Craig Steven Wright

Extended-protected article
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Craig Steven Wright
BornOctober 1970 (age 53)
Brisbane, Australia
Alma materCharles Sturt University
OccupationComputer scientist

Craig Steven Wright (born October 1970)[1] is an Australian computer scientist and businessman. He has publicly claimed to be the main part of the team that created bitcoin, and the identity behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. These claims are generally regarded as false by the media and the cryptocurrency community.[2][3][4] In March 2024, Mr Justice James Mellor in the British High Court ruled that Wright is not Nakamoto.[5] As of 2019, Wright lives in the United Kingdom.[6]

Early life and education

Wright graduated from high school in 1987 from Padua College in Brisbane.[7] Wright was an adjunct academic and researcher at Charles Sturt University, where he was working on his PhD entitled "The quantification of information systems risk".[8][9] His PhD was awarded by CSU in February 2017.[10]

Wright says he has a doctorate in theology, comparative religious and classical studies, awarded in 2003[7][11] from United Theological College.[12]

Wright has written or co-written several books. Wright has been a trustee of the Uniting Church in New South Wales.[7]

Career and businesses

Wright worked in information technology for various companies, including OzEmail, Kmart and the Australian Securities Exchange,[13] as well as working as a security consultant for Mahindra & Mahindra.[14] He claims to have designed the architecture for possibly the world's first online casino, Lasseter's Online (based in Alice Springs, Northern Territory), which went online in 1999.[15][16][17] He was the information systems manager for the accounting firm BDO Kendalls.[13][18][19]

In 2004, Wright was convicted of contempt of court by the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He was sentenced to 28 days in jail for breaching an injunction that prevented him from approaching customers of DeMorgan Information Security Systems, from which he resigned in 2003. The sentence was suspended on condition of performing 250 hours of community service. After appealing the decision, the ruling was upheld in 2005 and also in a subsequent appeal to the High Court of Australia in 2006.[20]

Wright was the CEO of the technology firm Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence Group (Hotwire PE),[21][22] which planned to launch Denariuz Bank, the world's first bitcoin-based bank, though it encountered regulatory difficulties with the Australian Tax Office and failed in 2014.[23] Wright is the founder of cryptocurrency company DeMorgan Ltd., which claimed to receive $54 million AUD in tax incentives via AusIndustry.[24][25]


In December 2015, two parallel investigations by Wired and Gizmodo suggested that Wright may have been the inventor of Bitcoin.[26][27] Subsequent reporting, however, raised concerns that Wright was engaged in an elaborate hoax.[28][29][30]

Hours after Wired published their allegations, Wright's home in Gordon, New South Wales, and associated business premises in Ryde, New South Wales, were raided by the Australian Federal Police.[31][32] According to the AFP, the raid was part of an Australian Tax Office investigation.[33]

On 2 May 2016, a blog post on the website associated Wright with Satoshi and posted a message with a cryptographic signature attached.[34][35] Security researcher Dan Kaminsky said in his blog that Wright's claim was a scam, and bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik agreed that evidence publicly provided by Wright does not prove anything.[36] Jordan Pearson and Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai said that "Wright simply reused an old signature from a bitcoin transaction performed in 2009 by Satoshi."[36]

Earlier in an interview with the BBC, Wright had promised to give "extraordinary proof to an extraordinary claim."[37] He has yet to provide any verifiable evidence of his authorship of the original Satoshi whitepaper or collaboration with known early developers. In theory, his claim should be easy to prove, by simply supplying a message verifying the claim using the original Satoshi Nakamoto GPG private key;[38][39] however, he is either unable or unwilling to provide this. On Thursday, 5 May 2016, shortly before closing his blog, Wright sent around an email link to a news story site saying: "Craig Wright faces criminal charges and serious jail time in UK". Wright stated, "I am the source of terrorist funds as bitcoin creator or I am a fraud to the world. At least a fraud is able to see his family. There is nothing I can do."[40] The article Wright mentioned to O'Hagan has since been retracted.[41]

In June 2016, the London Review of Books published an article by Andrew O'Hagan about the events, later included in his book The Secret Life: Three True Stories, in which O'Hagan spends several weeks with Wright at the request of Wright's public relations team; which, as revealed in the book, was set up as a result of a business deal between Wright and various individuals including Calvin Ayre. O'Hagan was with Wright during the time of his various media interviews. O'Hagan also interviews Wright's wife, colleagues and many of the other people involved in his claims.[40][41][42]

