Craig Steven Wright, who over the past days claimed to be the inventor of Bitcoin, has been unable to publicly prove control over any of the keys that (only) Satoshi Nakamoto should possess. While his initial blog post deceptively included a Satoshi Nakamoto signature that was always publicly available, today he announced he will not move any of “Satoshi's bitcoins.”
Yet four notable men in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency space still believe Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, or leader of a team called “Satoshi Nakamoto” that also included the now-deceased Dave Kleiman. Bitcoin’s former lead developer Gavin Andresen and former Bitcoin Foundation director Jon Matonis met Wright over the past weeks, and – among other things – believe to have seen cryptographic proof. Digital currency veteran and R3-architect Ian Grigg has been publicly backing Wright's claim, too.
The fourth source maintaining that Wright is the man behind the alias Satoshi Nakamoto is New Liberty Dollar issuer Joseph VaughnPerling. VaughnPerling says he met Wright at a conference in Amsterdam three years before publication of the Bitcoin white paper – and that Wright introduced himself as Satoshi Nakamoto at that time.
This is not a new story: VaughnPerling has been saying he met Satoshi Nakamoto for years.
More recently, VaughnPerling appeared on the Bitcoin Core Slack channel, where he predicted Satoshi Nakamoto would reveal himself around this time.
To learn more, I reached out to VaughnPerling via the Bitcoin Core Slack channel myself. Late at night, at 2 a.m. local time, VaughnPerling responded. He seemed slightly pressed for time, and it had been a long day for me, so we only chatted for about 30 minutes.
To avoid too much interpretation from my end, I have decided to publish our full conversation. Bitcoin Magazine has not been able to find any other sources to confirm the information provided by VaughnPerling such as the message from the trustee of the Tulip Trust.
Joseph VaughnPerling: You had some questions?
Aaron van Wirdum: The main question I have right now is: If Wright is Satoshi ... why would he publish fake proof? Any idea?
JVP: I have some very good ideas. If I were in Dr. Wright's position, I would do exactly as he has done.
I also have a message for Dr. Wright from the trustee of the Tulip trust that is controlling the coins that he wants to move. Not yet announced:
“The Tulip Trading Trust trustee, appointed by Dave Kleiman as of Oct 12nd 2012. It has been rumored that Craig Wright will need to access Tulip Trading Trust assets. Trustee acts in the interest of the beneficiary alone and must defend against undue influence by others. In order to authorize movements of trust assets the beneficiary must come forward and make a direct request of the trustee our way – NOT via 3rd party nor any intermediaries. Any coin movement affecting the trust asset without prior authorization will be considered a trust violation and invalid irrespective of any claim of constructive bailment. The Trust alone has control over its assets. Tampering or manipulating with trust assets by anyone (including the beneficiary) might have material legal and tax implications. Beneficiaries are invited to a conference call 12:00 UTC Friday to discuss interests. Principals only.”
AVW: Can you help me out here? Who's who in this message? Is Wright a beneficiary?
JVP: It is not my place to speculate on the transactions and assets of others.
AVW: So you don't know?
JVP: What I know and when I know it is not something I am interested in sharing. At least as regards the matter of the finances of others. It would show me to be a nosy one. And that much is already apparent to anyone looking at me. My nose is hard to miss.
AVW: As I interpret that message, Dave Kleiman locked up Satoshi's holdings with Tulip Trust. In order to move Satoshi’s coins, like Wright said he would, he needs access. Which he may or may not get ...
JVP: Close, but it shows that you are not entirely familiar with how a trust works.
AVW: That is correct.
JVP: Did you have other questions?
AVW: Why do you have this message?
JVP: He will know why.
AVW: Why are you sharing it with me?
JVP: It will also be shared with some selected cryptographers.
AVW: But I can publish it?
JVP: Kind of you to ask. Yes.
AVW: So you're really sharing it with the world then. Which brings us back to "why"...
JVP: I would like for Craig Wright to have his privacy. He has already done more for us than we can repay, but it is not just this. I would like him to be able to do what he wants to do, without interference. We would all be better off when that occurs.
AVW: How does sharing that message help?
JVP: He is following a wrong path, because he must. He is doing it the least-wrong way possible. He is on Meifumando. It is as it has to be.
AVW: What is the wrong path? And what is the right path?
JVP: The world can learn much from what he has done and how. He is showing what cryptography does and does not do. It is a lesson that the world needs to learn before mass adoption can occur.
AVW: Mass adoption of Bitcoin?
JVP: The world was not ready for Bitcoin when it appeared. When the world learns these simple lessons, it will be more ready.
AVW: Why is Bitcoin not ready for mass adoption?
JVP: People do not understand what cryptography does and does not do. People do not understand pseudonymous. Having a key means you have a key. It does not mean you had it previously, or that you will have it in the future.
AVW: Right ... So?
JVP: He is forced on a stage, so he provides a masterful lesson that many who call themselves cryptographers seem to have forgotten.
AVW: In what way is he forced?
JVP: He said it himself, the decision to appear was made by others. Did you not even watch his video on BBC?
AVW: Of course I did.
JVP: Watch it again. You missed a lot.
AVW: But he didn't say in what way he was forced, did he? Or how, or why ...
JVP: I will say this much. If I were in his situation, I would have done as he did, though probably not even as well as he did.
AVW: Wright's Twitter account bio says Ian Grigg and yourself maintain it. Is that true?
JVP: Dr. Wright deleted his Twitter account for his own protection. A friend of his picked up the account as it came available to preserve it for him.
AVW: So Ian and yourself are currently controlling that Twitter account?
JVP: There may be others involved as well, but we are the ones that are taking the bullets.
AVW: How well do you actually know Wright? You speak like you know him very well, but you just met him at a conference once, didn't you?
JVP: I met him at a conference in 2005, he wore the moniker. We discussed what became Bitcoin at great length. He knew all there was to know about Bitcoin in 2005, and he shared it with me. I did not learn his government-registered name until much later.
AVW: So you did get to know him later on?
JVP: That's a story for another time.
AVW: Did you know Dave Kleiman as well?
JVP: Dave Kleiman was an exceptional man. If you want to know more about Dave, you should talk to the SANS folks.
One of the top SANS people is also having a conference in Las Vegas in September, where the Trustee of the Tulip Trust is expected to appear.
AVW: Expected to appear?
JVP: Very high probability.
Not all details are decided, but I have heard that they may be even auctioning consultations with her.
AVW: You realize all of this is a really weird story, right?
JVP: Yes, and you have seen only the snowdrift on the tip of the iceberg. The level of weird is off the scale.
AVW: Do you know the full story?
JVP: I doubt even Craig knows the full story, but I could fill about 20 books.
AVW: No offense, but: Why should I trust any of this? Why should I trust anything you say?
JVP: Do your own research. Keep on your quest for knowledge. When you find someone who can teach you, listen carefully. When you find someone that can learn from you, be kind.
AVW: You're skilled at avoiding questions through what sounds like ancient wisdoms.
JVP: You are a reporter, the ancient wisdom is multiple sources, so ... do your own research …
Author’s note: The transcript was slightly edited for readability. Typos were fixed, punctuation improved (VaughnPerling uses double-spaces), the order of some questions was changed, and seemingly irrelevant text (like our chit-chat introductory talk) was removed. I tried to stay as close as possible to the original text and context, however.
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