Has media taken things too far with the naming of the supposed Bitcoin creator?
The stories were followed by rapid-fire media prancing on the lead (we’re calling ourselves out on this) — and while many on the sidelines scrutinized what they saw as an eagerness for press to jump on unsubstantiated claims — the story itself is compelling.
Both pieces offer significant and painstakingly-researched evidence pointing fingers at an eccentric, Australian man named Craig Steven Wright.
Is this elusive Australian businessman Satoshi Nakamoto, and does it matter?
The reports have led to immediate actions: Wright’s home was raided by more than 10 police personnel, The Guardian reported this afternoon. Notably, the Australian Federal Police were quick to say that the raids were not related to the Bitcoin articles.
“This matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency Bitcoin,” police officers said in a statement.
Many took to Twitter to voice their discontent with the way the story and subsequent action was handled. Wikileaks tweeted, “Bitcoin ‘co-creator’ police raid: example of vulgar Australian “tall poppy syndrome”? Already pushed by AU journos:”
In any case, this story is divisive in raising not just opinion over the already contentious and misunderstood currency (and story behind it), but also what warrants as good reporting in an age where sensationalist headlines and claims — well-researched or not — sell.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong is currently playing host to Scaling Bitcoin, an academic workshop for Bitcoin developers and members interested in the technology to discuss and present how Bitcoin can scale.
It seems the B-word has again surfaced, so e27 thought it might be an appropriate time to ask some members of the community their thoughts.
Here is what they said:
“The only thing I can say is that media should not focus that much about who Satoshi is. Given the open source and decentralized nature of bitcoin, the identity of its creator is not important for the reliability of the system. Especially since it is not proven yet [who] Satoshi actually is.
“Yet this media craze shows once again how widely known Bitcoin has become over the past few years. And, obviously, for common people who are not familiar with open source or decentralised protocols, putting a face on the creators will probably be an element of comfort, which is reflected by the ongoing price hike.” — Aurelien Menant, Founder of Gatecoin
“I am finding it deeply disturbing that member[s] of the media are going this far. First we saw Dorian Nakamoto harassed relentlessly because of the assumptions made by Newsweek. I have to ask: What is next? If this trend continues, I fear fellow crypto enthusiasts will get hurt.” — Matthew A Ventura, Ventura Investment Group LLC
“If Craig Wright wanted to show he’s Satoshi, all he needs to do is sign a message proving he is Satoshi.” — Larry Salibra, Pay4Bugs and organiser of Scaling Bitcoin
“First, does it really matter who the founder or founders are, seeing as it has already progressed from the original documentation? The technology is out in the wild for all to use, so really there is no one creator anymore.
“Second, the media comes up with a new suspicion of who’s the creator, but there’s never real or legitimate proof. For me, it’s pure sensationalism that is making this news,” —Maxine Ryan, Co-Founder Bitspark
“I think we will only know with certainty who the real Satoshi is when she or he chooses to identify themselves. The creator went through great trouble to hide themselves, and the immediate raid of Wright’s home shows why.
“I don’t think we came closer to finding out who Satoshi was, but we came closer to putting together the puzzle of Bitcoin’s early history. Wright seems to be an important part of that and it’s relevant in a historical context. But nothing more.” — Leonhard Weese, President of BitcoinHK and organiser of Scaling Bitcoin
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