Previously, on Doxing Satoshi: 21 months ago1, in March, 2014, Newsweek named *a* Satoshi Nakamoto as *the* Satoshi Nakamoto, pseudonymous creator of the world’s first cryptographically secure Ponzi scheme, Bitcoin. The allegation triggered a media frenzy, a hundred Takes, a low-speed Prius chase and a free lunch, among much else. By the end of the season, it seemed clear that this Satoshi was only a red herring.2 Which brings us to…
Yesterday the season opener of 2 Dox 2 Satoshi dropped, in the form of Wired’s hurriedly edited report that an Australian man named Craig Wright is their pick for Satoshi. This was quickly followed by a similarly uneven Gizmodo story by Andy Cush and the most credulous reporter in tech, Sam Biddle. The facts in both stories are substantially the same, and the argument goes like this:
- We got a dump of documents from a source3 who wants to expose Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto.4
- The documents hint that Wright either is Satoshi or wants others to believe he is.5
- Wright was on a Bitcoin conference panel once.6
- Wright is a “genius”7 with “a master’s in law…a master’s in statistics, a couple doctorates…”8 He “boasted of obtaining new graduate degrees at a rate of about one a year…”9
- He has a blog with some archived posts that broadly hint at him creating Bitcoin.10
- He has a lot of bitcoins?11
- Wright refused to deny it.12
- A bunch of purple stuff about his friend dying of bedsores.13
Amazing right? Well it turned out that the anonymous source has been shopping this story around for a while:
1.Got a very curious email attempting to dox Craig Wright — Wired’s Satoshi — back in Oct. Didn’t find it convincing at the time.
— Nathaniel Popper (@nathanielpopper) December 8, 2015
Wired’s case starts to dissolve in the middle of its own article, which admits that all of Wright’s blog posts were edited to add the Bitcoin hints some time after 2013. “Some of the clues added to his blog were made more than 20 months ago,” which is to say, right after the media frenzy of “Doxing Satoshi S01.” But come on, says Wired, editing a few blog posts “would be practically as ambitious as bitcoin itself[!]”14 Fusion’s Kashmir Hill was the first to write that the most likely leaker was Wright himself. But why would Wright be trying to make people think he was Sato–
So Craig Wright is yet another standard shady Bitcoin libertarian with major legal and cashflow problems. He’s also a very bad writer, which Satoshi Nakamoto definitely is not. Reddit collected a bunch of other reasons for thinking Wright is an unlikely Satoshi. And today, Sarah Jeong demonstrated that the cryptographic keys Wired and Gizmodo cite as evidence are pretty certainly recent fabrications. Craig Wright was definitely flamed by Julian Assange in 1996, anyway. But reporters, next time you think you know who Satoshi Nakamoto is:
9/ tl;dr Demand mathematically sound Proof of Satoshi or GTFO.
— Jeff Garzik (@jgarzik) December 8, 2015
The anonymous buyer of that single-copy Wu-Tang album turns out to have been our worst millennial, Martin Shkreli. So I guess Wu-Tang should probably feel like a bunch of dicks now. Hoverboards are exploding, but still not hovering. Abandoned Hairpin goes clipshow for the holidays. Margaret Atwood is moving on from writing Rolex sponcon at Medium to writing superhero comics. Invigorated by shedding sad old-media newspaper wing Tribune Publishing, the new TV-and-digital hotness Tribune Media led a $25 million investment round in viral garbage factories Dose and OMGFacts (“The World’s #1 Fact Source!“). Dow Chemical and DuPont plan to merge, and then split the merged company into three parts, and then repeat that process for the rest of the Fibonacci sequence.
Today in Segues: José Díaz Rohena, a prince among interns, is back with some Prince-related music news for you.
Every time José links to a Gorilla vs. Bear list I feel increasingly like an Old who has literally never listened to any music.
Today’s Quiz: Who said it: Donald Trump or Adolf Hitler?
Today’s Song: Listen to Prince covering Creep a whole bunch more times.
~Do we really need your amatuer political tabs?~
Thanks to Jessie “Get Rich Or” Guy-Ryan for the “worst millennial” joke. Thanks to Fast Company for waiting patiently while I go on and on about Bitcoin as though anyone cares. And thanks to Time’s Person of the Year, your email subscription.
Remember this date. ↩
Like communism. ↩
They’re described extensively but none of the documents are verified as authentic by anyone else. ↩
According to whom? ↩
From what institutions? ↩
Ha ha ha come on. ↩
Hold on before you call this conclusive. ↩
Maybe? Neither article offers any proof of this. At best, some third parties believe he owns a lot of bitcoins. ↩
Yes, well. ↩
Lol, Biddle. ↩
This suggests some very troubling things about Wired’s CMS. ↩