Response to Unbounded Capital’s attempt to show that Craig Wright is Satoshi

Sam Williams
18 min readJan 10, 2020

In a recent essay, Unbounded Capital tried to make the case that Craig Wright is Satoshi. Let’s tackle their claims one by one and see how rigorous they are.

Claim 1: Wright has the qualifications to be Satoshi

Craig has an impressive track record as both an academic and as an industry leader in computer security.

Let’s go over Wright’s background. It is undeniable that Wright holds a number of degrees and certifications, as well as having worked as a lecturer at Charles Sturt University. However, his background and education are in Information Technology, not Computer Science. One of the only things we know for certain about Bitcoin’s creator is that he or she was able to competently code in C++. There is nothing in Wright’s background to suggest he has any ability to code C++, let alone at a professional level. In fact, there is significant evidence that he is incapable of coding in any language beyond a beginner level.

Wright Cannot Code

Perhaps the most damning evidence of Wright’s lack of coding ability is his blog post on writing Bitcoin Script programs. In it, he writes a “rather careful and detailed script” to calculate the monus function (ie — truncated subtraction). The Script he produces is full of bugs and nonsense code comments. They display a shocking lack of understanding of the subject in question.

Wright’s terrible code

For instance, he gets the order of how opcodes operate on the stack backwards, then tries to compensate for that mistake by using the wrong opcodes. The comments document his struggles. He bizarrely notes that “this is reversed in this form” when he uses OP_LESSTHANOREQUAL instead of OP_GREATERTHANOREQUAL. He also uses the opcode OP_IFDUP to duplicate a value, but it causes the script to error out if the value is zero (which should be allowed). His notes for that step are nonsense — (“A is duplicated IFF it is not empty. Just a good check to stop error.”) In fact, it creates an error, and the opcode’s operation is incorrectly described. There are other problems, but, in short, the code is completely broken and obviously written by someone unfamiliar with Script. Of course, Satoshi Nakamoto created Script and wrote the interpreter, so the odds of his writing this abomination are practically nil.

While not a direct indication of his inability to code, Wright failed his Theory of Computation course, which was arguably the only true Computer Science class in his curriculum, and perhaps why Wright incorrectly thinks Bitcoin Script (or the Bitcoin protocol itself) is Turing complete.

Another notable indication of his inability to code is when he posted a C++ “Hello World” program on Twitter when he was called out on his plagiarism of an assembly language program.

Note Craig’s own comment (“this is horrible code — but for fuck sake — it is a fucking hello world”)

While supporters will try to argue that this was a purposeful “troll” by Wright, his comments in the code indicate otherwise. He clearly is taking credit for it, as he calls himself “the Prof”. However, as pointed out here, the code was stolen and modified before Wright posted it as his own. (It does not even compile.)

Speaking of academic fraud, Wright has a very deep history of it, including stealing an entire academic paper and trying to pass off the work as his own (despite it being unrelated to what he was trying to prove).

I’ll note that Wright supporters point to his having lectured about programming supercomputers (which is related to another tax fraud of his, by the way), but when one actually watches the lectures in question, we find that he is merely reading slides others have written, and quickly glosses over any actual code when he gets to it.

One final laugh for those who are actually professional programmers. Wright once wrote an article with the following line:

“The timestamp function utilized in the block structure is an open-source IEC 61850 ‘uint32_t’ implementation”

That’s basically all the evidence a programmer needs to know that Wright is not a programmer.

Claim 2: He is more likely Satoshi than a fraud

The case for CSW begins simply; his background lines up much more with that of a creator of bitcoin than a clear fraud.

As we can see, this is untrue. His educational and work background is consistent with an IT specialist, not a programmer. Furthermore, he does have a solid background of fraudulence. As previously noted, his history of plagiarism (“the greatest of academic crimes” and “fraud” in his own words) is well-documented. In addition, Wright has a history of making unbelievable and unsubstantiated court statements, and I’m not referring to the recent case with Ira Kleiman.

In 2004, Wright was convicted of contempt of court. In the ruling, the judge noted:

The probative force of the new evidence depends in large measure on [Wright’s] credibility and reliability. His explanations and interpretations of these and related documents are contradicted at critical points, on which there is no independent evidence to support him. The appellant’s contradictory evidence about the email of 11.16 am on 10 September 2003 raises doubts about his credibility, as does his evidence based on the calls from his mobile phone that day.

Beyond that, Wright has engaged in tax fraud, which, incidentally, is how his claim to be Satoshi began. However, the full details of that will be saved for another article. Suffice it to say, his background is fully consistent with a fraud.

