A statue of Satoshi Nakamoto, a presumed pseudonym used by the inventor of Bitcoin, is displayed in Graphisoft Park in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Images.
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What is Satoshi Nakamoto’s real name? Bitcoin was allegedly invented by two persons.

Depending on whom you believe, computer scientist Craig Wright is either the mysterious Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto — one of the most influential persons of the modern era and the world’s 15th wealthiest person — or a cunning Aussie attempting to defraud a deceased man’s estate.

Or you could do both.

Ira Kleiman, the brother of the late computer-security specialist David Kleiman, claims that his brother and Wright created the initial digital money linked to the Nakamoto pseudonym in a court action currently underway in West Palm Beach, Fla.

As a result, Ira argues he is entitled to half of Wright’s digital fortune: around $64 billion in Bitcoin (as of Friday’s valuation).

If Wright is Satoshi, as he says on his private Instagram page (which only has one post), he is worth tens of billions of dollars and holds 1.1 million Bitcoin.

“The basis of the lawsuit is that a partnership was formed under the name Satoshi Nakamoto to develop and mine a considerable number of Bitcoin,” Vel Freedman, Ira Kleiman’s attorney, told The Post. “Evidence [in the form of emails] reveals Craig and Dave agreed to keep their relationship private. Nobody knew about it until Craig began sharing facts with the Kleiman family after Dave died [in 2013], and Craig decided to preserve the riches for himself.”

“We anticipate the court will find there is nothing to show or record that they were in a partnership,” Wright’s lawyer Andrés Rivero said.

Kleiman, a paraplegic, died in appalling circumstances. When he was discovered, his body had begun to decompose, open bottles of alcohol were spread about, and there was “a loaded handgun next to him,” according to the complaint. A bullet hole was discovered in his mattress. The circumstances of his demise are still unknown.”

If he had a Bitcoin stockpile, it was never found, and no password was ever discovered.

Bitcoin began in 2008, when “Nakamoto” published an open-source document online presenting a new type of digital currency that could be utilized without the use of a central bank. It was originally valued less than a penny. Today, each coin is worth about $58,000.

David Kleiman was a digital-security expert who left behind no trace of Bitcoin when he died — but could he be one-half of the team behind the currency’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto?

Nakamoto came up with the concept of creating “currency” by completing more complex computations that would eventually necessitate the use of highly powerful computers. Unlike traditional currency, which can be issued indefinitely, the number of Bitcoins in circulation will reach a limit after a finite number of 21 millions are mined.

The identity of Nakamoto has become one of the great mysteries of our time, with suspects ranging from Elon Musk to Swedish video game developer Vili Lehdonvirta to American computer scientist Nick Szabo. Wright, on the other hand, is the only individual who has come forward to claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wright claimed to have produced the white paper that lay out the inner workings of Bitcoin and was credited to Satoshi Nakamoto while appearing on the witness stand earlier this month, according to coindesk.com.

However, there are skeptics who do not believe Wright is the genuine Nakamoto.

Dan Kaminsky, a well-known security expert, stated on Twitter, “He’s lying, full stop.” “In 2009, Satoshi completed a transaction.” Wright made a copy of the signature and tried to pass it off as his own.”

Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist, has long claimed he is Nakamoto — and that only he is — but has never offered up definitive proof. Getty Images for CoinGeek.

Others argue that neither Wright nor Kleiman were involved in the development of cryptocurrencies. “Neither of these men is Satoshi,” Bitcoin specialist Arthur van Pelt told The Washington Post. “[The real Nakamoto] had no desire to be the leader.” He desired to give it to the community.”

Wright was born and raised in Brisbane, Australia, and claims to hold a PhD in computer science from Charles Stuart University there.

“Craig has Aspergers and is a little different from other people,” says Calvin Ayre, a venture capitalist who made his name with the infamous online gambling site Bodog.com and is now an investor in nChain, where Wright is a founder and chief scientist, according to CrunchBase. “He’s a polymath who sleeps four hours a night and listens to textbooks at four times the normal speed while sleeping.”

Wright was working for BDO, an accounting firm in Sydney, Australia, in the early 2000s when he was assigned to do a security audit for another online gambling organization. That’s when he met Stefan Matthews, the gambling site’s chief technical officer.

If he needs to decompress after a difficult day, he reads a f–king textbook.” “He’s wired differently than anyone I’ve ever met,” Matthews told The Washington Post. “For stuff like networks, firewalls, and penetration testing, he has dozens of technical credentials.

“He talked to me about digital gold and digital currency, and he had eight or nine distinct thoughts for them,” Matthews, the former CEO of nChain and now chairman of TAAL Distributed Information Technologies, said shortly after their meeting.

Wright gave Matthews a flash drive in 2008 and requested him to download a document from it in the hopes that he would read it and provide feedback on the work.

Stefan Matthews, Wright’s former employer, believe Wright is Nakamoto and says he has seen papers that show it to be true.

“It was a white paper [for Bitcoin that summarized the digital currency] that included a lot of what we had talked about,” Matthews explained. “Satoshi’s name appears on the final, published version, which was released in October 2008.” The Bitcoin code was launched in January 2009 by [someone impersonates as Nakamoto].

