In the past few weeks, several high-profile names within the BSV ecosystem have released YouTube videos explaining how they know or why they believe Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.
This trend was kicked off by Ryan X. Charles, who interviewed Dr. Wright for over 50 hours on every technical element of Bitcoin. And this week, Connor Murray, founder and CEO of Britevue, gave his views on how he came to believe Dr. Wright’s claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto.
How identity is established
Identity is something that is earned over time – Dr. Craig Wright
Before diving into the finer points of Murray’s informative video, it’s essential to understand its central thesis and a more philosophical point in general.
Murray points out that identity is not established by a single event such as signing with Satoshi Nakamoto’s keys but is built over time with evidence, slowly establishing the person’s credibility and making it more likely to be who they say they are.
Murray uses the example of a driving license. He says that the driving license does not necessarily prove the person in possession of it is the person printed on it. For example, the person could have a fake ID card. Rather, the driving license is an attestation, and the person can use it to claim they are someone. However, establishing identity requires much more than a simple attestation. It requires verifiable evidence over time to prove that the attestation is true.
What evidence does Dr. Wright have that Conor Murray finds convincing?
Murray starts with a story about the animated TV series Southpark. He recalls how Southpark’s creators initially recorded a short animated film called “The Spirit of Christmas” and sent it out to various people like George Clooney. However, they didn’t put their name on it, and soon enough, others tried to claim credit for their work.
To prevent others from stealing their work, they presented evidence that they were, in fact, the creators of The Spirit of Christmas. They had cutouts, machines that could produce the shots, etc. In short, they had more information about the creation of The Spirit of Christmas than anyone else.
This example serves to illustrate Murray’s larger point; identity is not simply bestowed by a government, an authority, or by possession of any one item. It is earned over time with verifiable evidence.
Let’s now look closer at what evidence Murray has seen to convince him that Dr. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.
Giving the example of an academic with a new theory explaining their work, Murray delves into how Dr. Wright has explained several “mysterious” things about Bitcoin.
For example, Dr. Wright has been able to give explanations for:
- Bitcoin script and what it can be used for.
- Why there was a poker game in the initial Bitcoin code.
- Why there was a marketplace in the first version of the software.
- The mystery of the double hash.
- How Bitcoin could scale as Satoshi Nakamoto claimed.
Taking these one by one, Murray lists the explanations Dr. Wright has given.
An obscure book that leads to Bitcoin
We would expect the creator of Bitcoin to have done extensive research while working on it. In all likelihood, they would be able to cite some of the books and papers they read while figuring various things out. Murray explains that Dr. Wright has referenced two obscure books that hint at the research Dr. Wright was doing when developing Bitcoin.
One of these is “Policing Online Games,” a 2006 book by Peter Wayner that barely sold any copies. It describes how to create digital cash for use in gaming using digital signatures. Dr. Wright was the first to draw attention to this book, giving it credit for the ideas he pulled from it to create Bitcoin.
How did he know about such a niche book that nobody had ever heard of? The most likely explanation is that he has done extensive research on creating digital cash himself.
Describing Bitcoin’s network topology
Dr. Wright is the first person to describe Bitcoin as a small-world network. To help people understand this, he has recommended that people read a 2007 book called “Complex Social Networks.”
This is, yet again, another obscure book that hints at a crucial piece of how Bitcoin functions. It’s not a well-known, mainstream book, yet Dr. Wright references it to explain Bitcoin.
Using the example of a calculus teacher, Murray explains how Dr. Wright is explaining high-level concepts in Bitcoin that few comprehend at all. Just as we’d be more likely to believe someone’s claims of being a calculus teacher if they could explain high-level calculus, so we should be more likely to believe Dr. Wright’s claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto if he can explain high-level concepts related to Bitcoin.
Dr. Wright’s astonishing number of patents
As the next piece of evidence, which should go some way to earning Dr. Wright’s identity as Satoshi Nakamoto, Murray references the sheer number of patents he has. Recently, in court, Dr. Wright claimed to have 3208 patents.
