Australian police have raided the Sydney home and office of a man suspected to be the creator of bitcoin who holds hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency.
More than a dozen federal police officers entered a house registered on the electoral roll to Craig Steven Wright, identified by technology news website Wired as the real Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous figure that first released bitcoin’s code in 2009.
Locksmiths broke open the door of the property in a suburb on Sydney’s north shore, Reuters reports, citing witnesses.
The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has been a mystery that journalists and bitcoin enthusiasts have tried to unravel.
The police raids in Australia came hours after Wired magazine and technology website Gizmodo published articles saying that their investigations showed Wright, an entrepreneur and academic, was most probably the secretive bitcoin creator.
Wright is the chief executive of Australian-registered DeMorgan Ltd, which he describes on his LinkedIn page as “a pre-IPO Australian listed company focused on alternative currency”.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement that the officers’ “presence at Mr. Wright’s property is not associated with the media reporting overnight about bitcoins”.
The AFP referred all inquiries about the raids to the Australian Tax Office, which said it could not comment on “any individual’s or entity’s tax affairs” due to legal confidentiality.
The Wired and Gizmodo investigations were based on leaked e-mails, documents and web archives, including what was said to be a transcript of a meeting between Wright and Australian tax officials.
“Either Wright invented bitcoin, or he’s a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did,” Wired said.
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