Wright told Finder in 2019 that Bitcoin's creation was a group effort, that he drove the project, and that Dave Kleiman and Hal Finney were involved.[43]

Wright registered US copyright in the Bitcoin white paper and the code for Bitcoin 0.1 in April 2019.[44] A spokesman for Wright told the Financial Times that this was "the first government agency recognition of Craig Wright as Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin";[45] the United States Copyright Office issued a press release clarifying that this was not the case, and that "the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author."[46]

In order to resolve Wright's claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto, the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) sued Wright in the High Court in London, and hearings were heard in February and March of 2024.[47] On 14 March, after a five-week trial Mr Justice Mellor ruled that Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto.[48] The written judgment released on 20 May stated that documents submitted as evidence substantiate Wright's claim to be Satoshi were forgeries, and Dr Wright had "lied to the court extensively and repeatedly".[49]

Legal issues

Dave Kleiman estate

In February 2018 the estate of Dave Kleiman initiated a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Wright over the rights to US$5,118,266,427.50 worth of Bitcoin, claiming that Wright defrauded Kleiman of Bitcoins and intellectual property rights.[50][51][52]

In August 2019, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart, ruling on a motion to force Wright to list his early Bitcoin holdings, ordered that, for the purposes of this case, the Kleiman estate owned half the Bitcoin holdings that Wright mined in partnership with Kleiman from 2009 to 2013, as Wright's "non-compliance with the court's orders is willful and in bad faith." Wright was also ordered to transfer half of the partnership's intellectual property as well as pay Kleiman's reasonable attorney fees in bringing the motion. Reinhart said that the court was not required to decide, and would not decide, whether Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto, and was not required to decide and did not decide how much Bitcoin Wright controlled.[53]

Reinhart said that "Dr. Wright's demeanor did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth" and that he rejected Wright's testimony in the motion: "Dr. Wright’s story not only was not supported by other evidence in the record, it defies common sense and real-life experience."[54]

Following a three-week trial in late 2021, a jury found Wright liable for conversion but awarded Kleiman's estate US$100 million in damages while Kleiman's estate had sought upwards of US$25 billion at trial. Wright took the position that verdict served as a vindication of his role in inventing Bitcoin and stated that he would not appeal the jury's findings.[55][56]

Defamation cases

In May 2019, Wright started using English libel law to sue people who accused him of lying about being the inventor of Bitcoin, and who called him a fraud.[6] Wright also served legal notices to Vitalik Buterin, the founder of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, who called Wright a fraud; Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin entrepreneur and advocate; and Peter McCormack, a podcaster.[57] Wright ended up dropping his lawsuit against Buterin by letting it expire.[citation needed]

In the case against McCormack, the High Court judge was not asked to decide whether Wright is Satoshi, as by the time of the trial McCormack was not defending his statements on the basis that they were true, but as the judge found Wright "not to be a witness of truth" who had "advanced a deliberately false case and put forward deliberately false evidence until days before trial" he awarded him only £1 in damages.[58]

In June 2019, Wright filed a libel lawsuit in the UK against a Norwegian Bitcoin user, Marcus Granath, known on social media as "Hodlonaut".[59] Granath, who has stated that Wright is not Nakamoto, then filed a lawsuit against Wright in Norway in order to provide legal corroboration for his assertions; in October 2022, the Norwegian court decided in Granath's favor.[60]

In response to Wright's actions preceding the Hodlonaut lawsuit, Changpeng Zhao, founder of crypto exchange Binance, called Wright out as a fraud.[61][62]


