Craig Wright just about managed to convince the world that he was mystical Bitcoin-creator Satoshi Nakamoto, and as skepticism mounted in the wake of Wright’s claims, he promised to prove beyond all doubt that he is, indeed, the elusive Mr. Bitcoin by publishing irrefutable evidence.

Now, however, Wright has backed away from that promise by publishing this:


Above: Craig Wright: Bottled it

To recap, the Internet burst into a fervid bluster of excitement on Monday when Australian computer scientist Wright officially “confirmed” to the BBC, among a handful of other publications, that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous individual who introduced Bitcoin to the world way back in 2009.

During a meeting with the BBC, Wright purportedly “digitally signed” messages using cryptographic keys created during the early days of Bitcoin’s development. Though there was immense skepticism over Wright’s claims in the wake of the revelation, experts who had the opportunity to review the data include Jon Matonis, an economist and one of the founders of the Bitcoin Foundation, who said that he believed Wright’s claims stack up. The Bitcoin Foundation’s Gavin Andresen also published an article supporting Wright’s claims.

But that clearly wasn’t enough, as users flocked to Reddit and Hacker News to probe Wright’s claims with a proverbial stick. Then Bitcoin developer Nic Cubrilovic published a detailed account of the evidence for and against Wright being Nakamoto, eventually concluding “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.”

For the many who believed that Wright could still be the man behind Bitcoin, Wright’s decision not to publish further proof will be a damning blow. And it’s perhaps the biggest sign yet that Wright isn’t, even after all the hullabaloo of this week, Satoshi Nakamoto.

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