Police have raided the home of an Australian entrepreneur just hours after two US publications, Wired and Gizmodo, ousted him as the brain behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
The Sydney home of Craig Wright was raided yesterday (9 December) following investigations in Wired and Gizmodo which stated that they believed Wright was the behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym - the creator of the digital currency.
The investigations were based on leaked transcripts of legal interviews and files however reports say that people close to Wright have expressed serious doubts and believe the publications could even be the butt of an elaborate hoax.
Gizmodo published documents which appear to show records of an interview with the Australian Tax Office regarding Wrights tax affairs in which his bitcoin holdings are discussed at length.
During the interview, the person the transcript names as Wright says: “I did my best to try and hide the fact that I’ve been running bitcoin since 2009 but I think it’s getting – most – most – by the end of this half the world is going to bloody know.”
While the transcript itself does not reveal Wright as the founder, Gizmodo claims that other emails of his which it has suggest further involvement he may have had in the development of bitcoin.
In one of emails, which have yet to be verified, attributes a comment to Wright in which he says “I have been working on a new form of electronic money. Bit cash, bit coin…”
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) maintained that the raids were not related to bitcoin.
A statement from the police force said: “The AFP can confirm it has conducted search warrants to assist the Australian Taxation Office at a residence in Gordon and a business premises in Ryde, Sydney. This matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency bitcoin.”
The treatment of bitcoin for tax purposes in Australia has been the subject of considerable debate. The Australian Taxation Office ruled in December 2014 that cryptocurrency should be considered an asset for capital gains tax purposes.