Monday, May 02, 2016

BBC, media suddenly join TRF: Craig Wright created the Bitcoin

In December 2015, you could read my comments why
I would bet: Sydney climate skeptic is the father of the Bitcoin
At that time, lots of tech media mentioned the emerging evidence that Craig Steven Wright (*1970) created the world's most famous cryptocurrency but almost all of them were mostly skeptical and those who were not skeptical were sort of dismissed.

Five months ago, Wright wasn't loudly boasting – and he wasn't even explicitly admitting – that he was the father of the Bitcoin. However, he didn't say "No", either, and the dominant theme in the newspaper articles was that "he created some bogus evidence that would make others think that he was the creator of the Bitcoin".

I just found such a theory analogous to the conspiracy theories about the moonlanding staged by Hollywood in Nevada.

Much like it is easier and more straightforward to actually build and send some rockets to the Moon (the laws of physics make it clear that it may be done and it isn't infinitely different from the airplanes) than to create a network that convinces hundreds and then billions of people that they're taking a part in a great engineering event that isn't real, it just seems much more straightforward to actually write the paper and the programs; than to create a fake life consistent with someone's being the father of the Bitcoin.

Today, the BBC has shown Wright who explicitly said he was Satashi Nakamoto, the artistic name of the previously unknown father(s) of the Bitcoin (some other people made the decision for him to reveal the secret now), and the media suddenly seem to be in a full consensus that the father of the Bitcoin has been found, after all. In front of the eyes of many journalists, he did something that may be described as "the usage of some Bitcoins known to be owned by the founder of the Bitcoin only".

He owns about one-seventh of the Bitcoins in the world – which puts his net worth at $400 million and he may have shown some public key proving that he, Wright (nicknamed Nakamoto), initiated the first Bitcoin transaction in the history.

Some new technical evidence may have been shown (Wright's signature method to prove that he is Satoshi that was posted on his website is a cryptographic tour-de-force by itself; Wright has also signed the Genesis block [a joke] later on Monday) and some Bitcoin experts were persuaded (Gavin Andresen, the #1 powerful Bitcoin research+trading guy, said that he was certain that Satoshi was Wright; Jon Matonis, another Bitcoin big shot, said that the proof was conclusive). Amusingly enough, Gavin Andresen – the top authority currently quoted to confirm the Satoshi=Wright theory now, was the main authority quoted by the New Yorker and others against the theory four months ago. ;-)

But all these things are somewhat vague and hard to verify by a journalist who doesn't really understand how the cryptographic keys work and whether this or that coincidence may be faked. That's why I find the sudden "phase transition" or "paradigm shift" making the journalists say "yes, it is him" to be similarly irrational as the skepticism of the same body of journalists five months ago. If they had at least partially rational reasons to be deeply uncertain 5 months ago, they should still be uncertain.

The best explanation of the "paradigm shift" is that the journalists are basically mindless parrots who copy things from each other. Almost every journalist basically realizes that he is a stupid scumbag who must rely on some better people, so he has some "better journalists" from whom it's always OK to copy the stories uncritically. So the world of journalism is secretly hierarchical and the phase transition was simply caused by some people's (at the BBC?) getting persuaded.

Journalists' lousy work is one part of the December 2015 skeptical opposition. The other, perhaps more important, part of the opposition were the Bitcoin cultists who were imagining (without any glimpse of evidence) that Mr Nakomoto had to be some angel or semi-god flying above the Earth, a saint who would never try to earn any money in controversial ways or obtain undeserved subsidies, someone whose scholarly credentials and the general brightness must be so amazing that every person around him or her would immediately see the aura and the divine character of Mr Nakamoto. No one could ever name the father of the Botcoin The Australian Nobody, they believe. The similarity between this type of a Nakomoto cult and the Islamic or even Christian religions – and other examples of the irrational mass brainwashing powered by a wishful thinking – is hopefully self-evident. I do think that most of the folks at the Bitcoin Reddit forums may be classified as these religious nutcases.

Well, it isn't the case. Wright's credentials are cool and sufficient (and I agree with lots of his previous "boasting" that he was the best man in the world in certain related skills) but the attitude, drive, and cleverness of an auto-didact, a locally important entrepreneur, and the alumnus of some universities of the regional importance was simply enough (or exactly the "right thing") to create the Bitcoin. Whether you decide to say that it means that the Bitcoin isn't as divinely ingenious as previously claimed; or that Craig Wright isn't the kind of a mediocre tech guy as he was being painted by many people who knew him, it's up to you.

Nevertheless, if the identification of Nakamoto is right as most people believe today, the huge metaphysical gap between the Bitcoin on one side and Craig Wright (or similar tech people) on the other side has been a complete superstition. The Bitcoin is something that a good enough specialized programmer of this kind simply may create rather easily. And yes, things like Facebook are even more straightforward.

The main difference between Zuckerberg and Wright is that Zuckerberg's identity and wealth has been known from the first successful moments of the Facebook, and most of the people surrounding him were always licking his rectum, with a clear motivation – to get some droplets from the wealth. On the other hand, people didn't know that Wright was sitting on $400 million so they were not praising him and licking his rectum so vigorously. Zuckerberg's (and others') more shining aura (relatively to wright) is mainly a consequence of the aßlicking maneuvers. If your buttocks were licked by thousands of people in the environment for many years, you would shine, too (try it).

We will see whether many people start to do these things to Wright now (he says that he will try to avoid all such things) – and whether the Bitcoin cultists reconcile themselves with the fact that the father of their favorite toy is a human being – one that also wanted to get wealthier at some moments in the past – and not a divine one.

Congratulations to Mr Wright for his groundbreaking contribution to the industry of e-currencies and I wish him lots of peace and isolation from the obnoxious people!

My congratulations are tripled if Craig Wright is also the hacker who is behind the 2009 ClimateGate. I've presented some hints in the previous blog post about him.

Despite my wishes of privacy, I am sure that Wright will be getting the same treatment as J.C. in the song above for quite some time! ;-)

P.S.: in the BBC interview, Wright says that he preferred to be kept in secret and he would prefer that status now, too. Why should one take credit? Well, on one hand, I do think that there could have been other, less impressive and more mundane reasons why he didn't reveal his identity earlier. On the other hand, this belief in the privacy is very natural, I understand it, and you surely should expect it from the father of an important cryptocurrency, shouldn't you? What he says makes so much sense from his viewpoint – although many other people actually like or need to get the credit for their contributions.

By the way, this comment "it's right and natural not to get outed" has implications for many more questions, e.g. for gays. I do think it's OK – and probably more right – when gays keep their sexual orientation as their private secret, for example. People's personalities are different, some of them want private things to remain private and others are extroverts. But with all the gay parades and the completely indefensible boasting, we have surely entered the era of excessive gay (and related) exhibitionism.

An actual Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wright also says that he should only pay taxes from this rather new and abstract asset class when the wealth is actually "deployed"; and he makes himself saint in the financial sense now (he needs neither fame and adoration nor money; the latter is easier to do so with a $400 million pillow) and says that he will reject any Nobel, Turing, Abel, or other prizes. I am also promising that once I have a $400 million pillow, I will reject all these prizes. ;-) Wright has also made the dramatic statement that he will never allow any TV camera to shoot him again.

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