This Man Did Not Invent Bitcoin

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“The feeling that Craig Wright has is that he has never been enough,” Mr. van Pelt said.

Even after Dr. Wright failed to produce the evidence, he retained a band of loyal online followers. He didn’t have access to Satoshi’s private keys, he claimed in court, because he had smashed a hard drive containing them; he described it as an impulsive decision, partly related to his autism.

Mr. Ayre stood by him, and in 2018, he and Dr. Wright launched Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, which trades at about $70 per coin, a tiny fraction of Bitcoin’s price. Dr. Wright oversaw its development from the offices of nChain, a company that Mr. Ayre funded as a vehicle for converting his partner’s ideas about crypto into a portfolio of patents.

At nChain, Dr. Wright was a difficult boss, prone to shouting, four people who worked with him said. He liked to flaunt his wealth, bragging that he had more money than the entire country of Rwanda. Employees at nChain attended extravagant parties in London: At one memorable event, arranged by Mr. Ayre, guests ate sushi off the bodies of naked women, while performers in samurai costumes hovered nearby, two of the people said.

Rejected by much of the crypto industry, Dr. Wright pressed his claim to Satoshi-dom in the courts, pursuing litigation that Mr. Ayre helped finance. By 2022, his defamation battle reached Norway, where Magnus Granath, the little-known Bitcoin enthusiast who had accused him of fraud on social media, won a judgment against him. That year, Dr. Wright also sued the Bitcoin coders, claiming copyright infringement.

“He seems to have enough money and backing from others that he can make good on his threats to ruin people financially by bringing expensive litigation,” Steve Lee, a manager at Block, a company that Mr. Dorsey co-founded after Twitter, said in a court filing last year.



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