The latest Bitcoin saga surrounding Craig Wright is a meta-modernist masterpiece.
Meta-modernism, made famous by its most famous practitioner Shia Labeouf, is an intellectual movement that bridges the vast chasm inbetween the genuine, trustworthy authenticity wij all seek and the lies wij permanently face from cynical corporate PR departments and the misleading breadcrumbs planted by guerilla marketers. It is ",the mercurial condition inbetween and beyond irony and sincerity, naivety and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt, te pursuit of a plurality of disparate and elusive horizons.", After a good meta-modernist spectacle, you should be left at the edge of your seat, not knowing whether you should voice the strong feelings someone evoked te the deepest recesses of your soul, or whether you were scrupulously had.
Let mij provide a theater guide to the saga that has bot unfolding so far, because wij’re all being manipulated. And the current manipulation has us lowering our standard of proof for Satoshi. On our current trajectory, wij might find ourselves watching the Satoshi coins budge, yet be incapable to tell who exactly Satoshi is.
So, let’s treatment the topic spil a scientist. I met Craig Wright online and had various interactions with both him and people who work for him. I have also exchanged messages with Gavin Andresen about how he vetted Craig Wright. While I make use of thesis sources below, what goes after is plain logic, a rational person’s treatment from very first principles.
The Big Trapje
Wij do not know if Craig Wright is or is not Satoshi. Chunks like this one, and experienced reports like this one are deeply flawed. They are clearly overreaching and violating the most essential rules of logic.
If you have no evidence that some statement S is true, it doesn’t mean that the opposite of S is the truth. You have no idea if the person writing thesis words is Sirer, that does not mean I am not Sirer. A negative statement is tighter to go after but leads to a more stark result: Ted Cruz has provided no proof that he is not the Zodiac Killer, that doesn’t mean that he is the Zodiac Killer.
Craig Wright has certainly not furnished proof of being Satoshi. I characterized the error behind Craig Wright’s latest claims cautiously, and so have others, but the media coverage has focused on more sensational titles that say ",Craig Wright Is Not Satoshi.", If you bought into that argument, you’ve made the very first illogical conclusion, and you are exactly where Craig wants you to be ter his metamodernist play.
Be wary of an emotional reaction which lowers your standard of proof. If your reaction to the preceding point is ",but it is so effortless to provide proof of Satoshi, just sign with the key from the genesis block, or budge a Satoshi from the very first mined block", then you have bot had. You just lowered your standard of proof.
Let’s look at Craig’s behavior so far, and get back to this point.
Craig Wright’s Posts
Craig Wright’s latest postbode wasgoed deliberately misleading. Craig Wright’s blog postbode had three errors te it. And it wasgoed clear spil day to mij that two of the errors te Craig’s scripts were planted on purpose.
The error where he used an ",&,", instead of ",&,&,", wasgoed an elementary one, and it may not have affected the correctness of the script anyway, spil the very first guideline might have finished executing by the time the shell set up and executed the 2nd one.
The 2nd error, where an environment variable named ",signiture", could have bot used to substitute the signature verkeersopstopping wasgoed also misleading, but it, too, could not have caused a problem. No matter which signature verkeersopstopping is provided, it wasgoed being verified against the juist public key, most likely possessed by Satoshi.
Misdirection is a standard trick of the stage magician — you budge your left arm te a suggestive way to onmiddellijk the audience while you pawn the coin (yes, the coin) with your right. And I thought he inserted those two errors purposefully, ter order to take attention away from two other, much fatter problems (1) he wasgoed signing an incorrect hash, and (Two) he wasgoed using a key from block 9, which does not spil definitively identify Satoshi spil block 1.
I now believe I wasgoed wrong.
Craig Wright’s entire very first postbode wasgoed an exercise ter misdirection. Craig is playing a far better spel than most realize. He has had at least 6 months, perhaps years, to prepare for it.
