Craig Wright

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Craig Wright
Occupation Chief Scientist
Employer nChain
Location London, England, U.K.
Personal Twitter @ProfFaustus
LinkedIn Profile

(For more on Craig Wright, along with links to Satoshi Nakamoto, nChain et al., see the Craig Wright page on CryptoMarketsWiki.)

Craig S. Wright is the chief scientist at nChain. He is known for being the first to publicly allege that he is the true Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, as well as for his ongoing $10 billion legal battle related to his possession of his deceased friend and colleague's stash of 1.1 million BTC.[1]


Craig Steven Wright was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1970.[2] He has founded a number of IT companies, including Panopticrypt and DeMorgan Ltd, which attempted to open the world's first bitcoin-based bank, Denariuz.[3][4]

Satoshi Nakamoto

In addition to attempting to create the world's first bitcoin-based bank, Craig Wright has asserted that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin's creator. There is a considerable amount of evidence to support this claim, including Wright's possession of an enormous amount of BTC - 1.1 million.[5][6] (It has long been theorized that Satoshi has held 0.98 million BTC since he mined the first 50 blocks on bitcoin's blockchain).[7][8]

Wright even allegedly "proved" it privately to Gavin Andresen, a programmer who worked closely with Satoshi during bitcoin's initial development. According to Andresen, Wright personally demonstrated his knowledge of one of Satoshi's private keys from the first 50 blocks on bitcoin's blockchain, which were only mined by Satoshi himself. He apparently did so by signing a message of Andresen's choosing using one of Satoshi's private keys from the original 50 blocks on the blockchain. Using a brand-new, factory-sealed computer, he installed Electrum and Wright wrote the message, signed it, and transferred it via USB stick owned by Andresen to his own computer. Andresen then allegedly verified the keys. Though Andresen remains "convinced" that Wright is Satoshi, many remain skeptical with some researchers saying he published a cryptographic representation of a 2009 bitcoin transaction.[9]

In a document filed on February 15, 2019 with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission in response to its request for input about the Ethereum protocol, Wright repeated his claim, writing, "My name is Dr. Craig Wright and under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto I completed a project I started in 1997 that was filed with the Australian government in part under an AusIndustry project registered with the Dept. of Innovation as BlackNet."[10]

In May 2016, he appeared to pull back from trying to prove he was indeed Satoshi, saying in a blog post "I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage."[11]


According to Wright, "Satoshi Nakamoto" was technically two people - himself and Dave Kleiman, who passed away in 2013 from complications related to a motorcycle accident. Kleiman's brother, Ira, filed a lawsuit against Wright for $10 billion. Kleiman, representing his brother's estate, alleged Wright falsified documents in order to transfer Dave Kleiman's bitcoins, which the brother's lawyers claim were worth $10 billion. The lawsuit also included accusations of intellectual property theft. On August 26, 2019 US Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart in West Palm Beach, Fla., ordered Wright to give up more than $4 billion worth of bitcoin to the estate, ruling that Kleiman owned half of the bitcoins mined through 2013. He also was ordered to turn over intellectual property associated with the case and will not be permitted a jury trial.[12][13][14][15]

Bitcoin Cash

Craig Wright has been a promoter of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) since it was created in 2017.[16][17][18] nChain, the company Wright co-founded with Jimmy Nguyen, has promoted BCH on nChain's company blog, saying that Bitcoin Cash "fulfills the Satoshi Nakamoto vision of a global peer-to-peer electronic cash system...that is why merchants should want Bitcoin Cash."[19] nChain has also spent considerable effort developing applications and software development kits (SDKs) to help develop the BCH protocol.[20][21]

Bitcoin SV

On November 15th, Bitcoin Cash underwent a hard fork, following a long series of bitter arguments between two camps in the Bitcoin Cash community about how to upgrade the protocol. The fork officially created Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV, which initiated an intense conflict between miners in the formerly whole BCH community. Miners supporting one side or the other pooled their hash power in an effort to overwhelm the opposing side. Before the conflict began, Wright made public threats that programmers supporting Bitcoin Cash SV would perform hacking attacks that would destroy the ABC blockchain. Before the conflict began, SV consolidated enough hashing power to theoretically carry the attacks out.[22] During the conflict, Wright began posting a series of combative tweets about Bitcoin Cash ABC, as well as posting an article on entitled, "Present liability schemes and sanctions."[23][24] He also allegedly sent an inflammatory email to Roger Ver, who supported the ABC upgrade, along with[25]

In April 2019, Craig Wright began arguing with a Twitter user called "Hodlnaut," a bitcoin user who became known for the "Lightning Torch" experiment, which was a promotional demonstration of the Lightning Network's capabilities. After achieving a large Twitter following, Hodlnaut made public posts criticizing Wright, who later sent Hodlnaut a letter accusing the Twitter user of being a "fraud," and threatening legal action. This triggered a huge wave of support for Hodlnaut, as well as renewed hate for Wright, from thousands of Twitter users.[26]