Let’s move on.

CSW’s detractors claim that the version of the LLM available online was not published before the whitepaper. This is true, but CSW points to the version sitting in the archives at Newcastle University as well as handwritten copies he holds of both that LLM and the whitepaper which he plans to use in his upcoming libel suit against Peter McCormack, a Bitcoin podcaster who has made it his mission to publicly paint CSW as a fraud.

This is not evidence; it’s merely repeating an unsubstantiated claim.

Claim 3: Wright was an early miner

Beyond his academic work, a track record of legal documents puts CSW clearly on the scene early on in the history of bitcoin. In his lawsuit with Ira Kleiman, the estranged brother of CSW’s deceased partner, Dave Kleiman, documents have emerged which show that CSW included bitcoin related expenses on his 2008–09 tax return. He began creating businesses around his mining activities in 2009. This puts him within the extremely small circle of people who were involved with Bitcoin in 2008, the year of the whitepaper’s release, and makes CSW likely the biggest spender on Bitcoin related activities at that time regardless of whether or not he is Satoshi.

This is all an outright lie. No contemporaneous documents show that Wright included “bitcoin related expenses” on tax returns. In fact, there is no evidence whatsoever that Wright even used (let alone created) Bitcoin before 2013. The author seems to think that Wright’s statements to the Australian Taxation Office in 2013 and 2014 “show” that he included Bitcoin-related expenses on tax returns in 2008/2009! Again, this is just an unsubstantiated claim by Wright that the author is repeating as if it’s proof of something.

Additionally, there is no evidence that any of Wright’s businesses had anything to do with Bitcoin before 2013.

Claim 4: Wright provided private cryptographic proof to individuals

In addition to this circumstantial evidence, there are many foundational people in Bitcoin who back up CSW’s claim that he is the creator, some based on the fact that CSW showed them cryptographic proof privately by signing a transaction for coins known to be held by Satoshi. These include Gavin Andresen, the man put in charge of BTC development by Satoshi when he left the project in 2010.

The author cites “many foundational people”, but only lists one. Presumably, this is their strongest evidence, so let’s tackle it.

The “Signing Demonstration” for Gavin Andresen was a farce

Andresen committed at least four fundamental errors that render the demonstration utterly worthless.

First, he did not use his own hardware. The machine they used was reportedly “new”, but, as we’ll see, this doesn’t even matter.

Second, he did not verify the copy of Electrum they used.

“if we were running an Electrum that reported ‘verified’ for any message ending with ‘CSW’ and not verified for anything else that would fit what happened. I didn’t bring checksums of Electrum downloads with me.”

Third, he allowed Wright to control the hardware at all times.

“Everyone waited with bated breath as Wright used the new laptop….”

Fourth, he allowed Wright to copy data from a potentially compromised machine to the “new” machine.

“Craig signed a message that I chose (“Gavin’s favorite number is eleven. CSW” if I recall correctly) using the private key from block number 1.

That signature was copied on to a clean usb stick I brought with me to London, and then validated on a brand-new laptop”

In summary, we have Wright copying data from a personally controlled source onto the “new” laptop and Wright personally operating the computer during the “verification”. The software used to “verify” was not checked for authenticity.

The demonstration was a farce and Andresen should be embarrassed for having participated in it.

Wright believers seem to think that a “hacked wifi” is the only potential explanation for what happened. This is far from the truth, as this amusing thread makes clear. All that’s required there is a single line of code changed (even a beginner coder like Wright could manage that!) and a half second of distraction.

Moving on.

Claim 5: Wright is the strongest candidate to be Satoshi

It’s also worth noting that no one claimed to be Satoshi before CSW was outed in 2015, and no credible candidates have emerged since. CSW is the only individual with a strong case claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto.

This is wrong in three ways. First, Wright was not “outed”. He signed a contract with nTrust, and they hired a PR firm to manage the “big reveal”. Inasmuch as there was a “leak”, even the publications speculated that Wright himself was the leaker.

Second, the lack of “credible candidates” is irrelevant. The real Satoshi may be dead or simply wants his or her privacy.

Third, Wright does not have a “strong case” of being Satoshi. In fact, with all the evidence available, he is less likely than a randomly selected English-speaking computer-literate adult to be Satoshi.

Claim 6: Satoshi has not said Wright isn’t Satoshi like he said about Dorian

…it did occur when a theory emerged that a man named Dorian Nakamoto was Satoshi. Satoshi re-emerged briefly on the P2P Foundation forum to announce that he is not Dorian Nakamoto.

