Tue, May 03, 2016 - Page 6 News List

Australian tells BBC he is mystery bitcoin creator

Reuters, SYDNEY

Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright yesterday told the BBC he was the creator of controversial digital currency bitcoin, ending years of speculation about a person who until now has gone by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.

The BBC said Wright gave technical proof supporting his claim to using bitcoins known to be owned by bitcoin’s creator. It said prominent members of the bitcoin community had also confirmed Wright’s claim and said Wright repeated the claim to The Economist and GQ magazines.

“I was the main part of it, but other people helped me,” the BBC quoted Wright as saying.

However, The Economist said that it was still not entirely convinced.

“Our conclusion is that Mr Wright could well be Mr Nakamoto, but that important questions remain,” it said. “Indeed, it may never be possible to establish beyond reasonable doubt who really created bitcoin.”

The Australian Tax Office and police were not immediately available for comment.

In December last year, police raided Wright’s Sydney home and office after Wired magazine named him as the probable creator of bitcoin and holder of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency, which has attracted the interest of banks, speculators, criminals and regulators.

Police at the time referred all inquiries about the raids to the Australian Tax Office, which said it could not comment.

The treatment of bitcoins for tax purposes in Australia has been the subject of considerable debate.

The tax office ruled in December 2014 that cryptocurrency should be considered an asset, rather than a currency.

As an early miner of bitcoins, Nakamoto is sitting on about 1 million bitcoins, worth more than US$400 million at current exchange rates, bitcoin expert Sergio Demian Lerner said.

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