Binance later announced it would delist BCHSV. Binance's CEO Changpeng Zhao said over Twitter that Wright is a "fraud," and that "anyone who supports BSV from a tech perspective should be attacking the fraudulent Craig Wright, who is poisoning YOUR community, and not attack the rest of the world." He also said that "Anyone thinking CW is Satoshi should read about how a private key works, ie, learn about crypto;" this comment was made in reference to the controversial method by which Wright allegedly "proved" to Gavin Andresen and others that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.[27][28]

Later that month, Shapeshift announced that it would also delist BCHSV. Kraken announced that it would be doing the same, citing "community sentiment" around Bitcoin Cash SV as their primary reason for doing so. According to the announcement, Kraken planned on disabling BCHSV deposits on April 22, cease trading pairs on April 29, and stop withdrawals of BCHSV May 31. The BCHSV community responded with ire. Ed Pownall, a PR representative of Calvin Ayre, founder of and one of SV's biggest supporters, accused these exchanges of "market manipulation" and "playing God," and that delisting BCHSV sets "a dangerous precedent."[29]

Controversial Figure

Craig Wright is arguably one of the most controversial people in the crypto space. In addition to the multiple lawsuits that have been filed against him, Wright has inspired the ire of many cryptocurrency figures, including Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin. Buterin and others have accused him of misrepresenting the technological capabilities of many projects, due to ignorance, dishonesty, or both. Buterin even went so far as publicly to call him a "fraud" at the Deconomy conference in Seoul, South Korea in 2018. Buterin has repeated this claim numerous times over Twitter.[30][31]


Craig Wright attended Northumbria University from 2005 to 2008, where he received a Master of Laws degree in International trade/commerce/business with commendations. He also studied at Newcastle University from 2006 to 2009, where he received a Master of Statistics degree. In 2014, he received a PhD in computer science and economics from Charles Stuart University.[32]


  1. 'Satoshi' Craig Wright Is Being Sued for $10 Billion. Coindesk.
  2. Bitcoin's mysterious creator Satoshi Nakamoto could be Australian man Craig Steven Wright: report. The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. About Us. Panopticrypt.
  4. This Aussie says he and his dead friend invented bitcoin. Business Insider Australia.
  5. Here's all the evidence that Craig Wright invented bitcoin. Gizmodo.
  6. This Aussie says he and his dead friend invented bitcoin. Business Insider Australia.
  7. Bitcoin's Mysterious Creator Appears to be Sitting On a $5.8 Billion Fortune. Time.
  8. Bitcoin’s latest record high makes Satoshi Nakamoto the 247th richest person in the world. Quartz.
  9. How Craig Wright Privately 'Proved' He Created Bitcoin. Wired.
  10. Comment for Orders and Other Announcements 83 FR 64563, Comment 61969. U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commmission.
  11. Craig Wright Says Sorry, He Can't Offer Proof He's Bitcoin Creator Satoshi. {{{org}}}.
  12. Self-proclaimed bitcoin creator sued for allegedly stealing $5 billion worth of crypto, other assets. CNBC.
  13. 'Satoshi' Craig Wright Is Being Sued for $10 Billion. Coindesk.
  14. Would-Be Bitcoin Creator Must Fork Over $4 Billion to Ex-Partner. Bloomberg.
  15. Judge Recommends Ruling in Favor of Kleiman in Craig Wright Case. Coindesk.
  16. 'Satoshi' Craig Wright Is Being Sued for $10 Billion. Crypto Me!.
  17. Fulfilling Satoshi’s vision: Craig Wright commends Bitcoin Cash initiative.
  18. Self-proclaimed Bitcoin Creator Craig Wright: 2018 Will Be BCH’s Year. Cointelegraph.
  19. All Merchants Want for Christmas Should be Bitcoin Cash. nChain.
  20. Nchain to Offer Smart Contract Patents Exclusively to the Bitcoin Cash Community.
  21. Registry and Automated Management Method for Blockchain-Enforced Smart Contracts. nChain.
  22. Bitcoin Cash Just Split Into Two Blockchains. Coindesk.
  23. Craig Wright, Defender of Satoshi’s Vision, on Social Media Warpath. Finance Magnates.
  24. Present liability schemes and sanctions. Medium.
  25. Bitcoin Cash’s Roger Ver: “We are definitely launching a cryptocurrency exchange”. AMB Crypto.
  26. Craig Wright’s Fight With a Cartoon Bitcoin Astronaut Cat Explained. Coindesk.
  27. Binance Delists BCHSV, CEO Calls Craig Wright “a Fraud”. Finance Magnates.
  28. CZ Binance. Twitter.
  29. Kraken Exchange Joins Binance, ShapeShift in Delisting Bitcoin SV. Coindesk.
  30. Vitalik Buterin About BCH Fork “Bitcoin SV:” A ‘Fitting Succesor’ Of Bitconnect (BCC). Ethereum World News.
  31. Hating On Craig 'Satoshi' Wright Has United Crypto. Coindesk.
  32. Craig S Wright. Linkedin.