cryptocurrency fans into a new era – but left a final posting:

I’m sorry. I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot. When the rumours began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this. I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.

And goodbye.




Ramona talked about jail and I asked if they were afraid of being prosecuted.

‘They say it’ll never happen,’ she said. ‘Of course it will ... So how can he? How can he?’ He spoke of men he knew who had sold bitcoin and had been prosecuted for money-laundering and said they might try to do that to him. ‘It was always a present danger,’ Ramona said. MacGregor, Wright alleged, had always had a plan to move him if necessary to Manila or Antigua if it looked like he might be arrested.

‘It’s always been incremental,’ Craig said. ‘One step, one step, and nobody realises that eventually that takes you over a precipice.’

‘That’s the thing,’ Ramona said. ‘Your happiness doesn’t count at all. But now we’re stuck. You come out – you go to jail. You don’t come out – you’re a fraud. It’s got to the point where it’s almost better if he’s a fraud.’

‘So what happened on Monday,’ I asked, ‘when it came to writing that blog?’

‘I gave them the wrong thing,’ he said. ‘Then they changed it. Then I didn’t correct it because I was so angry. Which was stupid. I put up the wrong one. No one wants SN. I will never be SN. I’m not personable. You can lock me in a room and I’ll write papers, I’ll never be personable.’

Ramona was crying. ‘They could take us down,’ she said. ‘They could really take you down if they want to.’

They spoke about moneymaking ventures Wright was involved in a long time ago. Wright alleged Matthews knew about these activities, which was true, because Matthews had mentioned them to me.

‘I just couldn’t do things anymore,’ he said. ‘That’s all.’

They wanted to talk about the trust, but they didn’t really explain it. He said it was to hide the bitcoin. ‘It’s not meant to be spent,’ he said. ‘Too many problems.’

‘It’s also a guarantee that you can’t flood the market,’ Ramona said. ‘That we can’t use it to pay the bills, no matter how desperate things get.’ When I asked who the trustees were they went quiet.
[…]
She said I knew too much. She said that Craig would go to jail or harm himself if I told everything I knew. I was stunned. There were many things that were said to me by every party in this story that I would choose not to print. Not only things they said about one another, but business arrangements and unsubstantiated allegations about the past, and things I knew in the present. But I had been recording this as a documentary from the start, as I’d said I would when we met at Claridge’s in December. Now I was being told that my material was too hot and my story posed a threat.

Craig suddenly got very upset. His face crumpled and he put his head in his hands. ‘And the Brits have their equivalent of Guantรกnamo Bay as well,’ he said. ‘I’ll never write, I’ll never see anyone. I’ll be in a little room. I won’t even have a pen and paper. I won’t see my wife again. I’ll never see ...’ He sobbed and was inconsolable. ‘I’ll never write again.’
[…]
I walked home with them and he slumped on a sofa, looking wan, gone. ‘His mental health is fucked,’ she said to me when he was out of the room. ‘If he goes to jail, he’ll kill himself. I can’t leave him alone.’

When he returned he seemed almost paler than before. ‘This is all because I wrote code,’ Craig said. ‘Not because I blew up something, because I wrote code.’

‘Just out of interest,’ I said. ‘If you are a fraud ... How hard a fraud would it have been to perpetrate?’

‘It would be the best one in human history,’ Craig said. ‘It’d be Ronnie Biggs on steroids times a million. I invented a new form of money. Who has ever had anything to do with money that wasn’t to do with government? Who has ever really succeeded?’
[…]
Craig Wright proved cryptographically that he had Satoshi’s keys, his emails seemed to show his involvement, his science extrapolated on the technology of the blockchain, and he spent a full year engaged in a business plan to reveal it all. But, when it came to it, he behaved like a fraud, he shape-shifted and he dissolved.
[…]
He had never admitted to problems with the trust, problems that would, though he hadn’t admitted it, make the Satoshi reveal very difficult for him. They still believe, as do Andresen and Matonis, that he is Satoshi. To them, there is just too much evidence to accept Wright’s late attempt to cloak himself in deniability. But no matter. He was now fired, they said, and the deal with Google was off. ‘He put a gun to our head and pulled the trigger,’ MacGregor told me. ‘The world is still going to think we got fooled, but I know the facts. He has the keys.’ There was a moment in our meeting when I realised this had gone all the way to the bone with MacGregor. He said he never wanted to see Wright again.
[…]
Wright told me in Patisserie Valerie that he felt free again. He had lost a third share in a billion dollars but he felt unburdened. He was sorry to have let good people down but now he could work in peace. Sherlock Holmes’s central precept came into my mind. ‘When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’


I hope you read all that, because those excerpts are the most important part of this post. That's what I did first, before I even wrote the opening paragraph. The real proof is in those excerpts, so if you skipped them because I didn't write them, you skipped the main course of the meal.



This is a developing story, and while I'm following everything y'all are posting in the comments, especially Nosh, this has captivated my attention for the time being. So, here's where I'm following the trial, in case you want to follow along too:

He does a new thread each day. That one is from today, so he'll start a new one tomorrow. BTW, Stefan Matthews cross-examination started today, and will continue tomorrow. That's a good one. He's very convincing IMO. And here's Craig back in the day. He almost looks like Jesus! LOL:

This post is dedicated to The Straight Ninja, ShockOnT, and VatoshiPatoshi. My advice is gtfo now, before closing arguments. LOL! J/K, like that would ever happen. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Finally, I want to reiterate that this is not advice to buy BSV. Sell BTC and buy gold ffs. But, and this is a big but, this BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision) pretty much bypasses most of my arguments against BTC. If he's right (not just Wright), and the BSV network could be sold to central banks who wanted a truly competitive CBDC without having to build it from scratch, then it might just work.

Read this post for my take on CBDCs. I wrote it back in 2017, when they were still called CBCCs. Here's how I ended that post:

In that comment, I also asked, "Can you imagine any possible revelation in the future that might make people stop buying Bitcoins?" How about if it fails to catch on as a medium of exchange? Or how about if a better cryptocurrency medium of exchange comes along, like BIScoin? Or how about if just spikes up to that unknowable but symbolically-significant level (maybe $10K?) where more people will try to cash out than are willing to buy, and it just starts collapsing and never stops. In stocks, the shorts often stop a collapse by covering. Are there shorts that will need to cover in Bitcoin?

And if you just want to play the bubble and buy some Tulips, when will you sell? I recommend having a plan and selling at predetermined levels. Once you get your initial investment back out (if you do), then you can sit on the rest and wait for $500K, or John McAfee eating his own **ck on national TV, whichever comes first. ;D

The facts of the matter are that money should be easy, and monetary wealth (gold) should be hard. This is how gold is set free from money, and it is the solution to FOFOA's dilemma:

FOFOA's dilemma: When a single medium is used as both store of value and medium of exchange it leads to a conflict between debtors and savers. FOFOA's dilemma holds true for both gold and fiat, the solution being Freegold, which incidentally also resolves Triffin's dilemma.

The speed and efficiency of electronic currency has been great for mankind, and CBCC will be a great addition. Bitcoin, on the other hand, will be one for the history books.


If Satoshi/Craig Wright can pull this off...


...then I'll have to write (not Wright) a new post about Bitcoin, titled BTC is dead, long live Bitcoin. Maybe I should get started on it now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sincerely,
FOFOA

PS. This is a cross-post from the Speakeasy. Comments are open for now, but on moderate. Trolls will not get through.