In a meandering post on Medium today, Craig S. Wright made some bold claims. The post shifts from subject to subject, but begins with obvious anger at the delisting of Bitcoin SV by Binance, Kraken, and Shapeshift. It begins:
Many people in the bucket shop, sorry, “crypto currency exchange” industry want to see me gone. […] You’re about to find out why I created bitcoin and yes I am Satoshi Nakamoto.
Not going anywhere
This would seem to be an understatement. People in every corner of the cryptocurrency industry have wished for Craig Wright to go away. He mostly had until the advent of Bitcoin Cash in 2017, the successful fork that has continued to develop its on-chain scaling technology. He became more relevant when Bitcoin SV forked that chain and he and Calvin Ayre became the de facto leaders of an even smaller fraction of Bitcoin believers.
Wright also says that he and his firm are hard at work at patenting different aspects of the blockchain. The implication is that blockchains besides Bitcoin SV will have to pay to use the technology.
The distinction is that other systems will need to pay. By the end of this year I hope that we will have around 1,000 patents published. More importantly, the initial patent families should place us in advance of any other player in the industry. You see, we don’t publish straightaway. Others do, but we don’t because that would give away what we’re doing.
Bitcoin is “not even anti-central bank”
Wright re-asserts his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto in the post in which he declares that Bitcoin is pro-government, anti-money laundering, and pro-banks. Many in the cryptocurrency space are against the government – plenty believe it shouldn’t exist at all – and stand in direct opposition to the hegemony of the fiat banking world. Wright, however, refutes the notion that Bitcoin was a response to the global financial crisis. He does not indicate as to why the very first block contains a specific headline from the Times about bailouts. He writes:
So, I’m sorry to “burst your little bubble” but bitcoin has nothing to do with the collapse of Lehman Bros nor with the subsequent bailout. Unfortunately, that was badly timed. The reality is bitcoin is not anti-bank, it is not anti-government and in fact it is not even anti-central bank. Most importantly, it can’t be made to be.
Bitcoin is just not attractive in a world where we universally trust our institutions. It is a speculative financial instrument at best in this scenario. Unfortunately for our institutions, the global financial crisis is fresh in the minds of many – many are still getting their lives back on track in the wake of it. Wright posits that Bitcoin, at its heart, is an accountability ledger – a means to keep everyone on the straight and narrow.
One thing bitcoin was created for is to end the manipulation of financial systems. This was never what we see in the west but rather criminal manipulation. It was designed to ensure that Web Money, Liberty Reserve and a group of criminals associated with things such as the Russian Business Network (RBN) were the real target. In 2007, the RBN had a number of ISPs pull the plug. Others such as RX Ltd Trading a bit longer. They survived because of the growth of Liberty Reserve and associated money-laundering organisations. Bitcoin was created as a means to ensure an immutable audit trail. In time, this will be linked to logins and much more. To start, it provides an anti-money-laundering trail that cannot be altered. This is enough to ensure privacy while also ensuring that anonymity cannot exist.
Satoshi Nakamoto Didn’t Hate Liberty Reserve
There’s a problem with this post. Old Bitcoiners may remember that Satoshi Nakamoto once floated the idea of integration with Liberty Reserve. He wrote, in part:
[Liberty Reserve] and Pecunix have many established exchanges to paper currencies by various payment methods, and a number of vendors accept them as payment, so an exchange link between Bitcoin and LR/Pecunix would give us 2nd-hop access to all that. The possibility to cash out through them would help support the value of bitcoins.