It is far from certain that this was the real Satoshi. However, even if it was, Dorian Nakamoto was an innocent bystander who was unfairly dragged into this mess by shoddy reporting. Wright, on the other hand, is a malevolent actor who has brought on and deserved every ounce of scorn directed his way. Satoshi may simply deem him a non-threat and not worthy of risking his or her privacy, given that Wright has been thoroughly debunked and is a laughingstock in the vast majority of the crypto community.

That concludes the “evidence” for Wright being Satoshi. Underwhelmed? Just wait to see the excuses for all the evidence against Wright.

Claim 7: Wright has an acceptable excuse for not signing anything

However, using this absence of a signature as a reason to discredit CSW’s claim misses a few key points. The first is that CSW does not necessarily have an incentive to sign and prove his identity to those who see a signature as the evidence necessary to prove one’s identity. CSW and other’s incentives will be addressed in the next section. Even if there were some financial incentive to sign, CSW’s personality appears to be such that he would be repulsed to do so for those who demand it.

Two potential excuses are given here. First, that Wright is not sufficiently incentivized to sign. Second, that his “personality” explains his unwillingness to sign. We’ll tackle them one at a time.

Subclaim 1: Wright isn’t incentivized to sign publicly

Here’s the author’s full-throated argument:

his incentive to keep people in the dark are very clear. Consider first that Satoshi, whoever he is, did not want his identity revealed. Perhaps that same person would relish the opportunity to be able to work again in relative secrecy. In the years since he was outed as Satoshi, Craig has filed over 800 bitcoin related patents. Over 200 of these have already been granted and over 1000 more are in the pipeline. While his detractors diverted the public’s attention away from his work and onto the controversy, he has created a patent fortress around Bitcoin IP. For CSW, the ability to create valuable IP without competitors paying attention is a big perk of not proving without a doubt to the typical crypto mind that he is Satoshi. From our vantage point, CSW appears to have consciously released evidence with strategic selection bias, alienating those who naively see code as law and creating a tighter network among those who understand the value of his ideas and then seek to look more deeply for evidence that CSW is honest.

In a nutshell, Wright won’t sign because he wants “privacy” to create IP. Does that comport with anyone’s understanding of Wright or Satoshi? I have a feeling this will only be compelling to those who already believe Wright is Satoshi. Also, why would he be so willing to sell his story to nTrust if he wanted privacy?

Subclaim 2: Wright’s personality makes him unwilling to sign publicly

We believe that Craig’s preference is to prove his identity to his own satisfaction in court before possibly submitting cryptographic evidence to the public. This would be his demonstration of the supremacy of law over code in determining legal matters surrounding property rights and identity.

I’ll note upfront that this is precisely something a fraud would say to excuse his non-signing. Further, I’ll note that Wright wrote this in 2016, which totally contradicts his current stance:

“So, over the coming days, I will be posting a series of pieces that will lay the foundations for this extraordinary claim, posting independently-verifiable documents and evidence addressing some of the false allegations that have been levelled, and transferring Bitcoin from an early block.

For some there is no burden of proof high enough, no evidence that cannot be dismissed as fabrication or manipulation. This is the nature of belief and swimming against this current would be futile.

You should be sceptical. You should question. I would.

I will present what I believe to be “extraordinary proof” and ask only that it be independently validated.”

Dismissal of evidence

Now, on to the dismissal of the huge amount of evidence against Wright. A mere three paragraphs was dedicated to this task.

“Compromised servers”

The first of these groups are documents that allegedly came from compromised servers. CSW was operating companies in Australia in the mid 2010’s that he claims were hacked by an employee.

First, I’ll note the irony of the master security professional being “hacked”. Second, I’ll note that the “hacking” seemed to completely benefit Wright, except when closely examined. What a strange “hacker”… As Judge Reinhart said in his finding, Wright gave absolutely no evidence to back up this assertion:

“When confronted with evidence indicating that certain documents had been fabricated or altered, he became extremely defensive, tried to sidestep questioning, and ultimately made vague comments about his systems being hacked and others having access to his computers. None of these excuses were corroborated by other evidence.

The ATO conspiracy

These documents were turned over from the allegedly compromised servers in a case with the Australian Tax Office. Independent investigators acknowledged that the ATO had a vulnerability that would allow this.

This is a lie. The “investigators” were paid by Wright, and their findings did not “acknowledge” that a vulnerability would allow something like Wright’s vague claim.

