In the last weeks, WIRED has obtained the strongest evidence yet of Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity.
“You are digging, the question is how deep are you?” The message ended, “Regards, the Director of Tessier-Ashpool”A few hours later, we received another, even more perplexing message from the same account. I am still within that early phase of learning just what my capabilities happen to be.There’s a leaked message from Wright to his lawyer date June 2008 in which Wright imagines "a P2P distributed ledger"—an apparent reference to bitcoin’s public record of transactions known as the blockchain, long before it was publicly released.The email goes on to reference a paper called "Electronic Cash Without a Trusted Third Party" that Wright expects to release in 2009.“The nature of this moniker is selected for a purpose. So, even now with resources I remain vulnerable,” it read. More than you should.”When we responded by describing the three blog posts that showed Wright’s clear connection to bitcoin’s creation and asking again for a meeting, he gave a revealing answer.
“Although we all desire some level of credit, I have moved past many of these things,” read his response from the same Tessier-Ashpool account.
And for what must have been the thousandth time in his last seven years of obscurity, Wright did not say the words WIRED’s study of Wright over the past weeks suggests he may be dying to say out loud."I am Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin."Since that pseudonymous figure first released bitcoin’s code on January 9th, 2009, Nakamoto’s ingenious digital currency has grown from a nerd novelty to a kind of economic miracle.
Altogether, the world’s Satoshi-seekers have hardly put a dent in one of the most stubborn mysteries of the 21st century, one whose answer could resonate beyond a small sphere of crypto geeks and have real economic effects.
And despite a massive trove of evidence, we still can’t say with absolute certainty that the mystery is solved.
But two possibilities outweigh all others: Either Wright invented bitcoin, or he’s a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did.
No one but Nakamoto is known to have assembled such a massive hoard of the cryptocurrency, and only Nakamoto could have generated so many bitcoins so early in its evolution, when a bitcoin could be “mined” with relatively small amounts of processing power.