Man named as Bitcoin's 'creator' arrested in police raid

The identity of the currency's architect 'Satoshi Nakamoto' has been a mystery

Man named as Bitcoin's 'creator' arrested in police raid

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Police have raided the Sydney home of a man named by Wired as the likely creator of bitcoin.

Bitcoin's code was released in 2009 under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, and journalists and investors have been trying to track down the creator ever since.

Nakamoto continued to post about the currency until 2011 when the creator stopped communicating in online forums.

On Wednesday afternoon around a dozen federal police officers raided the house after a locksmith broke open the door - just hours after Wired magazine named Craig Wright as the man responsible for bitcoin.

A Reuters reporter said officers told them that police were "clearing the house." However the police force said in a statement that the move was not linked to "media reporting," and stories published "about bitcoins."

Instead it directed all inquiries to the Australian Tax Office, suggesting the raid could be linked to tax issues.

Wired magazine cited leaked emails, documents and archives from the Dark Web as it named Mr Wright as the probable creator of the currency.

However, the magazine said their proof was not conclusive: "Despite a massive trove of evidence, we still can't say with absolute certainty that the mystery is solved.

"Either Wright invented bitcoin, or he's a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did," it added.

Several publications have previously attempted to guess Nakamoto's real identity, including a botched report from Newsweek.

It identified 65 year-old California resident Dorian Nakamoto as the creator in an October 2014 cover story. These claims were later proved to be false.

Two Irish individuals have also been named by a number of international news sources including The New Yorker and The Sunday Times Magazine as possible creators of bitcoin - these claims have been denied and later investigations have proposed that the creator is unlikely to be one of the previously named Irish developers.

The creator of bitcoin has around a million of them, worth more than €344m at current exchange rates. The creator's currency bloc is closely monitored - a sell off of these coins could provoke enough uncertainty to cause the collapse of the currency.

Since its launch, bitcoin has grown from a digital novelty to a currency with a total value of around €4.6bn.

Additional reporting by IRN