These documents have resurfaced in other cases that attained these documents in discovery. The documents are often misrepresented as evidence put forward by CSW, but are actually documents that were submitted by the plaintiff in Craig’s ongoing case with Ira Kleiman, the plaintiff, that came by way of allegedly comprised servers seized by the ATO.

This is another lie. They came from Wright during discovery, and were “put forward” by plaintiffs because they were so damning.

Anyone could have altered these documents in favor of Wright!

The second group are documents that are claimed to have been altered by CSW but could have instead been altered by anyone. These include things as technologically simple as backdated PDFs. There isn’t much point discussing these further as they are only damning if one’s preconceived notion was that CSW is certainly not Satoshi and one is seeking confirmation by looking for anything to defame CSW’s character and claims.

Altered by anyone? These were contracts and emails put forth during discovery by Wright. They’re emails from Wright. Some of these documents Wright swore under oath were authentic. In fact, one email has a DKIM signature included, which validates against Wright’s server at the time. Some of them included PGP signatures from “Dave” that were signed after he died!

This sweeping dismissal of a huge body of fraudulence is incredibly telling.

The Wayback Machine is unreliable!

The final group are documents obtained by third parties who may or may not be trustworthy, such as the Wayback machine or This type of evidence has been a mixed bag as far as permissibility in court. Forgeability is widely seen as possible and there have been many accusations of alterations. For example, the Wayback machine has been accused of deleting records relating to the sale of malware. We believe there is a strong incentive for parties to have bribed or conspired with internet archivers such as the Wayback machine such that these documents should be treated with skepticism.

“Forgeability is widely seen as possible” by whom? has an excellent track record, and submits affidavits to courts regularly. The link given is explained because a company requested removal, not some kind of modification to existing records. Furthermore, the evidence that has for Wright seems (at first glance) to show that he’s Satoshi. Indeed, Wright himself says that pages are missing only because Wright himself excluded them from using robots.txt files and other nonsense excuses.

This excuse falls flat on its face.

He can’t possibly be THAT dumb!

Beyond the strangeness that an expert in both law and computer security would be so sloppy in forging documents that an army of anonymous reddit warriors could routinely expose the same mistakes again and again

This is the “he can’t possibly be that dumb” excuse, and it’s bogus, because he has proven again and again that he is indeed that sloppy and careless. His excuses, when called out on his forgeries, prove that they were unintentional mistakes.

I’ll note that the “he can’t possibly be that dumb” excuse is basically unfalsifiable, as well.

That concludes the author’s dismissal of the evidence against Wright.


There were a few additional claims made that didn’t fit into the topics above, so I’ll address some of them now.

Keys don’t prove identity!

The other error in this claim is the assertion that keys should prove identity in the first place. CSW has written copiously on this and related topics. The ideology of many in crypto is that the rules in the code are the rules of the system. They do not see law as a superseding ruleset. Therefore, they see control of keys as the be-all and end-all on the question of ownership of bitcoin. However, we can clearly see that this is a poor argument and a flawed approach. Keys to one’s house are useful in that they create a system where the owner of the house can use the keys to limit the ease of access to trusted parties. However, if someone stole the keys, they would not own the house. If someone simply holds the keys to bitcoins, that alone should not give them legal ownership. Similarly, asking someone to prove ownership of keys to prove identity is a non-sequitur, even if it is true that control of keys known to belong to an individual increases the likelihood that the key-holder is that individual.

While this is an oft-cited justification by Wright believers, it’s nonsense. Even if holding keys is not sufficient evidence of identity, in the case of Satoshi Nakamoto, it’s necessary. Satoshi widely published a PGP key to identify himself. In the context of proving that one created Bitcoin, showing access to the PGP key or one of the first blocks is the absolute minimum that one could do to prove their identity. If holding the keys to a house doesn’t prove you own it, merely describing the exterior of the house and making up stories about why he chose a paint color proves much less, and that’s the equivalent of what Wright has done to prove his “ownership” of it. (As well as faking deeds and mortgage documents, if we want to extend the analogy.)

He had no motive!

It is interesting to ask someone who is convinced CSW is a fraud what the incentive is for him to pretend to be Satoshi Nakamoto. A typical answer in my experience is something about his character; he’s an egomaniac, a psychopath, or a pathological liar.

The incentive is money. Wright started this charade as tax fraud, and along the way, he managed to convince a billionaire to pay him for his story and “intellectual property”.

In fact, it is not clear that Calvin has given any financial support directly to CSW,

It is quite clear that Wright has (directly or indirectly) received millions of dollars that originated with Calvin Ayre.

