Australian police raided the Sydney home and office on Wednesday of a man named by Wired magazine as the probable creator of bitcoin and holder of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the cryptocurrency, Reuters witnesses said.
More than a dozen federal police officers entered a house registered on the electoral roll to Craig Steven Wright, whom Wired outed as the likely real identity of 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. When asked what they were doing, one officer told a Reuters reporter they were “clearing the house”.
A reporter who approached an office listed as the location of two of Wright’s registered businesses, DeMorgan Ltd and Panopticrypt Pty Ltd, in another Sydney suburb, was turned away by police with one officer saying: “There’s an operation going on at the moment, I can’t answer any questions.” Several police officers could be seen speaking with workers inside.
The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto has long 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…