“We would expect the creator of Bitcoin to be one of the most innovative in the space…” Murray says in the video.
Aside from Murray’s point, one might wonder why a mind capable of creating thousands of patents would resort to false claims, and why he would spend hundreds of millions of dollars filing for patents unless he expected to be around for a very long time and have an influential place in the future of blockchain.
Identity and attestation
Getting further into how identity is established, Murray points out that when a government issues an ID card, they are not directly bestowing identity but rather are issuing an attestation of identity based on evidence they have received from the person claiming it. Attestations from credible authorities are important in the process of identifying someone.
Does Craig Wright have attestations from credible sources claiming that he is Satoshi Nakamoto? As it so happens, he does, and nobody else does.
Here’s a quick list of the people who have attested to the fact that Dr. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto:
- Gavin Andresen – Andresen was Satoshi Nakamoto’s right-hand man. Satoshi handed Bitcoin over to him, and he had the most interaction with Satoshi. Andresen has said publicly on the BBC that Dr. Wright signed early blocks of his choosing with Satoshi’s private keys and that his personality lines up with the person he communicated with.
- Ian Grigg – A highly credible financial cryptographer, and the inventor of the Ricardian contract, Ian Grigg has also attested that Dr. Wright is the creator of Bitcoin. He bases this on his own research and explains the full story of how he knows Dr. Wright is Satoshi in an interview with CoinGeek.
- Jon Matonis – Matonis has held senior positions at Visa, Versign, and other large firms and is the founding director of the Bitcoin Foundation. He has also attested that Dr. Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto as he saw a private key signing.
- Joseph Vaughn Perling – Better known to some as New Liberty on Bitcoin forums, Vaughn Perling had direct communication with Satoshi Nakamoto. He has not only provided his own attestation but claims that he met Dr. Wright in 2005 and that he told him about Bitcoin.
- Clemens Ley – A PhD-level mathematician who independently discovered that Bitcoin is Turing complete, Ley found out that Dr. Wright was the only other person claiming this. He subsequently met Dr. Wright and attested that he was the creator.
- Wright Family – Dr. Wright’s wife Ramona Watts, as well as his ex-wife Lynn Wright, have attested that he is Bitcoin’s inventor. His uncle, Donald Lynam, had also claimed that he saw an early copy of the Bitcoin white paper before it was released and discussed the system with his nephew.
- David Kleiman – There are also emails between Dr. Wright and the late Dave Kleiman in which he asks for Kleiman’s assistance in editing the Bitcoin white paper.
Key point: Remember that the key signings themselves are not conclusive proof in and of themselves. As the Bitcoin white paper makes clear, identity is firewalled from transactions and keys. Taken in conjunction with everything else, they are simply more evidence to add to the growing pile that Dr. Wright is the man behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym.
No exposure by Satoshi himself
Finishing up with his last point, Murray points out that we would expect the real Satoshi Nakamoto to step forward and expose Dr. Wright if he was falsely claiming to be Bitcoin’s inventor.
This is a point that will cause most of Dr. Wright’s critics to diverge into unproven conspiracy theories; that Satoshi is dead or that he has better things to do, yet history has shown us that he will step up when someone is wrongly identified as Nakamoto; he did so when Newsweek wrongly identified Dorian Nakamoto as the inventor.
Yet, when it comes to Dr. Wright, Satoshi is silent.
The evidence is piling up
Sticking with Murray’s central thesis that identity is granted based on evidence over time, it’s clear to any reasonable person that Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto.
The evidence outlined by Murray in this excellent video goes a long way to establishing Dr. Wright’s claim. However, the best is arguably yet to come as the defense takes the stand and presents further evidence in the Kleiman v Wright trial in Florida. Stay tuned for the latest information.
Check out all of the CoinGeek special reports on the Kleiman v Wright YouTube playlist.
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