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posted by martyb on Thursday December 10 2015, @11:21PM   Printer-friendly
from the a-bit-incoinvenient dept.

Wired and Gizmodo have named Craig Steven Wright (along with deceased American computer forensics expert Dave Kleiman) as the inventor of Bitcoin, known by the apparent pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Hours after their stories were published, the man's home was raided by the Australian Federal Police:

The latest attempt came this week from Wired magazine. Except this time, the story based its findings on numerous recorded links between the man and the identity of Nakamoto, through leaked emails, old blog posts and public documents. And then, just hours later, a twin story from tech website Gizmodo: more emails and documents, independent research, similar findings.

Their shared conclusion: It's probably a man named Craig Steven Wright, an Australian entrepreneur and academic, working with American computer forensics expert David Kleiman until his death in 2013.

And then, another few hours later: reports from Reuters and The Guardian that Australian police have raided Wright's home and office in Sydney. The authorities told The Guardian that the execution of search warrants was "to assist the Australian Taxation Office" but the "matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency bitcoin."

The Register has some more details about Wright:

[More after the break.]

Wright's known business interests relate mostly to Bitcoin: as well as operating a BTC exchange, he has a company called Cloudcroft, which holds what's probably Australia's only privately owned Top-500 supercomputer – C01N operated by Tulip Trading.

The umbrella company most associated with Wright, DeMorgan, lists security, banking and finance, maths, AI and software development as well as cryptocurrency.

Earlier this year, DeMorgan had high hopes of turning its research into government R&D tax credits, as is outlined in this press release [PDF - google cache link - original has 404'ed] – crucially, DeMorgan said its work could be worth up to AU$54m ($39m, £26m) under AusIndustry's R&D tax incentive scheme. Worth AU$54m to DeMorgan, that is.

Both articles claim that if Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, he may be holding Bitcoins currently worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by OtherOtherWhiteMeat on Friday December 11 2015, @12:48AM

    by OtherOtherWhiteMeat (5965) on Friday December 11 2015, @12:48AM (#274730)

    Data you don't back up is data you don't want to keep.
    I really hope he has backed up his wallet.dat file. And has stored the passphrase in a really secure place.
    To think that 1.1 million Bitcoins won't ever get spent because he's forgotten his passphrase is almost enough to make me cry.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Friday December 11 2015, @01:48AM

    by jmorris (4844) on Friday December 11 2015, @01:48AM (#274754)

    Hmm. That does bring up an interesting point. Bitcoins can be lost forever. The supply of new coins is dwindling and is supposed to be finite, meaning the supply of new ones will end entirely. This means that eventually this deflationary pressure of currency going missing will become a problem and eventually set a finite lifetime for the entire bitcoin based economy.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday December 11 2015, @02:10AM

      by takyon (881) <> on Friday December 11 2015, @02:10AM (#274763) Journal []

      Supply growth 25 bitcoins per block (approximately every ten minutes) until mid 2016,[2] and then afterwards 12.5 bitcoins per block for 4 years until next halving. This halving continues until 2110-2140 when 21 million bitcoins have been issued.

      Furthermore, each bitcoin is divisible by 100 million. So that's 2.1 quadrillion "satoshis" minus all that has been lost. And you could potentially divide that further by having some kind of virtual fraction of 1/100 millionth of a bitcoin.

      If the protocol was revised or replaced, these constraints could be changed.

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