The message is the medium

Wired’s Weird Backpedalling – Story Was Too Good To Check, huh?

“In fact, we’d already spotted that the three posts in Wright’s now-deleted blog that seemed to reveal his bitcoin work had been backdated or edited after the fact to insert that evidence; the clues were all missing in archived versions of the posts from 2013. Combined with our other apparently solid evidence, however, we wavered on whether the backdated posts were the sign of a hoax to steal Satoshi’s glory (or money), or simply the sign of a conflicted personality who may have hoped to finally receive credit for his work.” – URL

“Solid evidence”? There were actually no pieces of “evidence” at all presented in the article on Craig Wright being Satoshi. On the contrary, there are many obvious facts refuting the idea (not the same writing style, lack of knowledge around the consensus mechanism, faked blog posts, backdated crypto keys etc etc) – so of course he’s not Satoshi… anybody actually researching this story would’ve understood that, except clickbait-hungry publications. And, if Wired spotted that those blog posts had been edited, why didn’t that make them suspicious enough to at least place a few phone calls to some of the companies Mr. Wright pretended he was working with (like SGI)?

“But the posts to Wright’s blog as well as his non-denial of writing those posts when we asked him about them last week show that any hoax would require Wright’s own involvement. To plausibly fit into a hoax theory, it seems all that alleged extortion, hacking, leaking, and venomous criticism would have to be part of Wright’s own plan.”

It seems pretty obvious to me (although this is pure speculation); it looks like this guy has defrauded the Australian Tax Office (that’s why they raided his house) and he is a wanted man with debts to cover (this is the reason he has deleted his Linkedin-profile, blog posts etc and gone dark, and left Australia, apparently).

Then Mr. Wright tries to pretend he is Satoshi, so he can fake a “letter of intent”, creating the illusion that, for some mysterious reason, all his bitcoins are tied up until 2020 – so he can get a loan or an investment from someone, to repay his debts. The early Bitcoin community is pretty tight-knit, so if Wired would’ve cared to talk to a few of the people actually involved in designing the Bitcoin network it would pretty soon be obvious that Mr. Wright is not Mr. Nakamoto.

I applaud the use of the word “probably” in Wired’s original outing of Mr. Wright, but it’s this second headline that’s weird as it alludes to “new” info. Nothing substantially new has come up, the difference is only that the pieces of “evidence” presented by Wired now actually have been fact-checked (why, for instance, did the reporter not check the validity of the cryptographic keys before publishing – or, if Wired had no understanding on how such keys are produced, why not check that piece of the story with someone who knows something about such keys?)

Also, there has been no solid evidence Craig Wright holds any significant bitcoin holdings at all, just some papers drawn up by shady business men and their lawyers (promising each other they have different assets like bitcoins or gold). The only way to prove you own bitcoins is to “show me the money”, i.e. move it around on actual bitcoin addresses in a pre-announced pattern.