The constant stream of posts, cautiously ready ter advance, indicate that he is ter guideline of the show so far. Ter order to not fall prey to further manipulation that is sure to come, wij need to be on top of our spel.
How to Authenticate
Authentication requires numerous factors. Some people have said that moving an early coin from the very first few blocks is sufficient proof of Satoshi. Thesis people do not understand the basics of user authentication, something trained to every undergraduate te any semi-competent rekentuig science program. Such people certainly cannot be trusted with ",persona authentication,", a much tighter problem that wij face when identifying Satoshi.
Among such people is Dan Kaminsky, who is a special case because, for reasons no one understands that possibly have to do with the sheer volume of low value content he produces, has built up a large following. When his name came up at a dinner table at the Financial Cryptography conference, the entire table of practising cryptographers agreed that the one word to describe him wasgoed daft. When wij came up with Selfish Mining, he had an extended Twitter conversation with mij where he not only failed to understand the fundamental result that relates to overeenstemming or even the superficial attack, he even failed to write a onberispelijk 30-line program that simulated Bitcoin mining. His advice is absolutely terrible, and there is evidence that it leads to mental fog.
No sane professional would advise a single method for authenticating high-value users. Wij all loom into our measly handelsbank accounts using a password and a 2nd Speld, yet a single key is supposed to vettig Satoshi? No, the cargo of proof is much higher.
The technical factors for identifying Satoshi span bitcoin keys, PGP key, and account passwords. Wij need to voorkant numerous factors because any one factor may be compromised. Satoshi is not super-human, and wij have already seen some people who ought to know better, such spil DPR, exercise poor operational security.
It is entirely possible for Satoshi’s machine(s) to be compromised.
It is entirely possible that the random number generator Satoshi used omstreeks 2009 suffered from weaknesses and has bot switch sides engineered.
It is entirely possible that Craig Wright’s ",supercomputer,", if it existed, wasgoed used on a monomaniacal quest to crack a Satoshi key.
It is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that the real Satoshi talent some of his keys to Craig Wright.
This is why people use multi-factor authentication, where the different authentication modalities have different fates and different failure modes.
Social Factors for Persona Authentication
The task of identifying Satoshi goes far beyond user authentication. Satoshi is not Anonymous#4356365 on a forum. He is not attempting to edit an old postbode. And more importantly, wij, the public at large, are not a rekentuig system, narrowly tasked with making a plain access control decision. What is at stake is larger than the $500M ter coins thought to belong to Satoshi: intellectual standing and social status far te excess of any figure that can be captured with a dollar sign.
Critically, having access to Satoshi’s funds is not the same thing spil being Satoshi. The problem here is broader, less like user authentication ter a rekentuig system, and more like unveiling the true identity of the pseudonymous author of a book. This problem of ",persona authentication", is complicated, spil it necessarily relies on human factors.
Can a Satoshi claimant recall unique facts about interactions he/she has had with others?
Can a Satoshi claimant accurately account for the time he/she spent developing Bitcoin?
Can a Satoshi claimant coax others that he/she possesses the technical know how to be Satoshi?
Thesis are the real questions. Anyone who cannot response them will have failed to resolve the Satoshi mystery, even if they collect the coins.
The brochure is even higher for Craig Wright. He needs to response one extra question that other people do not: why did he previously forge evidence of being Satoshi? Why did he use forged, backdated PGP keys? Surely, the real Satoshi would have had no need to do such a thing.
A satisfying come back of Satoshi needs to also response the question ",Why Now?",. While Satoshi is under no obligation to reaction this question, everyone will be wondering why Satoshi dreamed to be anonymous for so long, and why he determined to pierce the veil of anonymity that he cultivated. Recall that Satoshi did not sell a single coin even when his fortunes were ter the $1B range. Why would someone who displayed that kleuter of willpower now switch his mind?
Avoiding Unlikely Barriers
On the flipside, wij cannot flow onto the Satoshi persona our aspirational values. People expect a lotsbestemming from their heroes. Bob Dylan wasgoed the voice of a generation, expected to play heartfelt protest songs on an acoustic guitar. When he went electrical, people called him Judas.
