McAfee lawyer advises against outing Satoshi
The antivirus mogul and bitcoin bull, John McAfee, believes unveiling Bitcoin’s creator is the only way to end reputation damage to it caused by ‘imposters’. Craig Wright is at the top of his list.
Antivirus pioneer and outspoken bitcoin advocate John McAfee has started to release a series of details that he says will ultimately end the mystery of the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto – something known to several people in the crypto space. McAfee’s immediate reason for doing so – other than the self-evident publicity boost – is the damage being caused by others claiming to be Satoshi and using this to push their own agendas.
McAfee has been vocal in his criticism of Craig Wright, and conversely in his support of Binance for delisting BSV. Last week he tweeted: ‘Enough is enough! There at least a dozen crypto adherents who know the true identity of Satoshi. I can assure you, 100%, it is NOT Craig Wright. This absurd claim of Craig’s is incomprehensible. Mr wright: Have you no shame? Seriously sir! Have you no shame?’
This was soon followed by his new campaign, on 17 April: ‘The “Who is Satoshi?” Mystery must end! First: It is NOT the CIA nor any agency of any world government. It IS a collection of people, but the white paper was written by one man, who currently [sic] resides in the US. If he does not come forward these narrowings will continue.’
That message was followed by a justification of this strategy:
‘I protected the identity of Satoshi. It’s time, though, that this be put to bed. Imposters claim to be him, we are spending time and energy in search of him – It’s a waste. Every day I will narrow down the identity of Satoshi until he reveals himself, or I reveal him.’
This proved controversial among those who thought Satoshi should be allowed his privacy, but McAfee responded:
‘Wow!! Im getting flack for forcing Satoshi into the open. Please see: the “not knowing” is allowing people to falsely claim the title. This wreaks havoc. For example: Craig Wright’s fake claim to be Satoshi is fully responsible for the BSV scam which hurt us all.’
He also confirmed his understanding that Satoshi was still in control of his wallet of early mined coins, containing around 1 million BTC.
Aside from criticism for wanting to out Satoshi, McAfee has been inundated with messages from fake Satoshi accounts. There was then a hiatus, when Mrs McAfee confiscated his phone to give him a period of enforced rest.
Finally, today, came another message announcing a pause to the incremental process of outing Satoshi:
‘The US extradition request to the Bahamas is imminent. I met with Mario Gray, my extradition lawyer, and it is now clear (read his letter below) that releasing the identity of Satoshi at this time could influence the trial and risk my extradition. I cannot risk that. I’ll wait.’
The attached letter from his lawyers urges him not to reveal the identity of Satoshi, due to the complications to his extradition case and other legal battles that are likely to result, ‘given the global interest in bitcoin and more importantly the amount of money involved’.
No doubt we haven’t heard the last of this.