bitcoin.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Zach Copley, used under CC BY-SA

Australian computer scientist and entrepreneur Craig Steven Wright identified himself Monday as the founder of the digital currency known as Bitcoin.

The revelation ended years of speculation over the true identity of Bitcoin's creator. The currency was first released in 2008 by a programmer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wright provided cryptographic proof demonstrating his authorship of the programming behind Bitcoin to the BBC, The Economist and GQ magazine, before posting it on a blog.

"I'm not seeking publicity but want to set the record straight," Wright was quoted as saying by The Economist.

In a video statement for the BBC, Wright admitted to being Satoshi Nakamoto despite his earlier denials.

“I was the main part of it, but other people helped me,” Wright said.

"I would rather not do it. I want to work, I want to keep doing what I want to do. I don't want money. I don't want fame. I don't want adoration. I just want to be left alone," he said in the BBC report.

In December, Wired magazine and the website Gizmodo had named Wright as the suspected founder of Bitcoin.

Wright provided evidence to the BBC in the Monday report that he started Bitcoin by showing them programming code.

"These are the blocks used to send 10 Bitcoins to Hal Finney in January [2009] as the first Bitcoin transaction," Wright said.

Wright wrote on his blog that he was grateful to the people who had supported Bitcoin and “taken my small contribution and nurtured it, enhanced it, breathed life into it.”

A reclusive figure who lives in the leafy Sydney northern suburbs, Wright is estimated to be worth 450 million US dollars, the BBC said.

There are an estimated 15.5 million Bitcoins in circulation and each one is currently worth 449 US dollars. The currency operates without central authority or government backing.

In December, when Wright was identified as the real Nakamoto, the Australian Tax Office swooped on his home and took away boxes of documents and computer hard drives.

Wright said he was cooperating with the tax office and that lawyers were negotiating how much he would have to pay, the BBC reported.

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