Aussie Entrepreneur Claims He Invented Bitcoin

Next question: How much tax money does the $450M man owe?

May 2, 2016 9:00 am

“It seemed ludicrous that the man credited with inventing Bitcoin — the world’s most wildly successful digital currency, with transactions of nearly $500 million a day at its peak — would retreat to Los Angeles’s San Gabriel foothills, hole up in the family home and leave his estimated $400 million of Bitcoin riches untouched.”

That’s because the the man who alleges he actually invented Bitcoin, Craig Wright, was 8,000 miles away in Australia, and not, in fact, one Dorian S. Nakamoto, the Japanese-American man Newsweek incorrectly outed as the digital currency’s creator in a 2014 cover story.   

Wright, a tech entrepreneur and computer scientist, admitted and provided proof on Monday that he designed the virtual money and Bitcoin community members also confirmed his identity. The public admission was prompted after a Wired story identifying Wright as the probable creator of the cryptocurrency spurred a December police raid on his Sydney home and office and an ensuing Australian Tax Office (ATO) investigation.

Despite the admission, Wright does “not want to be the public face of anything” and said that he came forward because he was forced to, not by choice.

“I would rather not do it,” he said. “I want to work, I want to keep doing what I want to do. I don’t want money. I don’t want fame. I don’t want adoration. I just want to be left alone.”

His lawyers are working with the ATO to determine how much Wright owes the government, but considering there are about 15.5 million bitcoins each worth about $449 in circulation and he owns about a million of ‘em, chances are he won’t be too hard up.

Unless, of course, this is all just an elaborate hoax, which some experts are speculating.

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