WikiLeaks Takes On Craig Wright

On February 8, Craig Wright, who purports to be Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, published an extensive (and thoroughly popcorn worthy) Medium post about what Bitcoin was – and wasn't – designed to do. In it, he says, "Bitcoin was never designed to help an anonymous money-transfer system, and I was always opposed to those seeking to operate outside the law." He continues:

"I do not like Wikileaks, and I have never been a fan of Assange's methods. More importantly, I am strongly opposed to criminal markets and bucket shops. Ross Ulbricht and others like him are criminals. They are not freedom fighters, they are not libertarians. They simply are predators, and they are all that Bitcoin was designed to make far more difficult."

Such actors, Wright says, are why he (i.e., Satoshi) left: "I needed to fix what I allowed." In a follow-up post titled "The Story of Bitcoin, Continued," Wright paints a vivid picture of his thought process during the years directly following the invention of Bitcoin, though one in which the timeline isn't always clear. He claims that he was working in 2011 to stop human trafficking and sexual slavery, and that Bitcoin was created to be "an immutable evidence trail" that could stop such evils.

At first glance, the posts constitute, if not a complete rewriting of cryptocurrency history, a creative reimagining of the genesis of Bitcoin.

The real Satoshi Nakamoto actually referenced WikiLeaks several times on the Bitcoin Forum. After WikiLeaks floated the idea of accepting bitcoin donations in 2010, early Bitcoin users discussed the possibility on a thread titled "Wikileaks contact info?"

At the time, WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, were public enemy number 1 for their role in publishing classified documents about US involvement in the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan. Considering this, on December 5, 2010, Satoshi wrote: "I make this appeal to WikiLeaks not to try to use Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage."

On December 11, 2010, he added: "WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us."

So, Wright's version of events can't necessarily be taken to contradict Satoshi's opinion of WikiLeaks or criminal activity, especially given the dearth of publicly available writings from Satoshi, who simply stopped posting anything past December 2010 (save a lone March 2014 post stating that he was not Dorian Nakamoto, the ).

But a corresponding tweet demonstrates that Wright is, in fact, attempting to rewrite history. As part of his bid to convince the world anew that he is (or "was" as he puts it at the end of his February 9 post) Satoshi Nakamoto, he tweeted screenshots of an apparent proposal called "Project BlackNet" that he says he filed with the Australian government in 2001.

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