Craig Wright To Bitcoin Community: So Long, Farewell

Get your popcorn ready.

News broke earlier in the week that Craig Wright, the 45-year-old Australian computer scientist/engineer, would finally come out from behind the shadows as the official creator of bitcoin. If you recall, there were rumblings a few months back that he was the creator after he was being investigated by Australian tax authorities.

It was never quite confirmed when the Australian government raided his home, but the news did come from the Australian Taxation Office. The details of that issue have yet to fully unfold.

In December, PYMNTS chronicled the lengthy, sitcom-sounding saga that led many to believe that Wright was their guy. The guy everyone thought was the man behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin's creator.

And then, it all went quiet for a while.

Until Monday (May 2).

Wright officially stepped forward and admitted to being the real Satoshi (insert shocked emoji). He made the big reveal to three outlets: BBC, The Economist and GQ. Following those meetings, Wright sent messages digitally signed with cryptographic keys created during the early days of bitcoin’s development. The keys are inextricably linked to blocks of bitcoin known to have been created or “mined” by the guy — Satoshi Nakamoto.

“These are the blocks used to send 10 bitcoins to Hal Finney in January [2009] as the first bitcoin transaction,” said Wright during his demonstration. “I was the main part of it, but other people helped me."

“I will be posting a series of pieces that will lay the foundations for this extraordinary claim, which will include posting independently verifiable documents and evidence,” Wright wrote this week in his postings.

And we waited.

Until yesterday (May 5), when he released this letter:

"I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot.

When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this.

I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honor and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I’m sorry.

And goodbye."

If he is the real bitcoin creator, of course, he already has a lot of money (1 million bitcoin are equivalent to about $450 million in real money by today's trading prices) and, sort of, has the fame.

And he has fame whether he wants it or not now.

But that wasn't all that happened in bitcoin world this week.


Why Former Treasury Secretary Is So Bullish About Bitcoin — And Blockchain 

Speaking at the Consensus 2016 blockchain conference in NYC this week, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers spoke pretty highly about how bitcoin and bitcoin's blockchain could benefit consumers.

He went as far as saying he was "totally open" to using bitcoin as a digital currency but said it won't have much of an impact on the financial world. And why not?

“People who think bitcoin will bring in a Libertarian paradise — that won’t happen,” Summers said, according to The Wall Street Journal. “It’s unlikely that bitcoin would ever become the basis for [government regulatory] rules being eviscerated.”

But as for what bitcoin could be used for? Of course, the technology that powers it: blockchain. And that's where there's a "huge opportunity" to make financial transactions better, even on the consumer side.

“We have, in the last generation, had a lot of financial innovation for the benefit of money. I think it’s a good idea to have financial innovation for the benefit of people in the form of lower costs," he said.


Nasdaq's Blockchain Innovation Leader Calls On Regulators Help

Also at the conference, Fredrik Voss, vice president of blockchain innovation at Nasdaq, made a pretty simple statement about what he thinks needs to happen in order for public and private companies to get blockchain's standards into the financial fold.

“Regulators need to help us. There needs to be legal certainty," he said.

Because the big push for blockchain's tech is to see how it can be used to move money and transactions faster, there needs to be someone ensuring this is done properly in order to gain widespread public trust. But there's been a lot of divide among those on Wall Street and among regulators as to how blockchain can and should be regulated and how that can be done without stifling innovation.

But how can that be done? That's where Voss thinks regulators need to step in.


Winklevoss Twins' Bitcoin Exchange Gets NY Trade Approval 

It's been a while since the Winklevoss twins have showed up in the mainstream news. And based on their personalities, they probably weren't so happy about that.

But they can rest assured now; they've made news again.

Gemini Trust Company, which was created by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, has officially gotten approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services to trade digital currency across its own bitcoin exchange.

This marks a milestone as Gemini is the first U.S.-based exchange of its type to get this type of license. And, in true Winklevoss fashion, the twins have even come up with their own nickname for the exchange.

The “Nasdaq of Bitcoin.”

How Winklevoss of them.


Amazon's Blockchain Playground

Amazon Web Services revealed its latest B2B initiative through a collaboration with Infosys to help the enterprise ditch legacy IT systems and migrate to the cloud.

Amazon Web Services will join with Digital Currency Group to create a Blockchain-as-a-Service solution for financial services firms. Digital Currency Group is a top backer of the distributed ledger technology.

Their collaboration will focus on these companies’ abilities to experiment with blockchain technology and link blockchain firms within the Digital Currency Group portfolio to test their solutions out with FinServ players.


Delaware Digs Into Blockchain’s Tech

The state whose claim to fame is being the first state in the Union in 1787 might soon get a little more tech-savvy.

Delaware, a state also known for incorporating most public companies, is eyeing the blockchain. Although this is still in the experimentation stage — as are most blockchain tests — the state is determining how this technology could be used to move its paperwork more efficiently.

“This is something we’re very interested in,” Delaware Governor Jack Markell said in an interview. “We think the benefits could really be tremendous.”

He cited the possibility of having a competitive advantage if the state jumps on the blockchain bandwagon fast in order to make the state’s operations move faster. It could also give the state an advantage in getting more FinTech businesses to settle there, he said.


Wall Street Talks Digital Dollar

What happens when you get a group of Wall Streeters and 100 financial institution executives in one room to talk about FinTech beyond the power of the blockchain?

You get talk about a “digital dollar” and the future of how the U.S. dollar could be turned into a digital asset that could be used to expedite how financial trades are conducted. Of course, that’s where the blockchain comes into the conversation, as the chatter on Wall Street has been about how, if and when the blockchain’s tech could be used to transform the financial system that many have suggested is outdated and clunky.

But this meeting was all part of a secret event that was reportedly sponsored by Chain, the blockchain startup. And to get the ideas flowing, Fiserv even created digital dollars to be used to show executives what this hypothetical future looks like.

The outcome of this event was officially announced on Monday (May 2), when leaders who participated in the meeting expressed what came out of it. This included spending 18 months leading up to the public release of Chain Open Standard 1 (Chain OS 1), an open source blockchain protocol.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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