Why is Craig Wright So Desperate to Prove He Is Satoshi?

Reading Time: 3 minutes
  • Craig Wright is desperate to prove he is Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s creator
  • Wright has gone from leaking fraudulent information to magazines to suing naysayers
  • We discuss why Craig Wright is so desperate to keep his Satoshi narrative running despite its obvious failure

Craig Wright this weekend succeeded in his attempt to get his claim against Twitter user Hodlonaut heard in the UK as well as Norway, meaning he will have at least four legal battles to fight this year. All these cases relate back in some way to his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, at which he is throwing hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars. The question then becomes – why is Craig Wright so desperate to be accepted as Satoshi Nakamoto?

BSV’s Success Depends on Wright’s Identity

The reason why Wright is so desperate to be recognized as Bitcoin’s creator is simple – his entire proposition for his Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) hinges on it. In the same way that a politician runs on a core message which he or she hopes will chime with voters, Wright runs on the platform that he created Bitcoin and that BSV is the only version that adheres to his founding principles.

Wright has staked his entire reputation on this notion, a reputation that has been so tarnished over the years that he is desperate for any remotely viable entity to bolster it. It is a little like a church pastor claiming to be Jesus and forking to a new religion – his entire offering is based on the illusion that he is who he says he is.

Wright’s Five Year Campaign

Wright never claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, at least not as vociferously or publicly, until 2015 when he leaked emails and other information to Wired and Gizmodo magazines in the hope they would back up his spurious claims. This they did, before retracting their claims when doubts about the validity of the evidence surfaced. This started a five-year campaign of Wright trying to get someone somewhere of any authority to ratify his claim. His laughable ‘proofing’ sessions in 2016 failed miserably, and Wright seemed then to be out of ideas. That was until 2019 when Wright found another avenue that could help him out – the law courts.

In 2019 Wright began throwing out lawsuits like confetti at anyone who dared claim that he was not Satoshi Nakamoto, knowing that a victory in just one of those cases would allow him to state that his claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto is now affirmed by a court of law. In fact, Wright didn’t even need a victory – by just pummelling his financially weaker opposition into the ground and forcing them to quit on the basis of their inability to continue fighting he could claim victory.

In this regard, the likes of McCormack and Hodlonaut have fallen into Wright’s trap. He knows that he can spin a court case victory, or even a defeat, into a narrative that suits him, in the knowledge that his claim is now backed by a legal entity, regardless of whether this is true or not. In fact, even if Wright wins his cases against Hodlonaut and Peter McCormack it won’t prove anything – all it would prove is that their allegations strayed from being free speech into being damaging to Wright’s reputation.

Were Wright just another Joe Schmo forking Bitcoin Cash into BSV he wouldn’t have been given a second glance. However, with Wright’s claim to have created Bitcoin and Ayre’s millions bankrolling him, Wright has what he needs to hoodwink enough people into thinking that he and BSV are the real deal. This is why he needs to keep the Satoshi narrative alive – without it he is nothing.

van Pelt Proposes Additional Theory

Wright skeptic Arthur van Pelt, who appeared on the FullyCrypto podcast last year to discuss Wright’s story, says that Wright’s claim to be Satoshi dates back even further than 2015:

…Craig Wright started to lie to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in 2013 that he was an early Bitcoin miner with access to his (non-existing) Bitcoin. That lie was supported by backdated forgeries, like fake emails and contracts. That lie was a bit later ramped up to being the inventor of Bitcoin, but of course ATO didn’t buy that. (The) ATO called it a “nullity based on sham” and “we firmly believe Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto the creator of Bitcoin.”

van Pelt also argues that Wright’s desperation to cling to the Satoshi mantle is borne of his personality:

I think it comes with his personality of being a notorious liar who cannot back down anymore. His whole financial and emotional life, both in private and in public, is wrapped around this pipe dream of being someone important in the Bitcoin scene. It’s failing over and over again, but as long as a few handful of people like Calvin Ayre and his UK counsel SCA ONTIER believe and support his fraudulent claims, he will not back down…

Whatever the real reason for his continuing need to associate himself with Bitcoin’s creation, the fact is that the more Craig Wright tries, and the more incendiary his attempts to reinforce his lies, the further he distances himself from the wider blockchain community and all the benefits that brings.