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Bitcoin’s Former Chief Developer Regrets Playing the ‘Who Was Satoshi’ Game

Gavin Andresen now thinks we should all ignore Craig Wright.
Image: Shutterstock

Gavin Andresen was once hailed as heir to the mantle of Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin's anonymous creator. Andresen famously corresponded with Nakamoto before he or she disappeared, and essentially led bitcoin's development for years.

However, Andresen's lustrous aura dissipated when he publicly supported Australian businessman Craig Wright when Wright claimed that he was Satoshi Nakamoto. By most expert accounts, he's almost certainly not.


Andresen has kept a lower profile than usual lately. Until Wednesday, the last post on his bitcoin blog was from May, the same month that Andresen publicly backed Wright. According to a new post on his blog on Wednesday, Andresen now regrets ever getting involved with Wright and encourages everyone to simply ignore the man and his claims.

"I regret ever getting involved in the 'who was Satoshi' game, and am going to spend my time on more fun and productive pursuits," Andresen wrote.

Read More: Why Satoshi Nakamoto Matters

Wright may have been Nakamoto, Andresen wrote, but wanted to sink himself into obscurity forever by creating a web of lies that ultimately destroyed his standing in the public eye, ending any line of inquiry into his identity as Nakamoto. Wright may also have just been a scammer and a fraud.

"So, either he was or he wasn't [Nakamoto]," Andresen wrote. "In either case, we should ignore him."

Motherboard reached out to Andresen, but hasn't received a response.

The bitcoin community has long fixated on the question of who invented the protocol that many believe will upend the financial industry. Several possibilities have been trotted out by the press, all of which have either been discredited or flatly denied. Wright had some technical "proof" that he is Nakamoto, which sold Andresen, but most experts agreed that Wright's evidence was not convincing, and may have been faked.

The discovery of Nakamoto's true identity would send shockwaves through the bitcoin community, since a massive hoard of bitcoins is allegedly owned by Nakamoto and could upset the digital currency's fragile economics. Bitcoin is also going through a transition period, and the community is still largely riven by a decision regarding a code change that would theoretically allow bitcoin to process more transactions quickly.

But for one of bitcoin's oldest, and at one point most respected, developers, the question is moot.

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