Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as digital cash system Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
The Australian entrepreneur’s admission ends years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the virtual currency.
Craig Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin’s creator.
Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team have also confirmed Craig Wright’s claim.
He has revealed his identity to three media organizations – The Economist, the BBC and GQ magazine.
The keys are inextricably linked to blocks of Bitcoins known to have been created or “mined” by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Renowned cryptographer Hal Finney was one of the engineers who helped turn Craig Wright’s ideas into the Bitcoin protocol, he said.
Craig Wright said he planned to release information that would allow others to cryptographically verify that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
Jon Matonis, an economist and one of the founding directors of the Bitcoin Foundation, said he was convinced that Craig Wright was who he claimed to be.
By going public, Craig Wright hopes to put an end to press speculation about the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Newsweek, The New Yorker, Fast Company and many other media organizations have all conducted long investigations seeking Bitcoin’s creator and named many different people as candidates.
In December 2015, two magazines, Gizmodo and Wired, named Craig Wright as a candidate after receiving documents believed to be stolen from him that revealed his involvement with the project.
Soon after these stories were published, authorities in Australia raided the home of Craig Wright. The Australian Taxation Office said the raid was linked to a long-running investigation into tax payments rather than Bitcoin.
The stories in December have led to many more journalists and others pursuing him and people he knows, Craig Wright said.
Bitcoins are now accepted as payment for a vast variety of goods and services.
There are currently about 15.5 million Bitcoins in circulation. Each one is worth about $449.
Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to amassed about one million Bitcoins which would give him a net worth, if all were converted to cash, of about $450 million.