  1. ^ "Denariuz Ltd 08260048 company information". Company Database UK. 2015.
  2. ^ Greenberg, Andy (11 December 2015). "New Clues Suggest Craig Wright, Suspected Bitcoin Creator, May Be a Hoaxer". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  3. ^ "ATO probes Bitcoin 'creator'". 20 January 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  4. ^ Fox-Brewster, Thomas. "Time To Call A Hoax? Inconsistencies On 'Probable' Bitcoin Creator's PhD And Supercomputers Revealed". Forbes. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  5. ^ Hern, Alex (14 March 2024). "Australian computer scientist is not bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, high court rules". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2024.
  6. ^ a b Media Correspondent, Matthew Moore (7 May 2019). "Bitcoin 'creator' uses UK libel law to silence critics" – via
  7. ^ a b c Thomsen, Simon (9 December 2015). "The incredible career of the Australian scientist suspected of creating Bitcoin". Business Insider.
  8. ^ "Effective Strategies to Manage People and Create Secure Low Risk Systems through Incentives That Work". Australian Computer Society. 2012. Archived from the original on 11 December 2015.
  9. ^ "People – Advanced Networks Research Lab". Charles Sturt University. Archived from the original on 10 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  10. ^ Wright, Craig (2017). The quantification of information systems risk: A look at quantitative responses to information security issues. Charles Sturt University: Research outputs (Doctoral Thesis).
  11. ^ Kaminska, Izabella (31 March 2016). "Craig Wright's upcoming big reveal". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Craig Wright – Keynote Speaker". London Speaker Bureau. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  13. ^ a b Pauli, Darren (22 August 2007). "Aussie achieves world's first audit certification". Computerworld. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019.
  14. ^ Swan, David (9 December 2015). "Alleged bitcoin founder cops a raid". The Australian.
  15. ^ Liu, Dale, ed. (2009). Cisco Router and Switch Forensics: Investigating and Analyzing Malicious Network Activity. Syngress. p. ix. ISBN 9780080953847.
  16. ^ Wilkinson, John (September 1999). "Gaming Commissions, Internet Gambling and Responsible Gambling" (PDF). Parliament of New South Wales. pp. 28–29. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016.
  17. ^ Foreshew, Jennifer (29 August 2013). "Hunted 'must become hunter' to combat cyber crime" (PDF). The Australian via Charles Sturt University.
  18. ^ Wright, Craig; Kleiman, Dave; Sundhar R.S., Shayaam (2008). "Overwriting Hard Drive Data: The Great Wiping Controversy". In Sekar, R. (ed.). Information Systems Security: 4th International Conference, ICISS 2008, Hyderabad, India, December 16–20, 2008, Proceedings. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 243. ISBN 9783540898610.
  19. ^ Smith, Paul (27 February 2008). "Biometrics attracts few takers". CIO Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  20. ^ McDuling, John (10 December 2015). "Alleged bitcoin founder's dealings with the ASX and News Ltd got him in trouble". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  21. ^ "Hotwire Preemptive Intelligence Pty Limited" (PDF). McGrathNicol. 26 May 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  22. ^ McDuling, John; Sier, Jessica (9 December 2015). "Bitcoin founder 'could definitely' be Australian". The Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  23. ^ Mitchell, James (7 March 2014). "Bitcoin bank hits ATO roadblock". InvestorDaily.
  24. ^ Farquhar, Peter (8 December 2015). "The Australian who may have invented Bitcoin claimed to land $54M in taxpayer-funded rebates". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 9 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  25. ^ Chirgwin, Richard (9 December 2015). "Bitcoin inventor Satoshi 'outed' as Aussie, then raided by cops – but NOT over BTC". The Register.
  26. ^ Greenberg, Andy; Branwen, Gwern (8 December 2015). "Bitcoin's Creator Satoshi Nakamoto Is Probably This Unknown Australian Genius". Wired. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  27. ^ Biddle, Sam; Cush, Andy (8 December 2015). "This Australian Says He and His Dead Friend Invented Bitcoin". Gizmodo. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  28. ^ Greenberg, Andy (11 December 2015). "New Clues Suggest Craig Wright, Suspected Bitcoin Creator, May Be a Hoaxer". Wired.
  29. ^ Bustillos, Maria. "The Bizarre Saga of Craig Wright, the Latest "Inventor of Bitcoin"". The New Yorker.
  30. ^ Chanthadavong, Aimee (11 December 2015). "SGI denies links with alleged bitcoin founder Craig Wright". ZDNet.
