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On February 15th, nChain’s chief scientist, Craig Wright, allegedly submitted two comment letters to the US CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), after the agency requested input regarding Ethereum’s market and mechanics. Wright, who previously proclaimed that he is the mysterious creator of Bitcoin — Satoshi Nakamoto — was actually approaching the deadline for providing the response for CFTC’s request.
The deadline was on February 17th, as the agency wanted to gather as much data on the market as possible, and in a short amount of time. Their request stated that the agency seeks to understand similarities and differences between certain digital currencies, as well as to become aware of Ether-based challenges, risks, and potential opportunities.
Wright responded by submitting two nearly identical comment letters, both of which seemingly affirm his claim of being the person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. He further claims that he worked on a different project in 1997, which was filed with the Australian government “in part under an AusIndustry project registered with the Dept. of Innovation as BlackNet.”
According to Wright’s tweet published on February 10th, “BlackNet” is a precursor to Bitcoin itself, and it was submitted to the Australian government back in 2001. This statement added additional controversy to Wright’s name, especially since he claims to have completed it seven years prior to the publication of Bitcoin’s own white paper. Furthermore, the projects to share a large number of similarities, which only added to the confusion.
Is Craig Wright the real Satoshi Nakamoto?
While the statement does indicate that Wright is actually Nakamoto, a group on Reddit argued that the BlackNet paper is nothing more than a copy of Bitcoin white paper, because it contains corrections that the real Satoshi added to an earlier draft. In other words, the 2001 paper already has improvements that Bitcoin’s white paper received after the original release, which seemingly reveals the ruse. According to the group of Redditors, this was only done so that Wright would have a base for claiming that he is, in fact, the real Nakamoto.
In his comments submitted to the CFTC, Wright argues that the misunderstandings regarding Bitcoin resulted in his decision to “become more public,” as the system that he supposedly created was designed to end the string of financial frauds.
This is hardly the first time that Wright claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, as he attempted to convince the world that he is the “man behind the mask” multiple times in the past. The most recent attempt to assume the mantle of Nakamoto came in November 2018, during the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. After attempting to take over BCH, Wright ended up creating a new coin, Bitcoin SV (BSV).
Many others in the crypto space responded to the CFTC’s request for information apart from Wright. This includes figures from Coinbase, R3, the Ethereum Foundation, Consensys and ErisX crypto exchange, who used the opportunity to point out a positive impact that ETH futures contracts might have.