“The Wrights’ financial situation was dire. They couldn’t pay their staff and a number had already left. Pedersen and some others had stayed on without pay; Wright owed his lawyers $1 million. Superannuation remittances were overdue and loan repayments unpaid; the companies needed £200,000 just to make it to next week. Craig and Ramona had sold their cars. One of the companies was already in administration and, with the ATO closing in, ‘all related entities were on the brink of collapse.’’”

“‘That’s right,’ Matthews said in February this year. ‘When we signed the deal, $1.5 million was given to Wright’s lawyers.”

“From that point on, the ‘Satoshi revelation’ would be part of the deal. ‘It was the cornerstone of the commercialisation plan,’ Matthews said, ‘with about ten million sunk into the Australian debts and setting up in London.’”

As I was paying the bill, Matthews reared up. ‘You know Craig has gone out and bought himself some cars? One hundred and eighty thousand dollars’ worth of cars.’ (When I checked this with Wright he said the cars were leased.) ‘One of them stands out like the dog’s balls in the proverbial moonlight, and this is from the man we’re trying to keep fucking secret. How many custom BMW i8s are going around London? He’s spending every fucking penny that we’ve paid him … Does he think this is just a game? You know, these guys have gone from being backyard scrappers and they’ve suddenly found themselves in a high-stakes poker game.’ Matthews said he wouldn’t take any rubbish from the Wrights, and that they’d end up on a plane back to Australia and jail if they didn’t fulfil their end of the bargain, to reveal Satoshi. ‘The people that I work with are capable of deciding this was a $30 million bad decision and write it off,’ he said.

So, yes, Wright had (and continues to have) a big financial incentive to pretend to be Satoshi.

In fact, we’ve recently learned that Ayre was the one negotiating a settlement for the Kleiman lawsuit, so Ayre is supporting him there, as well.

Why would he risk it all!?!

Anyone setting out to claim that they are Satoshi without the ability to sign publicly is engaging in an uphill battle. To those that are convinced one is Satoshi, there may be something to be gained through partnerships, fundraising, or influence, but for all those who are unconvinced, the fake claim amounts to reputational suicide. Taking the claims into court and filing libel lawsuits against detractors escalates the consequences from reputational suicide to jailtime. This seems like an odd calculus coming from an extremely successful professional in his late 40s with a wife and children.

As noted, Wright is willing to take risks. He was fined over a million dollars for tax fraud, and was sentenced to jail (later commuted to community service) for contempt of court. In the recent Kleiman case, he was found by the magistrate judge to have given “perjurious” testimony. He has blatantly plagiarized dozens of papers with no remorse despite getting caught multiple times.

Judge Reinhart’s summary deserves repeating:

“[T]he evidence establishes that he has engaged in a willful and bad faith pattern of obstructive behavior, including submitting incomplete or deceptive pleadings, filing a false declaration, knowingly producing a fraudulent trust document, and giving perjurious testimony at the evidentiary hearing”

And, as we’ve seen, Wright was rather desperate at the time. His tax fraud was not working and he was in extraordinary debt. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and pretending to be Satoshi despite the incredible evidence against you is a pretty desperate measure — one that he took.

But a conman wouldn’t do what Wright is doing!

Conmen often have a way of telling their victims what they want to hear. CSW has taken the opposite approach, sticking with a very clear set of principles that are extremely unpopular and notably consistent with the ideas espoused by Satoshi Nakamoto when writing under the pseudonym.

Keep in mind that the mark is likely Ayre, not the general public.

Also, Wright’s “ideas” are not consistent with Nakamoto’s at all. Most notably, Nakamoto held anonymity as an ideal (“participants can be anonymous”), and even admitted that Bitcoin would be “better” if it didn’t have to be a public ledger.

Buy BSV!

In 2020, there are a series of events which we anticipate will align market perception to the realities surrounding Bitcoin and the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. These include Craig’s warning that he will be moving upwards of 800,000 BTC, the January 1st 2020 maturation of a trust containing over 1 million BTC mined by CSW in 2009–2011

I will state that if Wright publicly demonstrates control of the PGP key or the coinbase key of the genesis block (or block 1), then I will concede that he likely had a role in the creation of Bitcoin.

However, I will also state that if fossil rabbits are found in the Precambrian, then I will concede that the theory of evolution is likely fundamentally flawed.

I personally assign approximately equal probability to each of these events actually happening.

My question is: when 2021 rolls around and no coins have moved, what excuse will the author move on to?