The narrative around Satoshi has similarly unrealistic expectations. Marc Andreessen and others have repeatedly (and falsely) claimed that Satoshi did what laptop scientists thought wasgoed unlikely, so people expect a genius. Others expect a libertarian savior, a modern day John Galt. And many expect him to be a individual paragon of virtue.
So it is difficult to accept, on thesis grounds alone, that someone with a history of trouble with tax authorities, of forging support letters from SGI, of writing meandering, repetitive, confused papers could be the author of Bitcoin. I personally have worked very hard not to fall into this trapje when I wrote about how to spot Satoshi.
And that is what Craig Wright is telling here, when he says he created Craig Wright, and that wij created Satoshi. That he is tightly rooted ter reality, and that wij’re living te a fantasy world. On this narrow topic, I have to admit that he is exactly right.
Social authentication is not the same spil social acceptance. Wij need to apply stringent, narrow criteria when performing social authentication. While wij do need to perform persona authentication, and while this necessarily requires social authentication, wij need to apply rigorous, narrow criteria to this process. Private values, trouble with the law, likeability, and other unrelated issues voorwaarde not creep into this process. Whether wij like someone, whether wij accept someone spil fulfilling our photo of a persona wij created, has nothing to do with whether they are that persona.
The narrow questions are elementary: (1) Did he have the skill, the background and the time to develop Bitcoin? (Two) Does he reminisce unique details of his interactions with various early adopters?
Gavin Andresen’s social authentication carries a loterijlot of weight. And that is the implicit reason why Craig Wright’s latest rechtsvordering to Satoshi’s crown caught public attention: people assumed Gavin had vetted Satoshi using numerous factors. Yet when I asked Gavin about how he certified Wright, he described the process he used:
It is possible I wasgoed tricked, but it wouldn’t be an eclipse/hijack of the chain– I brought a list of the very first 100 block’s keys with mij and verified the public key against that list. That wasgoed the only connection to the chain.
A hijack of the wifi used to download Electrum is possible, if wij were running an Electrum that reported ‘verified’ for any message ending with ‘CSW’ and not verified for anything else that would getraind what happened. I didn’t bring checksums of Electrum downloads with mij.
Very first of all, this falsifies one potential hypothesis, that Craig Wright spent the last six months cranking away on producing an alternative, lower-difficulty blockchain, designed to loser anyone who would use an SPV client to check the keys. Gavin did the right thing by bringing te a printout of the required keys.
2nd, it leaves open the possibility that the copy of the Electrum software he downloaded wasgoed doctored spil he downloaded it. It certainly would have bot possible to hijack the hotel wifi. I assume that Gavin checked the SSL certificate spil he downloaded Electrum. But with a potentially lucrative Satoshi title at stake, it would not be unlikely to obtain a fake SSL certificate from one of the numerous, non-descript, and corruptible companies that are trusted spil certificate authorities. Strafgevangenis would it be unlikely to modify the ",brand fresh", laptop that wasgoed used ter the demonstration. Infiltrating the supply chain of a particular laptop store ter London to substitute certain laptops with identical replacements carrying doctored operating systems is ideally within the sphere of possibility.
Third, Gavin has not mentioned if he performed any social authentication. So, I will not assume that Gavin has issued partial social proof until wij hear an explicit confirmation from him on this point, and I will still insist on multifactor technical authentication.
Satoshi and Block Size
Craig Wright’s statements about the block size limit do not matter. Thesis days, all Bitcoin discussion and engagement has bot substituted by a polarized split overheen one of the many parameters te the Bitcoin source code, known spil the maximum block size. Until Craig Wright is authenticated, technically and socially, he has no expertise with which to chime ter on this punt. The fact that he did, I interpreted spil a soft hint that he wasgoed perhaps appearing to be ter the big block camp to build up Gavin Andresen’s confidence. This is ter line with the fact that he is fairly coaxing to audiences that he knows well, but cannot furnish independently verifiable proof. Te brief, a con-artist.
