Not long after one of the Internet’s great mysteries had apparently been solved, it quickly began to be unsolved.

Yesterday, Australian computer scientist Craig Wright revealed that he is Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. The announcement came in his own blog post and was carefully coordinated with several media outlets, including the BBC and Economist.

In addition, there was further confirmation by Jon Matonis, an economist and one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation, as well as Gavin Andresen, a key Bitcoin figure, who published a blog post supporting the claim.

But since that initial flurry, users on Reddit and Hacker News have cast substantial doubt on Wright’s claim.

And then Bitcoin developer Nic Cubrilovic published a detailed exploration of the evidence and concluded: “Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto. He wasn’t Satoshi Nakamoto before or after Wired and Gizmodo suspected him to be last year, and he still isn’t Satoshi Nakamoto after trying to reveal himself to be on his own blog and to The BBC, The Economist, GQ, Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen.”

Now, even the Economist has backed away from its original story (which did acknowledge some skepticism toward the claim). The magazine wrote:

The onus is now squarely on Mr Wright to provide better evidence for his claim. We have again asked Mr Wright to provide additional information so we can independently verify that he is in possession of the cryptographic keys that would prove that he is Mr Nakamoto. We have requested that he provide a corrected version of his initial proof. And we have asked him to use private keys he supposedly has in his possession to sign the first paragraph of our first article, including the date, which would be even better proof of his identity.

We’ll update as more information emerges throughout the day. But for the moment, it seems the identity of Nakamoto is sliding back into the question mark column.

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.