He said, “Craig and Dave [Kleiman] initially communicated in 2007 or 2008.” “Craig said David assisted him in editing the white paper. Craig has a hard time keeping his sentences under a certain length.”

Kleiman was a former soldier who became a cop and then a computer forensics expert. He was crippled in a 1995 motorcycle accident while working for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, leaving him confined to a wheelchair.

“Dave and Craig met on an online cryptography forum in 2003,” according to court filings. Both guys were interested in cybersecurity, digital forensics, and the future of money for a long time.” “In 2007, they coauthored a paper on the mechanics of overwriting hard disk data,” according to their correspondence.

According to the court document, Wright asked Kleiman to assist him in editing the white paper a year later. “For the following few months, Craig and Dave worked to get Bitcoin operational,” it continues.

According to the court filing, Dave told his brother Ira on Thanksgiving Day 2009 that “he was making ‘digital money’ with a wealthy foreign man, i.e., Craig.”

Maria Frechette, Kleiman’s ex-wife, isn’t surprised if this is the case. She told The Washington Post, “I don’t know if he invented [Bitcoin].” “However, he wasn’t a dummy.”

As of Nov. 19, 2021, a single Bitcoin was valued at $58,000.

Nakamoto corresponded with a small group of crypto enthusiasts daily via email and other message boards during the early years of Bitcoin, but never on the phone or in person.

Then, on April 26, 2011, Nakamoto vanished, leaving behind a farewell letter to the community that concluded, “I’ve gone on to other things,” and has yet to be heard from again.

For the next four years, nothing happened.

Until December 2015, Wright had kept his supposed Satoshi identity a secret. That’s when he was exposed by Wired and Gizmodo.

“They’d been emailing Craig for weeks and wanted to interview him,” Matthews explained. “The advice was for Craig to do nothing because no one will break the story unless Craig confirms it.” That was obviously bad counsel, and they both followed it. Craig was torn on the subject.”

A statue of Satoshi Nakamoto, a presumed pseudonym used by the inventor of Bitcoin, is displayed in Graphisoft Park in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Images.

However, by May 2016, he had changed his mind. To prove that he was Satoshi, Wright promised to cash out part of Satoshi’s coins. Then he backed out, claiming that the transaction could reveal an early “security weakness… that would make it unsafe for him to move Bitcoin, exposing him to exploitation or theft,” according to Bitcoin magazine.

“I thought I’d be able to put my years of anonymity and hiding behind me.” But as this week progressed and I prepared to share the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke,” he wrote in an online essay. “I’m afraid I don’t have the courage.” “I’m afraid I can’t.”

Gavin Andresen was contacted shortly after by Matthews. When the project’s originator, Satoshi Nakamoto, supposedly quit the project in 2011, the Massachusetts-based software developer became the “core maintainer” of Bitcoin’s open-source code, hand-selected by Nakamoto despite the fact that they never met.

Andresen understands how Bitcoin works: records of mined currencies are kept in blocks on the blockchain, a digital ledger that keeps track of newly generated currency. He recognized that getting into each block required a unique key — a string of numbers and characters — that would allow Bitcoin to be sent out (or messages to be left), as well as a so-called “public key” that would allow anybody to view activities within that block.

Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist of Bitcoin Foundation, used to believe Wright was Nakamoto. Lately, though, he’s changed his mind. Getty Images.

Andresen was invited to fly to London to meet Wright by Matthews. Andresen was hesitant at first, but “an initial email chat convinced me that there was a very strong probability he was the same guy [i.e., Satoshi] I’d communicated with in 2010 and early 2011,” he said on his website.

Andresen accepted Matthews’ offer after being persuaded. “I fled to the basement of a hotel,” Andresen told The Post after arriving in London. Craig and I coded and did a variety of other geeky things. Then Craig signed a [unique] message in a block created by Satoshi — I believe it was ‘Gavin’s favorite number is 11’. To do that, he needed the secret key. This led me to believe Craig was Satoshi.”

Andresen was so certain that he made the following statement on his website: “I believe Craig Steven Wright is the person who invented Bitcoin… I observed a clever, opinionated, focused, generous — and privacy-seeking — individual throughout our encounter who matched the Satoshi I worked with.”

Since then, his viewpoint has shifted.

“I have my reservations now,” Andresen told The Washington Post. It’s conceivable Satoshi was hacked and the key was lost. I could have been duped because I was jet-lagged. The longer we go without seeing any movement in those early blocks, the more I have to wonder why.”

Wright contacted Kleiman’s family after he died in 2013 of unknown circumstances, according to Matthews.

Bitcoin started in 2008.

“From what I recall, when Craig learned of Dave’s death, it impacted him like a ton of bricks,” Matthews told The Washington Post. “I assume he wrote Dave’s [now deceased] father an email indicating Dave was engaged with Craig and that if Dave had encrypted drives, he may have mined Bitcoin and may have digital assets on them.”

“He wanted Dave’s family to be proud of Dave, so he overstated Dave’s role,” according to Ayre.

Van Pelt, a skeptic, thinks it amusing since Wright’s statements are what got him into trouble in the first place. “[Wright] pretended to be Satoshi and is now suffering the consequences.” He gave the impression of being Satoshi Nakomoto to Ira Klein. It works in both directions. Craig has no shame.”

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