  31. ^ "'Bitcoin founder's' Australia home raided by Sydney police". BBC News. 9 December 2015.
  32. ^ Johnson, Edward; Whitley, Angus (9 December 2015). "Police Raid Sydney Home of Man Who Reportedly Created Bitcoin". Bloomberg Businessweek.
  33. ^ Hunt, Elle; Farrell, Paul (8 December 2015). "Reported bitcoin 'founder' Craig Wright's home raided by Australian police". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  34. ^ "Jean-Paul Sartre, Signing and Significance". Archived from the original on 2 May 2016.
  35. ^ "Australian Craig Wright claims to be Bitcoin creator". BBC. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  36. ^ a b "Craig Wright's New Evidence That He Is Satoshi Nakamoto Is Worthless". Motherboard.
  37. ^ Cellan-Jones, Rory (3 May 2016). "The Bitcoin affair: Craig Wright promises extraordinary proof". BBC News. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  38. ^ "Craig Wright can't offer proof". Forbes. 5 May 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  39. ^ Pearson, Jordan (20 October 2017), "Craig Wright Couldn't Prove He Invented Bitcoin, But He's Back Anyway", Motherboard, retrieved 14 March 2018
  40. ^ a b O’Hagan, Andrew (30 June 2016). "The Satoshi Affair". London Review of Books. pp. 7–28. ISSN 0260-9592. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  41. ^ a b Keep, Elmo. "Why Craig Wright so desperately wanted to be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto". Fusion. Archived from the original on 25 November 2016.
  42. ^ O'Hagan, Andrew (6 June 2017). The Secret Life: Three True Stories. Faber & Faber. ISBN 9780571335855.
  43. ^ Schebesta, Fred (30 April 2019). "Dr. Craig Wright explains the origins of Bitcoin – Full interview". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  44. ^ Kharif, Olga; Yasiejko, Christopher. "Man Who Claims To Be Bitcoin's Inventor Registers Copyright for Its Code". BloombergQuint. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  45. ^ Kelly, Jemima (22 May 2019). "Craig Wright has in no way been officially "recognised" as Satoshi Nakamoto". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  46. ^ " May 22, 2019: Questions about Certain Bitcoin Registrations". USPTO. 22 May 2019.
  47. ^ "UK trial opens into bitcoin 'inventor' claims". CNA. Archived from the original on 17 February 2024. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  48. ^ "Judge rules computer scientist not Bitcoin inventor". BBC News. 14 March 2024. Retrieved 14 March 2024.
  49. ^ Cross, Michael (20 May 2024). "'Satoshi' impersonation 'a serious abuse of court's process' judge concludes". Law Gazette. Retrieved 20 May 2024.
  50. ^ Browne, Ryan (27 February 2018). "Self-proclaimed bitcoin creator sued for allegedly stealing $5 billion worth of crypto, other assets". CNBC. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  51. ^ Pearson, Jordan (26 February 2018). "The Man Who Claimed to Invent Bitcoin Is Being Sued for $10 Billion". Vice Media. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018.
  52. ^ Freedman, Velve Devin; Roche, Kyle (14 February 2018). "IRA KLEIMAN, as the personal representative of the Estate of Dave Kleiman v. CRAIG WRIGHT" (PDF). DocumentCloud. Case 9:18-cv-80176-BB
  53. ^ Kelly, Jemima (29 August 2019). "He's not Satoshi, he's a very naughty boy". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  54. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (28 August 2019). "Judge savages self-proclaimed bitcoin inventor Craig Wright". Ars Technica.
  55. ^ Crooks, Nathan (6 December 2021). "Self-Described Bitcoin Creator Must Pay $100 Million in Suit". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 6 December 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  56. ^ "Man claiming to have invented Bitcoin wins dispute, gets to keeps $50B in crypto". Newsweek. 6 December 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  57. ^ Kharif, Olga (19 June 2019). "He Says He Invented Bitcoin and Is Suing Those Who Doubt Him". Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  58. ^ "Wright vs McCormack [2022] EWHC 2068 (QB)". 1 August 2022. Retrieved 1 August 2022.
  59. ^ Cross, Michael (7 January 2022). "News focus: 'Dr Bitcoin' lawyers up for courtroom jamboree". Law Gazette. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  60. ^ "Craig Wright Loses Lawsuit Against Hodlonaut in Norway Over Satoshi Nakamoto Claims". Yahoo Entertainment. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  61. ^ Zhao, Changpeng [@cz_binance] (12 April 2019). "Craig Wright is not Satoshi" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  62. ^ Zhao, Changpeng [@cz_binance] (15 April 2019). "Craig Wright is fraud" (Tweet) – via Twitter.