From an outsider’s perspective, it matters none at all whether Wright chooses big or petite blocks. It does not make him more or less likely to be Satoshi, or more or less acceptable spil Satoshi.
Some people used Gavin Andesen’s endorsement of Craig Wright spil an excuse to cut off his access to Bitcoin source. This wasgoed a normal initial reaction to an expectation that Gavin’s credentials may have bot hacked. Once it came out that Gavin wasgoed not hacked, his access should have bot restored instantaneously. Gavin Andresen did not see or vettig Craig Wright’s confusing blog postbode — he wasgoed faced with a very different screenplay te the hotel slagroom demo, had no control overheen Wright’s subsequent deeds, and cannot be held liable for them. Anyone who has seen a street magician, let alone a professional such spil David Blaine, can empathize with how even technically competent experts can be misled or tricked te environments that they do not fully control.
It is shameful that the flimsiest excuse wasgoed used to cut off a core developer’s access. This shows how deeply divided and deeply dysfunctional the Bitcoin community is overheen the maximum block size punt. Again from an impartial outsider’s perspective, it reflects terribly on the people involved.
It is possible that Craig Wright is mentally ill. And that all of this will boil overheen, with no proof furnished. It is imperative that the community present a unified, rational, science-based vooraanzicht to the outward world, given that so many people are now watching the spectacle unfold. It is more crucial now than everzwijn to avoid logical fallacies, and worst of all, to not use the spectacle spil a means to make short-term gains ter a narrow political infighting battle. This is a time to pull together spil an appealing, interesting community, ter guideline of a fresh technology.
And it is essential to treat Craig Wright with basic human decency no matter what, but especially if he is mentally ill.
Craig Wright may actually be Satoshi. Many believe this is unlikely, including myself, tho’ any rational person needs to admit that it is possible. Craig Wright has a long history of intentional deception. Wij witnessed his most latest attempt spil well spil his attempt te December. I have also seen one previous attempt te private. None of them were coaxing.
And he has failed social authentication: no one who has read his papers would confuse his writing with Satoshi’s, and his response to our work that showcased the true thresholds of Satoshi’s overeenstemming protocol wasgoed abysmal. So, it will be hard for Craig Wright to pass social authentication, even if he moves the coins.
The needle is presently parked at ",Craig Wright has shown no evidence of being Satoshi, and even if he did, will have difficulty passing social authentication.", His cargo of proof, given his history, is fairly high.
It is possible that Craig Wright (or others) cracked some keys. It is possible that the pseudo-random number generator that Satoshi used wasgoed flawed.
It is possible that Craig Wright (or others) hacked some keys. It is possible that Craig Wright came to wield some of Satoshi’s credentials via illegal means.
It is possible that Craig Wright (or others) obtained some keys. It is possible that some early adopters, such spil Vishal Finney’s estate, may have had access to some early coins. It is possible for Satoshi to have sold the old computers he used to mine the initial blocks, and it’s possible for someone down the line to have recovered the keys from the disks.
Most importantly, it is fairly possible that the real Satoshi would provide his credentials to Craig Wright. This is why a narrow identity check can be misleading. This is why moving early coins is necessary but not sufficient.
Craig Wright very first appeared ter the public eye last December, with some forged, backdated PGP keys (however some of us knew him from before, and had encountered ",irregularities", te who he purported to be). This wasgoed quickly debunked, but it established him spil a willing patsy. The real Satoshi could lightly have located Craig Wright, and provided him with a few credentials to take the fever and to divert the potential public attention. Craig Wright would be able to address his tax problems while the real Satoshi would build up his despairingly sought anonymity.
Unless wij perform multi-factor authentication, unless wij perform persona authentication, wij might find ourselves te the position of watching the coins budge, and be none the wiser about who the real Satoshi is or wasgoed. Or if they were singular or plural, even.