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Australian Revealed as Creator of Bitcoin?

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.

A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.

This is What’s Trending Today:

Do you know who Craig Wright is? Have you ever heard of Satoshi Nakamoto?

Well, if you are a Twitter user, you probably saw both of those names trending on Monday.

But who are they?

Craig Wright is a real person. He is an entrepreneur – someone who invests in businesses – from Australia.

Satoshi Nakamoto is not a real person. But Satoshi Nakamoto is the name many people have used when talking about the person who started the electronic currency called Bitcoin. Names people use to protect their true identities are called psuedonyms.

People have tried for years to find out the real person behind Bitcoin.

Newspapers and magazines have written articles investigating Bitcoin. Reporters have tried to put together clues that might lead to discovering Bitcoin’s founder.

But on Monday, Craig Wright told three media organizations that he was the founder of Bitcoin. He talked with the BBC and The Economist and GQ magazines.

During the meeting with the BBC, Wright did something that no one else but a person involved in the creation of Bitcoin could do. He used something called a cryptographic key to sign some documents.

If you do not know a lot about Bitcoin, that might not seem like a big deal. But, each Bitcoin user has a special, encoded key. No one else can have the same key.

And, the key that Wright used in his messages is connected to a very early collection of Bitcoins created by the mysterious Nakamoto.

Some people who are Bitcoin experts are saying they believe Wright is the person who invented the currency. But others, like The Economist, have said “questions remain” about Wright’s claim.

People who use Bitcoins do not have to use traditional banks, credit cards or other financial services when they use the electronic currency.

When they were introduced in 2009, Bitcoins were worth just a few pennies each. Now the price of one bitcoin is over $400. New Bitcoins are created, or “mined,” when people with powerful computers solve difficult math problems.

The BBC reports there are now about 15 million Bitcoins in the world.

Wright said he went public about his identity because hiding was becoming too stressful.

“I don't want money. I don't want fame. I don't want adoration. I just want to be left alone,” he said.

Many people and media organizations are still looking for more details before they believe Wright’s claim.

The Economist posted a poll on its website asking people whether they believe that Wright is the Bitcoin creator. More than 5,000 people have voted. Forty percent of people who voted are still not sure they believe what Wright has said.

And That’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

Do you believe Craig Wright was the founder of Bitcoin? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

cryptography – n. the process of writing or reading secret messages or codes

currency – n. something that is used as money

entrepreneur – n. a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money

pseudonym – n. a name that someone (such as a writer) uses instead of his or her real name

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